|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport|
26 July 2019 - 13 February 2020
16 July 2016 - 9 January 2018
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice|
9 May 2019 - 26 July 2019
|Lord Commissioner of the Treasury|
9 January 2018 - 9 May 2019
|Member of Parliament |
for Blackpool North and Cleveleys
6 May 2010
Paul Christopher Maynard
16 December 1975
Crewe, Cheshire, England
|Alma mater||University College, University of Oxford|
Paul Christopher Maynard (born 16 December 1975) is a British Conservative Party politician. He was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Blackpool North and Cleveleys. Maynard served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Transport from 2016 to 2018 and again from 2019 to 2020.
Born in Crewe, Cheshire, Maynard was left with cerebral palsy and a speech defect when he was strangled by the umbilical cord at birth. At the age of 22 he developed epilepsy, meaning he needs to be teetotal to avoid having seizures. He attended a special needs school between the ages of three and five before transferring to mainstream education.
He attended St Ambrose College, a grammar school based in Altrincham, and went on to obtain a first class history degree at University College, Oxford. Maynard was a reader at his local church and was also a governor at his local Catholic primary school.
After leaving university, Maynard worked as an adviser to the Conservative MP Liam Fox and as a speechwriter for William Hague - the Conservative MP and Leader of the Opposition. He unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate in the Custom House and Silvertown ward of Newham Council on 7 December 2000.
He came fourth when he stood unsuccessfully as the Conservative candidate in the Beckton ward of Newham Council on the 29 March 2001 and subsequently failed to get elected as a councillor on the Custom House ward of Newham Council on the 2 May 2002. He unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate for Twickenham in the 2005 general election, finishing second with 32.4% of the vote and a 2% swing to the Liberal Democrats.
Maynard was selected from the 'A List' for Blackpool North and Cleveleys in December 2006, having been on the Conservative A-List and moved to the constituency to live. Maynard was elected to the House of Commons in the 2010 general election with a majority of 2,150. He was the second person who has cerebral palsy to become a British MP; Conservative Terry Dicks was the first.
In February 2011, Maynard told The Times about the abuse he suffered from Labour MPs, who had mocked his disability during a Commons debate on the abolition of the Child Trust Fund on 26 October 2010. Various Labour Party sources confirmed that such behaviour was unacceptable and Rosie Winterton, the Labour chief whip, and her deputy Alan Campbell were reported to have spoken to MPs about the incident shortly afterwards. A few days after Maynard's Times interview, John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, issued a written statement warning MPs that such abuse was unacceptable. It was reported he had known about the incident for more than three months before speaking to Maynard.
In October 2013, Maynard suggested some people may visit food banks out of habit, rather than genuine need, and that disability campaigners that were opposed to welfare reform were 'extremists'. Following criticism from a number of charities, Maynard apologised for causing offence.
In 2014, he was featured in media coverage of the continuing high costs of the parliamentary expenses system, with his name included in a group of Conservative MPs with high claims for First Class rail travel.
A donation, not thought to break parliamentary rules, was made to Maynard's constituency party before his appointment as an advisor to then Energy secretary Amber Rudd following the 2015 general election. He declared a £5,000 donation to his constituency party in the register of members' interests from Addison Projects in March 2015. Addison PLC is an engineering company based in his constituency near to an intended drill site of the Cuadrilla company. In October 2015, in place of a normal debate in the Commons, it emerged that Maynard was a member of a committee of MPs to vote and debate on proposals to allow drilling for shale gas (or fracking) under protected areas, such as national parks, to the disapproval of the Labour opposition and anti-fracking activists.
In July 2016, new Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Maynard to replace Claire Perry as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport. He had responsibility for major rail projects, rail safety and security, passenger services, transport funding, accessibility, and rail fares and ticketing. He faced criticism due to unresolved industrial action, and consequent major service disruption, on the Southern (Govia Thameslink Railway) line.
Maynard was again returned as MP in 2017, but with a reduced majority of 2,023. Results elsewhere meant Maynard was one of five self-identified disabled MPs, an increase of three since the previous general election.
On 9 January 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May made Maynard a Government Whip by awarding him the role of Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury and he ceased working as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport.
Maynard has campaigned on a range of issues, such keeping fuel prices low and investment for rebuilding St Mary's Catholic College. He has long been an advocate for disabilities, with active links to the RAD, Scope and Trailblazers. In May 2016, Maynard played an active role in improving accessibility of apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities. Engaging with a task force he produced a list of recommendations to be reviewed by the BIS and DWP for future consideration.
In Parliament, Maynard previously served on the Work and Pensions Committee and Transport Committee.
In May 2019, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice in the Second May ministry until July 2019.
Maynard lives in Bispham, Blackpool.