Mackinlay, Craig

Craig Mackinlay was elected as the Conservative MP for South Thanet in 2015 when he defeated Nigel Farage in a reasonably tight contest.  Mackinlay was reelected in the 2019 General Election with a majority of 10,587.

The constituency of Thanet South is the more marginal of the two Thanet constituencies and was held by the Labour Party between 1997 and 2010.  It contains the port of Ramsgate, the coastal town of Broadstairs in which the former Prime Minister Edward Heath grew up, and Sandwich, itself home to the famous Royal St George’s golf course.  Found it the far north east of Kent, this coastal constituency has traditionally had a large pharmaceutical industry including the company Pfizer.

Mackinlay was himself a long standing member of the UK Independence Party, and the party’s Deputy Leader between 1997 and 2000. He twice stood for UKIP in General Elections and three times in elections to the European Parliament. He was formerly also involved in the Anti-Federalist League.

Unsurprisingly he was a strong supporter of Brexit in the 2016 referendum.  Mackinlay joined the Conservatives in 2005.

At Westminster, Mackinlay has been a campaigner to ban live animal exports.

Prior to his election to Parliament, Craig stood as the Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Kent in 2012.

In 2015 Mackinlay was charged in relation to election overspending in the 2015 General Election campaign, but in 2019, he was acquitted of all charges.

Craig was born  in Chatham in 1966. He grew up in the Medway towns and was educated at Rainham Mark Grammar School and then attended Birmingham University, where he studied Zoology and Comparative Physiology.  He has served as a Trustee of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.

Craig was  former accountant and tax advisor.  In 2021, the register of Members Interests showed him to still be a shareholder in Beak Kemmenoe Chartered Accountants, a business from which he earns a monthly fee of £1,500.

Mackinlay’s wife is Hungarian and works as a community pharmacist.  The couple have a daughter.  He is a keen sailor and is said to have covered over 35,00 sea miles.  He is a member of The Royal Temple Yacht Club and the House of Commons Yacht Club.

He is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Greece, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Slovenia, Illicit Trade, and Listed Properties.

He is Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on ‘Cannabis: Harmful Effects on Developing Brains’, and ‘Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and Hauliers’.


Personal Website:

Westminster Address: House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA


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