Stephen Crabb

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The Right Honourable
Stephen Crabb
Stephen Crabb Secretary of State.jpg
Secretary of State for Wales
Assumed office
15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Jones
Minister of State for Wales
In office
4 September 2012 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Jones
Succeeded by Alun Cairns
Member of Parliament
for Preseli Pembrokeshire
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Jackie Lawrence
Majority 4,969
Personal details
Born (1973-01-20) 20 January 1973 (age 45)
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Béatrice Monnier
Children 2
Alma mater University of Bristol
University of London
Religion Christianity [1]
Website Official website

Stephen Crabb (born 20 January 1973) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire since 2005 and Secretary of State for Wales since July 2014.[2] He had previously been a Government Whip and Wales Minister.[3] The BBC described his then-dual role as both a whip and a minister as unusual.[4][5]

Early life

Crabb was born in Inverness, Scotland [6] to Scottish and Welsh parents but was brought up in Pembrokeshire. His mother was a single parent who raised him and his two brothers on council estate after separating from his violent father.[6]


Crabb was educated at local state schools the Fenton Infants School, Barn Street Junior School (now both called Fenton Community Primary School) on Portfield[citation needed] and Tasker Milward V.C. School, a voluntary controlled state maintained school in the market town of Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire, from 1984–91,[7][8] followed by the University of Bristol, graduating in 1995 with a BSc in Politics.[7][8]

As a student, Crabb spent his summers working on building sites in different locations in England and Wales. For one job at a site on Newport Docks he reportedly lived in a tent during the week, returning to Pembrokeshire at weekends.[9]

He met his future wife Béatrice whilst studying at Bristol University.[9] Crabb then went to the London Business School,[7][8] where he gained an MBA, and learnt French through the Open University. Crabb started his career in the youth and charity sector with the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services while working part-time as a youth worker in inner city south London. In 1998, Crabb started work at the London Chamber of Commerce and in 2002 he went on to become a marketing consultant.[8]

In December 2012, Crabb was named ITV Wales 'Member to Watch' in the Welsh Political Awards 2012.[10]

Political career


From 1995 to 1996, Crabb was a Christian Action Research and Education parliamentary intern.[11][12] Crabb is a former patron of the Burma Campaign UK, the London-based group campaigning for human rights and democracy in Burma. Crabb is a passionate supporter of welfare reform and social mobility.

International developments interests

In the House of Commons, Crabb served on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, International Development Select Committee and Treasury Select Committee. In 2009 he was appointed to the Conservative frontbench as Junior Whip (a post which only exists in the Conservative Party). In 2010, Crabb became Assistant Government Whip in the Coalition Government. Crabb takes an interest in international development, believing in the importance of UK aid.[13] In 2006 he chaired the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission and from 2007-2009 he sat on the International Development Committee. In July 2008, he was the only MP to break ranks with the Committee over its calls for direct talks with the terrorist group Hamas.[citation needed] From 2010 to 2012 he led Project Umubano, the Conservative Party’s project which works in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.[13] He took a team of over 100 Party volunteers to Africa each year.


In May 2009, it was revealed that Crabb claimed £8,049 on his second home expenses in order to refurbish a flat in London. After selling the flat for a profit, he "flipped" his expenses to cover a house that was being purchased for his family in Pembrokeshire. A room in another flat was then designated as his main home.[14] At the time he said, "I haven’t claimed for things like plasma TVs, even though the rules allow it. My claims were always within the letter and the spirit of the rules."

Election performance

In 1998, Crabb was elected as the chairman of the Southwark North and Bermondsey Conservative Association for two years and in the same year was an election monitor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2004, Crabb returned to Pembrokeshire and in 2005 he was elected as the MP for the seat where he grew up – Preseli Pembrokeshire. He took the seat from Labour as one of only three Welsh Conservative MPs to end the 'Tory free zone’ that had existed in Wales since 1997. He made his maiden speech on 25 May 2005.[15] He was the youngest member of the 2005 Conservative intake.[8] In the 2010 elections on 6 May, Crabb retained his seat with a majority of 4,605 and 42.79% of the vote.[16] In the government cabinet reshuffle in July 2014, Crabb was appointed Secretary of State for Wales[16] He became the first bearded Conservative cabinet minister since 1905.[6]

Crabb retained his seat in the United Kingdom general election, 2015 on 7 May 2015, winning with a majority of 4,969 and 40.4% of the vote.[17] He also remained Secretary of State for Wales after the cabinet reshuffle on 11 May 2015.[18]

Work on Energy Intensive Industries

In 2012, Crabb was appointed as a Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales. At the Wales Office, Crabb has led the work on maintaining the competitiveness of Wales’ energy intensive industries. Since becoming a Wales Office minister in 2012, Crabb has led the work calling for relief for Wales' energy intensive industries. In December 2013 he brought together some of Wales' biggest high energy use companies including Tata Steel, Celsa and Valero to focus on the impact of energy costs on the competitiveness of Welsh businesses and agree a course of action.[citation needed] In the 2014 Spring Budget, The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would compensate energy intensive industries being hit hard by high energy costs. This was described as a 'feather in the cap' for Crabb.[19] Reportedly, one of his first acts as Welsh Secretary was to abandon his taxpayer subidised car, in favour of public transport.[20]

Food banker?

Crabb was trustee of Pembrokeshire foodbank charity, Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship, based in his parliamentary constituency.[21] In early 2014 This connection to PATCH caused some controversy and raised questions over Crabb's sincerity towards foodbank users when on 18 December 2013, at a parliamentary debate he voted against the publication of a 2013 investigation into foodbanks use and UK hunger and in the same motion voted against the call for the government to implement measures to reduce UK foodbank dependency.[22]

Personal life

Crabb is married to Béatrice Monnier and they have two children.[13] He is vice-captain of the Commons and Lords RFC rugby team,[13] and has run the London Marathon three times. He learnt to play the guitar as a teenager, practising with his band on the housing estate.[9] He is a practising Christian and has spoken at meetings of the Conservative Christian Fellowship.[23]


  2. "MP Stephen Crabb wins Wales Office promotion". BBC News. 5 September 2012. 
  3. "The reshuffle: twist in the tail". BBC News. 5 September 2012. 
  4. "The unexpected Wales Office call for Baroness Randerson". BBC News. 5 September 2012. 
  5. "Stephen Crabb MP on his new job in Wales Office". BBC News. 6 September 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mason, Rowena (15 July 2014). "Stephen Crabb to be Welsh secretary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "About Stephen". Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "Stephen Crabb MP appointed Secretary of State for Wales" (Press release). Wales Office. 15 July 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Walters, Simon (25 October 2014). "Tory Minister for Wales: I foiled my dad's knife attack... on my mother". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  10. "Education Minister named Politician of the Year". ITV News. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  11. Modell, David (18 May 2008). "Christian fundamentalists fighting spiritual battle in Parliament". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  12. "CARE Leadership Programme 2010–11" (PDF). CARE. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Stephen Crabb". The Conservative Party. Retrieved 15 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  14. Swaine, Jon (14 May 2009). "Stephen Crabb nominates fellow MP's flat as main home: MPs' expenses". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  15. "Oral Answers to Questions (25 May 2005)". Hansard. 434 (79). [dead link]
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Stephen Crabb MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 15 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  17. "Preseli Pembrokeshire 2015 Results". BBC News. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  18. "Election 2015:Stephen Crabb to remain as Welsh Secretary". BBC News. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  19. Graham Henry (19 March 2014). "Budget 2014: What will George Osborne's Budget statement mean for Wales?". Wales Online. 
  20. Steffan Rhys (20 July 2014). "No Jags: New Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb scraps Jaguar on first day". Wales Online. 
  21. Comdevelopment Ltd. "Stephen Crabb". Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  22. "Crabb's Foodbank Hypocrisy". Western Telegraph. Haverfordwest. 22 January 2014. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jackie Lawrence
Member of Parliament
for Preseli Pembrokeshire

Political offices
Preceded by
David Jones
Secretary of State for Wales