Dr Julian Lewis has been MP for New Forest East since 1997. For four years, he was Secretary of the Conservative Parliamentary Defence Committee, followed by a year as an Opposition Whip.
Apart from a temporary appointment as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office in the run-up to the 2005 General Election, Julian served as a Shadow Defence Minister from 2002 to 2010. He won two essay prizes from the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (in 2005 and 2007) and one from the Royal College of Defence Studies (in 2006). The second edition of his book, Changing Direction, on British military planning, was published in 2003 and issued as a university paperback in 2008.
He was previously Deputy Director of the Conservative Research Department, for more than six years, and a member of the Defence Select Committee in 2000-1 before joining the Front Bench.
Prior to the 2010 election, David Cameron paid tribute to his work in the following terms: "Julian Lewis has a formidable reputation in the field of defence and disarmament. He led the challenge to dangerous unilateralism in the Eighties, and was proved right on this crucial issue. Julian is held in very high regard by defence experts and has brought this real experience and expertise to my Front Bench team." When the Coalition Government was formed after that election, the post which he had been shadowing (Minister for the Armed Forces) was allocated to the Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesman.