Peter Ainsworth

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Peter Michael Ainsworth (born 16 November 1956) is a Conservative politician in the United Kingdom. He was the Member of Parliament for East Surrey from 1992 to 2010.


Early life

The son of a naval officer, Ainsworth was educated at the Ludgrove School in Wokingham, Bradfield College, and Lincoln College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1979, with an MA in English Literature and Language.

On leaving university he became a researcher to the former Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Sir John Stewart-Clark, and then in 1981 became a merchant banker. He worked as an investments analyst for Laing & Cruickshank Investment Management (bought by UBS in 2004) from 1981-5, and then in corporate finance for S.G. Warburg Securities (bought by UBS in 1994) from 1985–92, where he became a director from 1990-2.[1]

He married Claire Burnett in Hatfield in 1981, with whom he has had a son (born December 1991) and two daughters (born August 1988 and July 1990).

Parliamentary career

He was elected as a councillor to the London Borough of Wandsworth in 1986 and at the 1992 general election was elected to Parliament for the seat of East Surrey, succeeding Sir Geoffrey Howe.

In 1994 Ainsworth became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Jonathan Aitken, and in 1995 became PPS to the Secretary of State for National Heritage, Virginia Bottomley. He was promoted by John Major in 1996 to the Whips' Office. When the Major government fell the following year he remained a whip in opposition and was promoted to Deputy Chief Whip by William Hague.

On 5 January 2010, Ainsworth announced that he was to stand down at the forthcoming general election.[2] The Conservative majority in East Surrey in 2005 was 15,921 in 2005.

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