A qualified chartered accountant, Jeremy has a background in manufacturing, international trade and agriculture. He began his working life as a production foreman in a Ford engine plant.
From 1989 to 2000, he and his family lived in Tanzania where he worked in the coffee industry and Janet ran a public health education programme. He was appointed by the Tanzanian Government as the only foreign director of the Tanzanian Coffee Board 1997-1999. Then from 2000 until his election as Member of Parliament in May 2010, he worked from Staffordshire, assisting smallholder farmers in East Africa to improve the quality and market access - and hence value - of their products, principally organic cocoa and coffee.
He believes in tackling poverty through enterprise and job creation. Together with friends, he started Equity for Africa (www.equityforafrica.org) which provides equity-type funding for small and growing businesses.
Outside his work, Jeremy helps out with a local church young people's group and served as a primary school governor. He has also served on the Independent Monitoring Board of a Young Offenders Institution.
His interests are playing and writing music, football, cricket, badminton and hill walking.
Jeremy's involvement in politics stems from a desire to see people have the opportunity to make the most of their lives. He helped run a major Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme for young people from inner London for 7 years. In Tanzania, he helped to develop a church-based life skills programme for sixth form leavers which is now in its tenth year.
While living in East Africa, Jeremy helped to found the Tanzania Coffee Association and became Secretary and then Chairman. It established a reputation for positive and effective co-operation with farmers and Government as the industry emerged from a prolonged period of heavy state regulation. Jeremy also supported the development of the fair trade movement in the country.
From 2003 to 2007, Jeremy was a councillor in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. From May 2006, he was cabinet member for resources in a Conservative-led joint administration with the Liberal Democrats.
He was Parliamentary candidate for Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2005 and a candidate for the West Midlands in the European elections of 2004.