One of a family of eight sons and daughters of small holding horticulturist and musician, born, brought up and schooled in Mullion and Helston. Studied at Sussex and Oxford Universities. Worked in agriculture, research, writing; and as a charity worker in Nottinghamshire, Devon and Cornwall specialising in affordable housing, anti-poverty work, economic and environmental development and community facilities.
Elected to Parliament in 1997. The Tories (and "National Liberals") had held the seat for the previous 79 years. He became the first person to speak the Cornish language in Parliament when he opened his Maiden Speech in May 1997. He is married and has a son and a daughter.
Record Of Delivery
Andrew says he’s not "personally" but "politically" ambitious - i.e. "more interested in achieving political change for the good than personal notoriety".
Elsewhere he says that he "seeks out the silent voices" and in his Twitter profile that he "supports the underdog, and other folk I look up to".
Andrew led the successful Parliamentary campaign to cut the council tax discount for second homes. He says that he always "stands up to bullies". He successfully led the national campaign to stop the big supermarkets bullying the primary producers who supply them. He Chaired the Grocery Market Action Group (with membership from Friends of the Earth, National Farmers Union, British Brands Group, Traidcraft, Action Aid and many other charities/NGOs) from 2006, provided compelling evidence to persuade the Competition Commission of unfair dealing in the supply chain, and secured primary legislation to introduce a "Supermarket Watchdog" (Groceries Code Adjudicator) in 2013.
Andrew's campaigns prove you don't need to secure a Ministerial position to effect political change. He has also led or been involved in successful campaigns: to protect marine wildlife; for the first community-led badger vaccination project in the country (with the Zoological Society of London); to press for safe staffing on hospital wards; and, in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to secure funding for many local projects to improve transport links to the Isles of Scilly, to secure a Fuel Duty Rebate for the Isles of Scilly, to support plans to turn Goonhilly Earth Station into a Space Science and Satellite Centre generating a £multi-million global business.
He fought to secure improvements to rail services and to protect the sleeper service from Penzance to Paddington. He successfully campaigned to secure the right of victims (and families) to make an impact statement in Court and has championed victims' rights.
Andrew has held many roles within his Party - as Shadow Environment Minister, Shadow Agriculture Minister, Shadow Fisheries Minister, Shadow Disabilities Minister, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and as Private Parliamentary Secretary to the then Leader (Rt. Hon Charles Kennedy MP).
But since the 2010 General Election, Andrew has chosen to retain his "Independent mindedness". Although he never set out to achieve such a status, he was recently identified as the "most rebellious" Liberal Democrat MP in Parliament. In his view, “This is neither a badge of honour nor of shame. I’m just doing my job.” He has strongly challenged the Tory side of the Coalition - for students, for families affected by the “bedroom tax,” for an NHS which puts patients before profit, and in many other areas of policy.
Amongst the many subjects he has campaigned on include planning, affordable housing, wildlife protection, marine protection, sustainable fisheries, reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, regional policy, control of second home ownership, promotion of the Cornish language and Cornish identity, promoting cultural minorities, protecting victims, opposing domestic violence, promoting the interests of the disabled, safe staffing, fairer treatment of home care workers and many other issues.