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“Neil Johnson, Motability Operations Group plc’s Chairman, announced that he would retire in 2019. Mr Johnson will be succeeded in April 2019 by The Rt. Hon. Sir Stephen O’Brien. Sir Stephen qualified as a solicitor before a decade of industrial management at Redland PLC, and was an MP for 16 years and an International Development Minister. From 2015 to 2017 he was United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs & Emergency Relief Coordinator.”
Who is Stephen Rothwell O’Brien?
Former Conservative MP for Eddisbury, Cheshire from 1999 – 2015 (replaced by Antoinette Geraldine Mackeson-Sandbach). Joined the UN in 2015 and completed his two year term in late 2017, he is now a business advisor and speaker on relief and health and also the Non-Executive Vice Chairman of Savannah Petroleum PLC, a British independent oil and gas company focused around Niger and Nigeria.
Stephen was awarded a Knighthood (KBE) in June 2017 for his achievements and commitments to humanitarian action, global health and international development.
What was he like as an MP?
Voting history in the commons includes:
On 12 Nov 2013: Stephen O’Brien voted in favour of reducing housing benefit for those deemed to have excess bedrooms.
On 21 Jan 2013: Stephen O’Brien voted to set the rate of increase of certain benefits, payments and tax credits at 1% rather than in line with prices at 2.2% for 2014 and 2015
On 8 Jan 2013: Stephen O’Brien voted to cap any increase discretionary working age benefits and tax credits at 1% in 2014-15 and 2015-16
On 21 Nov 2012: Stephen O’Brien voted to cap the total amount of welfare benefits an individual can claim from April 2013 at £350 for a single person and £500 for couple per week.
On 1 Feb 2012: Stephen O’Brien voted not to increase the time people can receive contribution based ESA from one year to at least 730 days.
On 1 Feb 2012: Stephen O’Brien voted not to make an exception for those with a cancer diagnosis or undergoing cancer treatment from the 365 day limit on receiving contribution based Employment and Support Allowance.
On 1 Feb 2012: Stephen O’Brien voted not to set the lower rate of the Universal Credit payment in relation to disabled children and young people at a minimum of two-thirds of the higher rate.
On 15 Jun 2011: Stephen O’Brien voted to introduce Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments and to restrict housing benefit for those in social housing deemed to have excess bedrooms.
On 9 Dec 2010: Stephen O’Brien voted to raise the UK’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
On 21 May 2013: Stephen O’Brien voted against allowing same sex couples to marry.
On 18 Mar 2002: Stephen O’Brien voted no on Hunting with Dogs: Ban
On 12 Jun 2014: Stephen O’Brien voted against a range of economic policies including raising the minimum wage, reintroducing a 10% starting rate of income tax and boosting the supply of housing.
On 5 Nov 2014: Stephen O’Brien voted in favour of cutting the income tax rate applied to those earning over £150,000 a year.