General Election 2024: Sir John Redwood 'Vulcan' carrier of Thatcherite torch heads to new universe

Sir John Redwood has announced he is standing down (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)
Sir John Redwood has announced he is standing down (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)

Sir John Redwood, one of the last Thatcher-era Rightwingers in the Commons, is to stand down at the General Election.

The former Cabinet minister, who was nicknamed “Vulcan” because of an alleged passing resemblance to Star Trek’s Mr Spock, said: “I have other things I wish to do.”

Sir John, 72, has represented the London commuter-belt town of Wokingham since 1987, having stood unsuccessfully in Peckham in 1982.

He served in John Major’s Cabinet as Welsh Secretary from July 1993 to July 1995.

Earlier, he had headed Margaret Thatcher’s No10 policy unit in her second term in office.

Star Trek’s Mr Spock (Paramount)
Star Trek’s Mr Spock (Paramount)

A banker and academic, he championed widespread privatisation and low taxes.

An early riser, he is one of the first MPs on Twitter/X many mornings, pushing Thatcherite free-market politics to this day.

A leading Brexiteer, he opposed Theresa May’s proposed deal with Brussels on Britain quitting the European Union.

During Major’s years, he is believed to have been one of the “bastards” criticised by the then Prime Minister, in unguarded comments picked up by a microphone, who were opposing his European policy on ratification of the Maastricht Treaty.

After Major called on rebels to “put up or shut up” as he resigned as Tory leader in June 1995, but not as Prime Minister, Sir John threw his hat into the leadership contest.

His supporters were dubbed the “barmy army” and he lost by 129 votes.

As Welsh Secretary, he was caught on TV seeking to sing the Welsh national anthem, when apparently not knowing the words.

He stood again for the Tory leadership in 1997 before joining William Hague’s shadow cabinet, initially in the trade post.

Sir John, who became a local councillor at the age of 21, was knighted at the end of 2018 in the New Year’s Honours List.

The Liberal Democrats are targeting the Wokingham constituency.

Sir John won the seat at the 2019 election with a majority of 7,383.

But the Lib Dems said that in the local elections on May 2, they won the popular vote in Wokingham with a share of 47%, to 35% for the Conservatives and Labour’s 14%.