As Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he’s stepping down, the fight for Tory leadership has already begun, with various names being raised as potential replacements. Both Suella Braverman, Kwasi Karteng, and now Steve Baker have all said that they are planning to run, while other names include Rishi Sunak, Dominic Raab, and Sajid Javid.
Speaking to BBC News, Mr Baker said that he was “seriously considering” making a bid for leadership.
"In the last seven of the 12 years I’ve been in Parliament I have provided leadership through really massive crises, whether that’s been Brexit, or Covid, race relations, Net Zero and now I’m seriously considering whether I should do it,” the Wycombe MP said. "I got into politics because I thought I wanted an MP I always agreed with, well maybe I’d like a Prime Minister who can be counted on to do what I thought best.
"I know what I’m looking for – fierce resolve, humility, integrity, a willingness to do what is actually right for the long and short term of this country, so of course I'm seriously considering standing for this country. ConservativeHome members consistently put me in their top 10, so I should respect them and take that seriously. I’m involved with a team around me and we will see how things evolve."
In light of his words, here’s a look at Mr Baker’s career and voting history so far.
Who is Conservative MP Steve Baker?
Born in Cornwall, Mr Baker joined the Royal Air Force as an engineer in 1989, rising to the role of Engineering Officer by 1992, then flying officer in 1993, and finally flight lieutenant in 1996. He remained in this role until 1999, when he retired.
After working in various engineering roles, Mr Baker was selected as the Conservative candidate for Wycombe on October 31st 2009. He has held the seat for the Conservatives in the Labour swing area on several occasions, including in the 2019 general election where he won a reduced majority.
During his Conservative career, Mr Baker has been rated as one of the top ten most rebellious Tory MPs by ConservativeHome. In terms of his political affiliations, Mr Baker has expressed doubts on the exact scope of human influence on climate change, stating in 2010 that the science appears to be subject to uncertainties and that bad economics are a greater threat to civilisation than climate change. He has since said that if he were to become Prime Minister, he would undo a number of Johnson’s green policies, according to the Guardian.
Mr Baker is also a Brexiteer, saying that he originally joined the Conservative party with the express purpose of campaigning for the UK to leave the EU and referring to himself as “the hard man of Brexit” on Sky News in 2019.
The MP also voted in opposition to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, and called for the denationalisation of marriage. He argued that the current situation risks infringing both the freedoms of the religious and LGBT communities, and that private individuals should define the term marriage, rather than the state.
In February 2021, Mr Baker also proposed to reform the Public Health Act legislation in order to "prevent ministers [from] imposing job-destroying restrictions without warning or scrutiny", in response to the restrictions put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.