Born in Woolwich, London in 1958 John Hayes was educated at Colfe's Grammar School and Nottingham University, where he graduated with a BA in Politics and a PGCE in History/English.
John joined the Conservative Party at the age of 14, chaired a Young Conservative branch at 15 and, as an undergraduate, was Chairman of the University of Nottingham Conservative Association. At university he was also President of Lincoln Hall JCR and Treasurer of the Students Union. Whilst a director of an award winning local computer company, John served on Nottinghamshire County Council from 1985 to 1999 where he was Conservative spokesman on education.
First elected to Parliament as the Member for South Holland and The Deepings in 1997, he has been re-elected - with increased majorities - at each of the three subsequent general elections.
Before joining the Conservative front bench, John served as a member of both the Agriculture and Education Select Committees.
He was made Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, with responsibility for campaigning, in 1999; became Shadow Schools Minister in 2000; and - following the 2001 Election - Assistant Opposition Chief Whip. From 2002 to 2003 he was a member of the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, having initially headed the political section of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition for whom he was also a speechwriter.
From 2003 to 2005 he was Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning, and then Shadow Minister for Transport in 2005.
David Cameron made John Shadow Minister for Vocational Education in 2005, and from 2007 to 2010 he added higher education to his portfolio, serving as Shadow Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education.
Joining the new Government in May 2010, John was appointed Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In addition, in July 2010 he became a Minister of State in the Department for Education with particular responsibility for apprenticeships, careers guidance and vocational education, a position he held until March 2013.
John is Chairman of the British Caribbean Association, and for many years was Joint Chairman of the All Party Group on Disability. He is Associate Adjunct Professor at Richmond, the American International University in London, and patron of the charity Headway.
John and his wife Susan (nee Hopewell), who he married in 1997, live in the heart of his Lincolnshire constituency and have two young sons. His interests include painting, architecture and aesthetics, growing fruit and making jam, English poetry and prose, and many sports - including boxing.
John is an honorary member of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and a member of the NFU, the Countryside Alliance; SPUC and the Conservative Christian Fellowship.