KIRKHOPE, John Robert Timothy (born 1945) Conservative. Solicitor.
He practised as a solicitor in Newcastle and then became a Conservative councillor on Northumberland County Council in 1982. He also served as Director of Newcastle Airport. He then twice unsuccessfully stood for Parliament; at Durham in February 1974 and at Darlington in 1979. When Sir Keith Joseph decided to retire before the 1987 election, Kirkhope was selected to stand for the safe Conservative seat of Leeds North East. He won and in 1989 became Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Trippier, at the Department of the Environment. His private member’s bill, the Parking Act 1989, enabled motorists to use methods like debit cards to pay for their parking needs. He became Government assistant whip in 1990, was re-elected in the 1992 general election, was appointed Lord Commissioner to the Treasury and in 1995 became both Vice-Chamberlain to the Household and Under Secretary of State for the Home Department. He was defeated in the 1997 Labour’s landslide. After returning to private practice he became an MEP in 1999 for Yorkshire & the Humber. He is the Conservative Spokesman for Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament, a Member of the European Parliament Delegation to the United States of America and is leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament. For further reading see http://www.kirkhope.org.uk.