Norman Baker talks to Heart
18 May 2010, 14:56 | Updated: 18 May 2010, 18:24
Norman Baker has risen through the ranks from District and County Councillor to MP and now a Lib Dem Government Minister. Hear what he makes of it all
This is Mr Baker's Political Biography (information from Wikipedia)
In 1987, he was elected as a councillor on the Lewes District Council, and two years later was also elected to the local county council of East Sussex. He became the Leader of Lewes District Council in 1991, a position he held until his election as an MP in 1997.
Mr Baker forged a reputation quickly asking hundreds of parliamentary questions, uncovering scandals and forcing the disclosure of expenses.
The Daily Mail described him as having 'consistently been a thorn in the Government's side'. In 2001 he was named "Inquisitor of the Year" in the Zurich/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards and, in February 2002, he won the Channel 4 Opposition MP of the Year Award.
Baker is regarded as coming from the left-wing of the party, and is a member of the Beveridge Group within the Liberal Democrats. A staunch republican, he is also well-known for his vocal support for animal rights groups, and he is a strong proponent for greater protection of animals under law. Described in 1997 by The Times columnist Matthew Parris as a "classic House of Commons bore", his speeches were compared by Labour MP Stephen Pound with "root canal surgery without anaesthetic", but Parris added in 2001 "You underestimate him at your peril. He has a habit of being right."
He could never have dreamed he'd become a minister but the 'hung parliament' of May 2010 and the resulting Conservative - Lib Dem coalition has seen him become a Minister in the Department for Transport