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I have looked online but I can't find the answer to this question.

Did any MPs (elected representatives in the UK Parliament, stands for Members of Parliament) from the election term just finished (2010–15) have maths degrees?

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  • 1
    @PointlessSpike - because XKCD, presumably :)
    – user4012
    May 1, 2015 at 16:25
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    Perhaps you should expand on what a MP is so people can understand this question.
    – Bregalad
    May 1, 2015 at 20:35
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    @Bregalad: given that the question specifically mentions the UK Parliament (and is tagged as UK), I'm not convinced that any further explanation is necessary. May 1, 2015 at 21:55
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    @SteveMelnikoff Just because the question is tagged UK doesn't mean everyone reading it is in the UK or familiar with the UK parliament.
    – reirab
    May 2, 2015 at 5:00
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    @Lembik, I don't think that's what he meant- he just meant the current parliament, so it can only be answered after the elections. May 3, 2015 at 9:42

3 Answers 3

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Yes, it seems so.

Somebody has used the Wikipedia entries of MPs to compile a list of MPs by degree subject. The list was compiled in June 2014, so should cover MPs who were elected in the 2010–15 Parliament.

There are eight MPs who are listed as “Mathematical Sciences”. Of those, six MPs have a degree whose subject is simply “Mathematics”:

  • Karen Bradley (CON) (source)
  • Julian Brazier (CON) (source)
  • Simon Kirby (CON): still looking for a source on this one.
  • Alan Reid (LD) (source)
  • Stephen Timms (LAB) (source)

There are also two MPs who have degrees which are related to mathematics:

  • Kelvin Hopkins (LAB): Politics, Economics and Mathematics with Statistics. (source)
  • Elizabeth Truss (CON): according to the spreadsheet, "both Ordinary Maths and Advanced Maths, Philosophy, Politics and Economics" (source)
  • Andrew Turner (CON): the GitHub repo quotes "to be a teacher at the University of Birmingham and Henley Management College, GCSE maths and", but the "GCSE maths" part has been removed from his Wikipedia page and I can't find another source.

There will definitely be MPs in the next Parliament (2015–20) with Maths degrees, as each of these MPs (bar Alan Reid, who lost to the SNP) were re-elected for the new Parliament. There may be some new MPs with Maths degrees, but I'm not going to look that up.

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  • If we're counting PPE as maths-related, then some 35 MPs in 2010-15 qualified - not least the Prime Minister. May 15, 2015 at 13:40
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    @SteveMelnikoff I missed the maths-related part of her degree from that spreadsheet. I don't count PPE as maths-related, more economics, but forgot to include an explanation of why she was counted as "Mathematical Sciences".
    – alexwlchan
    May 15, 2015 at 14:10
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It depends a little bit on how permissive your definition of "math" is, but, regardless, not many MPs have backgrounds in math / sciences.

Here's a breakdown of degree subject among members of the UK's Parliament:

  • Other: 114 18.87%
  • Politics 16.56 % 100
  • Law: 93 (15.40%)
  • History, Archaeology and Anthropology: 69 (11.42%)
  • Business and Media: 54 (8.94%)
  • Economics: 53 (8.77%)
  • Modern Languages and European Studies: 31 (5.13%)
  • Education: 27 (4.47%)
  • Sciences and Technology: 26 (4.30%)
  • Environmental Studies and Geography: 15 (2.48%)
  • Engineering and Architecture: 12 (1.99%)
  • Medicine and Allied Subjects: 10 (1.66%)

Source

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To update for the new crop of MPs resulting from the 2019 General Election, the Campaign for Science and Engineering has drawn up a list of 103 'MPs to Watch' - MPs with an interest or background in science, technology, engineering, maths or medicine (STEMM). This list is then easy to search for MPs having obtained higher education qualifications in maths, which appears to be six.

Of these six MPs, three were elected to parliament for the first time in 2019;

  • Anthony Browne - CON - degree in Maths from Trinity Hall, Cambridge

  • Claire Coutinho - CON - degree in Maths and Philosophy from Exeter College, Oxford

  • Gagan Mohindra - CON - degree in Maths from Kings College London

while three have previously been elected;

  • Karen Bradley - CON - degree in Maths from Imperial College London

  • Bill Esterson - LAB - degree in Maths and Philosophy from Leeds

  • Stephen Timms - LAB - degree in Maths from Emmanuel College, Cambridge

However, this list is not complete, as I've also tidied up and run the PHP script linked to in a previous answer, which found another few current MPs:

  • Anne-Marie Trevelyan - CON - degree in Maths from Oxford Polytechnic
  • Vicky Ford - CON - degree in Maths and Economics from Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Selaine Saxby - CON - degree in Maths and Management from Cambridge
  • Bob Blackman - CON - degree in Physics and Maths from Liverpool
  • Tony Lloyd - LAB - degree in Maths from Nottingham
  • Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi - LAB - degree in Mathematics with Management from UCL, masters in Applied Statistics from Oxford
  • Claudia Webbe - IND (elected as LAB) - degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Coventry

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