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Development of British Iranian Relations

  • 5 Jul 2007
  • The Churchill, Hyatt Regency London 30 Portman Square London W1A 4ZX

Development of British Iranian Relations: British Iranian Relations, the Conservative Middle East Council and the wider Conservative Party

Crispin Blunt, Member of Parliament for Reigate in Surrey, has been chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council (CMEC) since 2003. Under the auspices of CMEC, Crispin has raised awareness of Middle East issues amongst MPs and Peers in the Conservative Party. Crispin has led and been part of many delegations of MPs to the region. In April he visited Iran in order to initiate a series of delegations to build parliamentary links and an improved understanding of Iran in the British parliament, particularly in the Party likely to form the next government. He hopes improved political relations, cultural and commercial ties will be the result of this programme.

Crispin was first elected to Parliament 10 years ago, in 1997. Previously Crispin served 11 years as an Army Officer, which saw him stationed in Cyprus, Germany and the UK. He served as a Troop Leader, Regimental Operations Officer and Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron Commander. He resigned his commission as a Captain in 1990 to contest a seat at the 1992 general election in West Bromwich East for the Conservative Party. In 1993 Crispin was appointed as Special Adviser to Malcolm Rifkind the Secretary of State for Defence, and worked in the same capacity when Malcolm Rifkind became Foreign Secretary between 1995 and 1997.

In May 1997 Crispin Blunt was elected to Parliament as Member for Reigate, defeating his deselected Conservative predecessor Sir George Gardiner. He was subsequently appointed to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. He was appointed to the Conservative frontbench in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland, and then promoted in 2002 to Shadow Minister for Trade and Energy as deputy to the Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. He resigned from the frontbench in May 2003 and was reappointed as an Opposition Whip in 2004.

Crispin has a degree in Politics from the University of Durham and an MBA from the School of Management at Cranfield.

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