John is a hard hitting campaigner who has taken up many causes during his years in Parliament. A business man by background, John tried out many different jobs before being elected as MP for Wokingham in 1987, so that he understood how many of his constituents saw life.
He has been a schoolteacher and a Director of a merchant bank, a temporary postman and the Chairman of a major Stock Exchange quoted industrial company, a County Councillor and a University Professor, a shop assistant and the pioneer of privatisation worldwide, a bank clerk and the Head of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit.
John has written several books and many articles. His most recent publications include Singing the Blues, Third Way - Which Way? How should we pay for public services?, Just Say No! (100 arguments against the Euro), Stars and Strife (on US-EU relations), Get a Move on (Selsden 2002 on transport policy), Healthy Choices (NTB 2002 with co-authors on the NHS), and After the Credit Crunch. He is currently speaking and writing about the deficit and debt crisis affecting the UK.
John has a daughter and son, and lives in the Wokingham district. He is a keen gardener, an enthusiastic village cricketer, and enjoys sailing, windsurfing, water and jet ski-ing. He wishes the English summer was a couple of months longer, as he finds it difficult to choose between a Saturday at Lords, the Oval, Wimbledon or the Globe whilst trying to fit in his own weekend cricket fixtures!
John entered Parliament in 1987 and was soon made a Minister, joining the front bench in 1989 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the DTI for Corporate Affairs. Promoted to Minister of State in 1990, he supervised the liberalisation of the telecoms industry. He became Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities after the 1992 election where he successfully saw through the introduction of the council tax.
In 1993 he was made a Privy Counsellor and Secretary of State for Wales in the Cabinet. He resigned in 1995 in order to set out the case against the Euro and for lower taxes.
In 1997 he joined the Shadow Cabinet handling the DTI brief. In 1999 he became Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment. In 2000, he was appointed Head of the Parliamentary Campaigns Unit. In September 2004, he became Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation.
From December 2005 until 2010 he was the Chairman of the Party's Economic Competitiveness Policy Group. Since 2010 he has been the Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee.