Robert Key (politician)

For other people named Robert Key, see Robert Key (disambiguation).
Robert Key
Minister for Sport
In office
14 April 1992  27 May 1993
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by Robert Atkins
Succeeded by Iain Sproat
Member of Parliament
for Salisbury
In office
10 June 1983  12 April 2010
Preceded by Michael Hamilton
Succeeded by John Glen
Personal details
Born (1945-04-22) 22 April 1945
Plymouth, Devon, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Susan Irvine
Alma mater Clare College, Cambridge
Religion Church of England

Simon Robert Key (born 22 April 1945), known as Robert Key, is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He is the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Salisbury, Wiltshire. He is also Chair of Governors at Salisbury Cathedral School.

Early life

Key was born in Plymouth, the son of Maurice Key, afterwards Bishop of Truro.[1] At the age of 10 he was part of a school walk on Swanage Beach in Dorset where he and six friends discovered an old wartime mine which detonated; only Key and one other boy survived.[2][3] He went to Salisbury Cathedral School, then independent Sherborne School. He studied economics at Clare College at the University of Cambridge, receiving an MA and CertEd. He taught at the Loretto School in Edinburgh from 1967–9, then taught economics at Harrow School from 1969–83.

Political career

He contested the Holborn and St Pancras South seat in 1979. He was the Member of Parliament for Salisbury between 1983 and 2010, and was Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities in the Department of the Environment (now DEFRA) from 1990–2, setting up the Inner Cities Religious Council[4] in 1991, and was Minister for Sport at the Department of National Heritage (now Culture, Media and Sport) from 1992–3. He was Minister for Roads and Traffic from 1993–4.

In opposition, Key served as a front-bench spokesman during the leaderships of William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith: in 2001, he was the shadow minister for Science and Energy, and in July 2002 the shadow minister for International Development. He stood down from this position in June 2003, returning to the backbenches, but retaining his membership of the Defence Select Committee.

In 2005, he won re-election with an increased majority. From 1994 until 2001, he was a Director of Hortichem (now Certis UK since 2001) in Amesbury.

On 2 December 2009, Key announced his decision to stand down at the next general election.

Robert Key is a member of the General Synod of the Church of England.

Personal life

He is the son of John Maurice Key who was the 10th Bishop of Truro from 1960 to 1973, as well as the Bishop of Sherborne from 1947 until 1960. He married Susan Irvine in 1968 in Perth. They have one son and two daughters and live in Harnham. He is a committed choral singer and member of the Church of England.


  1. "Robert Key". wordiq. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  2. "4 Boys Killed on Beach: Crater Made By Explosion – Wartime Minefield" The Times 14 May 1955,page 8 column 5
  3. Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 17 Mar 2010 (pt 0009)". Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  4. "Neighbourhood renewal – Communities and neighbourhoods – Communities and Local Government". Archived from the original on 2 April 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2010.

News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Hamilton
Member of Parliament for Salisbury
Succeeded by
John Glen
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Atkins
Minister for Sport
Succeeded by
Iain Sproat
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/31/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.