Francis' brief includes policy towards what’s now known as the Third Sector, the vital non-governmental organisations such as co-operatives, community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises.
He grew up in a family which revolved around public service: his father Angus was already an MP when Francis was born; and his mother an environmentalist and conservationist.
He is a Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on AIDS, which is concerned with raising awareness of the condition and promoting policies to prevent and treat HIV in Britain and abroad. His concern with this devastating illness was triggered when his older brother died from AIDS in the early nineties.
Starting his career as a criminal barrister, Francis has seen at first hand the effects of social exclusion, and the part played by educational and penal failure in the rise of crime.
When he was out of Parliament in the mid-nineties, Francis entered the business world, giving him a close insight into the competitive challenges that globalisation involves.
In his current position Francis has been leading the Conservatives’ work on how to deliver their policy objectives in government.