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|The Right Honourable
Sir George Young
Bt CH MP
|Government Chief Whip in the Commons
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
19 October 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Andrew Mitchell|
|Leader of the House of Commons
Lord Privy Seal
12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Harriet Harman|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Lansley|
|Shadow Leader of the House of Commons|
8 September 2009 – 11 May 2010
|Preceded by||Alan Duncan|
|Succeeded by||Rosie Winterton|
1 June 1998 – 26 September 2000
|Preceded by||Gillian Shephard|
|Succeeded by||Angela Browning|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Defence|
11 June 1997 – 1 June 1998
|Preceded by||David Clark|
|Succeeded by||John Maples|
|Secretary of State for Transport|
5 July 1995 – 2 May 1997
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Brian Mawhinney|
|Succeeded by||John Prescott (Environment, Transport and the Regions)|
|Financial Secretary to the Treasury|
11 July 1994 – 5 July 1995
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Stephen Dorrell|
|Succeeded by||Michael Jack|
|Member of Parliament
for North West Hampshire
1 May 1997
|Preceded by||David Mitchell|
|Member of Parliament
for Ealing Acton
28 February 1974 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Nigel Spearing|
|Succeeded by||Constituency Abolished|
16 July 1941 |
|Spouse(s)||Aurelia Nemon-Stuart (m. 1964–present)|
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford;
University of Surrey
Sir George Samuel Knatchbull Young, 6th Baronet, CH, MP (born 16 July 1941) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1974, having represented North West Hampshire since 1997 and Ealing Acton prior to that. Sir George served in the Cabinet from 1995 to 1997 as Secretary of State for Transport, and later as the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal from 2010 to 2012. On 19 October 2012, Sir George was re-appointed to the Cabinet as Chief Whip of the House of Commons following the resignation of Andrew Mitchell.
Early life 
Young was born in Oxford in 1941, the first son of Sir George Peregrine "Gerry" Young, 5th Baronet, and Elizabeth Knatchbull-Hugessen. His father was a diplomat who met Elizabeth while serving in Beijing (where her father, Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, was the British Ambassador). They married in 1939. On the death of his father in 1960, George inherited the baronetcy which had been created in 1813.
Young was educated at St. Aubyns Preparatory School in Rottingdean, Eton, and then Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, graduating in 1963. He was active in student politics while at Oxford, holding various offices in the Oxford University Conservative Association and being elected to the Standing Committee of the Oxford Union. After graduating from Oxford, he worked for a while at the merchant bank Hill Samuel, and then at the National Economic Development Office from 1966 to 1967. He then spent two years as Kobler Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, where he completed an M.Phil. From 1969 to 1974, Young was an economic adviser to the Post Office Corporation.
Young served as a councillor for the London Borough of Lambeth from 1968 to 1971, alongside his wife and John Major. He represented Clapham Town Ward, and served on the Housing Committee. He and other councillors worked as refuse collectors at weekends during a strike. He lost his council seat in 1971.
In 1970, Young was elected to the Greater London Council (GLC) as one of four Members for the London Borough of Ealing. He served on the GLC from 1970 to 1973, where he was vice-chairman of the Strategic Planning Authority. He did not contest his seat on the GLC in 1973, having been selected as a candidate for Parliament. (He was later one of the local government ministers who abolished the GLC in 1986.)
Parliamentary career 
Young was elected to Parliament at the February 1974 general election as the MP for Acton with a majority of 1,300, defeating the sitting Labour Party MP, Nigel Spearing. (Spearing returned to parliament a few weeks later after winning a by-election in Newham South, and the two remained good friends until Spearing retired in 1997.) Young was re-elected as MP for Acton at the October 1974 general election with a majority of 808. He continued to represent Acton (Ealing Acton after 1983) for the next 23 years, when the seat was abolished owing to boundary changes.
From 1976 to 1979, Young served as an Opposition Whip. When the Conservative Party won the 1979 general election, he was made a Junior Health Minister. From 1981 to 1986, Young served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment.
In 1982, Young and his children appeared on a British Rail poster alongside Jimmy Savile to promote new measures to allow people to take their bicycles on trains more easily. Young had made a critical speech in parliament about the provisions for cyclists to take their bikes on trains, and when British Rail implemented new measures they invited Young to appear on the publicity poster. His enthusiasm for cycling has earned Young the nickname of the "Bicycling Baronet".
On the backbenches from 1986 to 1990, Young was among the leaders of the rebellion within the Conservative Party against the implementation of the Poll Tax. Shortly before leaving office in 1990, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher brought Young back into her Government as a Whip (Comptroller of the Household) as part of her attempts to reunite the Party.
When John Major became Prime Minister in November 1990, he gave Young to the role of Minister for Housing and Planning. During this time he caused controversy by saying "The homeless are what you step over when you come out of the opera."  In 1992 when asked during parliamentary discussions of the Armley Asbestos Disaster in Armley for financial assistance in surveying local housing in the Armley area for residual asbestos, the then Minister for Housing and Planning, Sir George Young, responded that the government would not provide financial assistance to the home owners or the council to pay for decontamination, as this "would not be a justifiable use of public funds."
Young then served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1994 to 1995, and in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport from 1995 to 1997. He was created a Privy Councillor in 1993. When Young's Ealing Acton constituency was abolished because of boundary changes, he was parachuted into the safe Conservative seat of North West Hampshire at the 1997 General Election to replace the retiring MP Sir David Mitchell (the father of Andrew Mitchell who Young would, in 2012, succeed as Chief Whip). Young was elected with a majority of 11,551, and has continued to serve as the MP for North West Hampshire since then.
Following the Conservative Party's defeat in 1997, Young was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Defence Secretary by the Party's new Leader, William Hague. In 1998, Young became Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. In 1999, he was given additional responsibilities as Spokesman on Constitutional Affairs. He was a member of the Modernisation Select Committee and of the House of Commons Commission from 1998 to 2000.
Young resigned from the Shadow Cabinet in September 2000 in order to stand for the position of Speaker of the House of Commons. Fourteen MPs put their names forward to succeed the retiring Betty Boothroyd, and many observers considered Young to be the favourite to be elected to the role. He had support from both the Conservative and Labour leadership, however many backbench MPs, particularly those from the Labour Party (who held a large majority in the House at the time), viewed Young as someone who had too recently been a member of his Party's front bench team and was thus not sufficiently in touch with ordinary MPs. In the end, Young was not elected as Speaker, with the House instead choosing Labour MP Michael Martin for the role.
From 2000 to 2009, Young remained on the backbenches. He was elected Chairman of the House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges in 2001, and was re-elected to that role in 2005.
Young stood for the position of Speaker of the House of Commons again in 2009, finishing second in the ballot of MPs to fellow Conservative MP John Bercow. In the first ever secret ballot of MPs to choose the new Speaker, Bercow defeated Young in the final round of voting by a margin of 322 to 271.
On 8 September 2009, Conservative party leader David Cameron appointed Young as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, replacing Alan Duncan who held the post since January 2009. He became the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal on 12 May 2010 after the Conservative Party formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats following the 2010 general election. In this role, he attended the meetings of the Cabinet but was not a full member.
Young left his roles as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal in the government reshuffle of September 2012. Following this, Prime Minister David Cameron recommended that he be appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour.
In October 2012 it was reported that Sir George supported a new group of Conservative MPs established to reconnect the Tories with working class voters. The Blue Collar Conservatism group aims to develop policies to attract “aspirational” voters on average incomes whose support is “vital” to winning a Commons majority at the next election.
Personal and family life 
Young married Aurelia Nemon-Stuart, daughter of sculptor Oscar Nemon, on 11 July 1964. They have two sons and two daughters, and live in Penton Mewsey in Hampshire, as well as on the family estate, Formosa Place, at Cookham in Berkshire.
In 1987 Young was banned from driving after being caught drink driving. It was reported that he smashed into a motorway barrier and continued on until stopped by police.
Sir George's family wealth is estimated to be at least £1m.
See also 
- "Andrew Mitchell Resigns After 'Plebs' Row". Sky News. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- Biog Sir George Young website]
- Leaflet Sir George Young website
- Honours for cabinet reshuffle casualties BBC News
- "Tory Reform Group People". Archived from the original on 2007-02-08.
- Register of All-Party Groups UK Parliament
- "Channel Tunnel Rail Link". Hansard. 29 February 1996. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "Why Sir George got on his bike". London: Daily Mail. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
- Glen Owen The coalition of millionaires: 23 of the 29 member of the new cabinet are worth more than £1m... and the Lib Dems are just as wealthy as the Tories Mail on Sunday 23 May 2010
- Sir George Young Bt MP Official constituency website
- George Young on YouTube
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at PublicWhip.org
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou.com
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Articles authored at Journalisted
- Profile: George Young, BBC News, 30 March 2006
- The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group on SourceWatch
- Debrett's People of Today