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Matthew Taylor, Baron Taylor of Goss Moor

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Title: Matthew Taylor, Baron Taylor of Goss Moor  
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Subject: List of Question Time episodes, Truro and St Austell (UK Parliament constituency), Frontbench Team of Charles Kennedy, Mark Oaten, Charles Kennedy
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Matthew Taylor, Baron Taylor of Goss Moor

The Right Honourable
The Lord Taylor of Goss Moor
Chair of the Liberal Democrats
In office
12 June 2003 – 5 May 2005
Leader Charles Kennedy
Preceded by Mark Oaten
Succeeded by Paul Holmes
Liberal Democrats Treasury Spokesman
In office
9 August 1999 – 12 June 2003
Leader Charles Kennedy
Preceded by Malcolm Bruce
Succeeded by Vince Cable
Member of Parliament
for Truro and St Austell
Truro (1987–1997)
In office
13 March 1987 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by David Penhaligon
Succeeded by Seat Abolished
Personal details
Born (1963-01-03) 3 January 1963
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrats

Matthew Owen John Taylor, Baron Taylor of Goss Moor (born 3 January 1963) is a Liberal Democrat politician in the United Kingdom. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Truro and St Austell in Cornwall from 1987 until he stood down at the 2010 general election. He was granted a life peerage and so became a member of the House of Lords in July 2010.


  • Early life 1
  • Education 2
  • Life and career 3
  • Member of Parliament 4
    • Announced Retirement 4.1
    • Peerage 4.2
  • Personal life 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7
    • News items 7.1

Early life

Matthew Taylor is the adopted son of Kenneth Taylor, a television script writer best known for The Jewel in the Crown and The Camomile Lawn.

In 2008 he traced his birth mother and learnt for the first time that his great-grandfather had been the Liberal member of parliament Sir Percy Harris.[1]


Taylor was educated at two independent schools: at Treliske Preparatory School (now known as Truro School Prep)[2] on Highertown (A390) in Truro, and University College School in Hampstead, north London, followed by Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.[3]

Life and career

Politically active from a young age, Taylor campaigned in his first general election in 1979 at the age of sixteen and joined the Cornwall anti-nuclear alliance a year later. After winning a scholarship, he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. While there, he was elected as President of the Oxford University Student Union for the year 1985-86 on the Liberal/SDP Alliance ticket.

Member of Parliament

In 1986 he was assigned to the then Truro MP David Penhaligon as an economics researcher, but after Penhaligon died in a car crash just before Christmas 1986, Taylor was selected to run as the Liberal candidate in the subsequent by-election, which he won. Three months later he retained the seat at the 1987 general election. Aged 24 he was the youngest MP and took the title "Baby of the House" from Charles Kennedy, holding the title for 10 years until 1997. His celebrity status gave him early access to political media and television programmes including the BBC's "Question Time", while being an MP in a small party brought quick promotion to the front bench as local government spokesman.

Taylor has had a successful track record in backing leaders of his party, including Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, whose successful leadership campaign Taylor led in 1999 after Ashdown stepped down. His reward was to be made the party's Treasury spokesman, in which role he attacked Labour over its decision to shed a penny from the basic rate of income tax and announced the policy of raising the upper rate to 50% for people earning over £100,000. He has also been the party's spokesperson on environmental issues.

Announced Retirement

Taylor announced his retirement in 2007 and did not stand in the 2010 general election.[4] The Truro and St Austell constituency he represented was then abolished after a boundary review.


It was announced that Taylor would receive a life peerage in the 2010 Dissolution Honours and his title was gazetted as Baron Taylor of Goss Moor, of Truro in the County of Cornwall on 16 July 2010.

Personal life

Taylor married Vicky Garner (born 1973), a former director of pressure group Surfers Against Sewage, in 2007. The couple have two sons; Arthur Simon Rowan Taylor, born on 18 November 2006 at St Thomas' Hospital, London[5] and Jacob Oscar Heywood Taylor born on 12 February 2008 at home in Cornwall. Taylor & Garner Ltd provides business consultancy services, based in Roche, Cornwall.[6]


  1. ^ Adopted Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor reunited with his mother The Sunday Times, 16 March 2008
  2. ^ "Truro Prep and Pre Prep". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  3. ^ "LMH, Oxford - Prominent Alumni". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Lib Dem MP MP Taylor to step down". BBC News. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007. 
  5. ^ "MP and fiancee celebrate baby boy". BBC News. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2007. 
  6. ^

External links

  • Matthew Taylor MP Official site
  • Matthew Taylor MP Profile at the site of Liberal Democrats
  • - Matthew Taylor
  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Matthew Taylor
  • Guardian Politics - Ask Aristotle: Matthew Taylor MP
  • - Matthew Taylor MP
  • The Public Whip - Matthew Taylor Voting record
  • BBC News - Matthew Taylor profile 16 March 2006

News items

  • February 2007 Guardian article
  • Son born November 2006
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Penhaligon
Member of Parliament for Truro
Constituency renamed
New constituency Member of Parliament for Truro & St Austell
1997 – 2010
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Charles Kennedy
Baby of the House
1987 – 1997
Succeeded by
Chris Leslie
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mark Oaten
Chair of the Liberal Democrats
2003 – 2005
Succeeded by
Paul Holmes
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