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Summary Article: Redwood, John from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

British Conservative politician. He was Welsh Secretary 1993–95, when he resigned to contest the Conservative leadership following John Major's decision to challenge his critics within the party by forcing a leadership election. Positioned on the right wing of the party, Redwood is a leading ‘Euro-sceptic’. He contested the leadership again, unsuccessfully, in 1997.

From 1997, he served in the shadow cabinet of the Conservative's new leader, William Hague, as first shadow secretary of state for trade and industry and then shadow secretary of state for the environment, transport and the regions, until being dropped in 2000. In 2004, the party's new leader, Michael Howard, appointed him spokesman on deregulation, and in December 2005 the next leader, David Cameron, appointed him chair of the policy review group on economic competitiveness.

Born in Dover, he graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, and at the age of 21 was appointed a Fellow of All Souls College. He began his political career as an Oxfordshire county councillor 1973–77, and after an unsuccessful attempt to enter the House of Commons in 1982, he headed Margaret Thatcher's policy unit 1983–85 before winning the Wokingham seat in the 1987 general election. In 1995 he became director of a newly established independent think-tank – the Conservative 2000 Foundation.

Building on his experience as an investment analyst, he has written a number of books in that field as well as a work on privatization. A confirmed Euro-sceptic, in his book The Global Marketplace (1993), he advocated closer links with the USA in preference to Europe. In domestic politics he has strongly promoted Christian family values.

His seemingly unemotional character, which earned him the nickname ‘Vulcan’ (from Star Trek's Spock), but even his fiercest critics have acknowledged his intellectual ability.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

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