Conor Burns Biography

Conor Burns is a British politician who was born on September 24, 1972. He has been the MP for Bournemouth West since 2010. He was a member of the Conservative Party and was Minister of State for Trade Policy from 2019 to 2020 and from 2022 to 2022. From 2021 to 2022, he was Minister of State for Northern Ireland.

Burns was born in Belfast, and when he was eight, he moved to Hertfordshire. Before he was elected as the MP for Bournemouth West in 2010, he worked in finance and communications. He was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson’s Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) from 2010 to 2012 when he quit because he didn’t agree with the House of Lords Reform Bill 2012. He worked as a PPS for Boris Johnson, who was the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. He left that job in 2018 because he wanted to talk more openly about other parts of the policy. Burns was the Minister of State for Trade Policy after Johnson became the Prime Minister. In 2020, he quit the job after an investigation by the Commons Select Committee on Standards found that, during a financial dispute involving his father, he had threatened to use parliamentary privilege to intimidate a member of the public for his family’s benefit.

Burns was made Minister of State for Northern Ireland during a reshuffle of the cabinet in 2021. After Liz Truss became Prime Minister in September 2022, he went back to his job as Minister of State for Trade Policy. The next month, Truss fired Burns when he had the whip put on leave because of a serious misconduct claim while Burns was at the 2022 Conservative Party Conference.


Early life and career 

Burns was born on September 24, 1972, in Belfast. In 1980, he moved to Hertfordshire with his family. He went to the private St. Columba’s College in St. Albans and then to the University of Southampton to study Modern History and Politics. He was the head of the Southampton University Conservative Association from 1992 to 1993 and the head of the Wessex Area Conservatives from 1993 to 1994 while he was in college.

He had a number of jobs in the communications and finance industries, such as director of the Policy Research Centre for Business Ltd, company secretary for DeHavilland Global Knowledge Distribution plc, manager for Zurich Advice Network, and associate director of the public affairs company PLMR.



Early political career 

Burns ran as a Conservative for the Peartree ward of Southampton City Council in 1994 and for the Woolston ward in 1995, but he lost both times. In 1996, he ran for the Conservatives in the Peartree ward but lost. In 1999, he ran for the St. Luke’s ward and won. Since 2001, he led the Conservative Group. But in May 2002, the whole council had to run for re-election, and Burns lost in the Bassett ward. He was no longer on the council.

He ran as a Conservative Party candidate for Eastleigh in the 2001 general election, but he didn’t win. He ran for Hedge End Town Council in Eastleigh, England, in 2005, but he didn’t win. At the 2005 general election, he ran again as the Conservative Party candidate for the Eastleigh constituency, but he lost again.

Before the 2010 general election, he was the vice president of the Young Britons’ Foundation, an Anglo-American group that taught and trained conservatives. He was then given the Young Britons’ Foundation Golden Dolphin award “for his steady support of the Young Britons’ Foundation since its founding in 2003.”


Parliamentary career 

Burns was on the A-List of candidates, and in September 2008, he was chosen to represent the Conservative Party in Bournemouth West. At the general election in 2010, he was chosen for the job.

Hugo Swire, the minister of state for Northern Ireland, hired Burns as his Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) in 2010. Before that, he had served for a short time on the Education Select Committee.

On July 10, 2012, he quit his job as PPS to Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, so he could vote against the House of Lords Reform Bill, which he had always been against. He has also been on the Administration Committee and the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee in Parliament.

In 2011, he didn’t vote for or against sending troops to Libya.

In 2014, Burns told the Charity Commission that a tweet from the charity Oxfam was “too obviously political.” Later, he said that a letter from the bishops of the Church of England that asked Christians to vote in the 2015 election was “naive” and “wrong in terms of facts.”

Burns works as a consultant for Trant Engineering Ltd. in addition to being an MP. For 10 hours of work a month, he earns £10,000 every three months. He works as a consultant for the Quantum Group, which builds homes. He works six hours a month and gets paid £6,250 every three months. In 2015, an article in Private Eye suggested that Burns’ opposition to the Navitus Bay Windfarm and subsidies for renewable energy was because of his ties to the oil and gas industry through Trant Engineering.

He is in charge of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bahrain and has written articles defending the human rights record of the Kingdom.

He went to Bahrain on free trips while there were large-scale pro-democracy protests that were later put down.

In August 2017, he said that his Twitter account was hacked because it sent a series of angry messages to Michel Barnier’s account, asking how the UK’s Brexit bill was legally calculated.

Burns quit his job as personal assistant to Boris Johnson, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on July 9, 2018, because he wanted to talk more openly about other policy issues.

In October 2018, his party looked into a letter to his local paper in which he was said to have said racist things about travelers.

After Johnson became Prime Minister, Burns was given the job of Minister of State for Trade Policy. He quit this job on May 4, 2020, after an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Commons Select Committee on Standards found that he had scared off a member of the public. In February 2019, he wrote a letter on House of Commons notepaper in which he threatened to use parliamentary privilege to reveal the name of the director of a company that owed his father money as part of a long-running financial dispute and who had previously held a high position in local government. Burns at first denied the claim because he said he could use parliamentary privilege for such things. However, the committee found Burns guilty of threatening to use parliamentary privilege to intimidate a member of the public for his family’s benefit. Based on what the committee found and how the MPs voted, he was kicked out of Parliament for seven days on May 11.

On August 23, 2021, Johnson put Burns in charge of trade between the UK and Canada. During the second time Johnson changed his cabinet, on September 16, Burns was named Minister of State for Northern Ireland.

In an interview with Channel 4 News on January 25, 2022, during the Westminster lockdown parties scandal, Burns defended Johnson over a supposed surprise birthday party on June 19, 2020. Burns said that Johnson wasn’t invited to the party, but instead was “ambushed with a cake.” Burns’s comments were made fun of in a number of online memes.

Burns was put back in his old job as minister of state for trade policy after Liz Truss became the new prime minister. He was fired on October 7 after an accusation of serious misconduct while he was at the 2022 Conservative Party Conference caused the whip to be taken away. He was also taken off the list of people who support LGBT+ Conservatives.



Political views 

Foreign affairs 

In an article he wrote in 2008, Burns asked the rest of the world to come up with a plan for what would happen to Zimbabwe after Robert Mugabe left office.

He made it clear that the former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, should give asylum to Mehdi Kazemi, a young gay Iranian student.

Burns was friends with Captain James Philippson, who died in Afghanistan. He has criticized the Ministry of Defence for not giving troops the right equipment, saying that many troops “would be alive today if they had the most basic of equipment.”



European Union 

Burns was a strong Euroskeptic who didn’t like the way Conservative candidates were chosen and ranked for lists to run for the European Parliament. He also didn’t like how UK Independence Party candidates hurt Conservative candidates’ chances of winning. In the 2017 election, this didn’t affect him because UKIP decided not to run a candidate in his district because of how strongly he opposed the EU.



Personal life 

Burns is out as gay, and before he voted for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, he said he needed “ironclad guarantees” that religious groups would not be forced to perform same-sex marriages. [52] Burns voted for the bill on its second reading, but he didn’t vote on its third and final reading. As a practicing Roman Catholic, he says he can’t take communion since Bishop Philip Egan of the diocese where Burns lives said that politicians who voted for same-sex marriage, even with the conditions Burns had insisted on (i.e. “guarantees that… churches would not be forced under human rights legislation to conduct such ceremonies”), should not take the sacrament.

Burns was a friend of Margaret Thatcher in her later years, and after she died on April 10, 2013, he spoke at a House of Commons debate.

Burns is a big fan of snooker. He used to lead the All-Party Parliamentary Snooker Group.