Ian was first elected to Parliament for Bridgwater in 2001. He replaced Tom, now Lord, King who had served the constituency for over 30 years. Ian was born in Scotland in 1959 but has strong links with Somerset. He was educated at Millfield School and lives in the heart of the constituency, not far from Minehead, with his wife Jill and their three children.
He has a background in business, farming and the army. He established a UK-wide building and property management company; ran a 250-acre arable farm; was a consultant to Army Land Command HQ in Salisbury, and remains a Major on the reserve list. When he entered Parliament, Ian severed every business interest to concentrate on serving the people of Bridgwater and West Somerset.
He is proud of his time in Parliament – particularly as a member of three important Parliamentary Select Committees investigating Public Administration, DEFRA and Scottish Affairs.
He campaigns hard for the constituency’s two big employers – tourism and agriculture. He has also fought to safeguard industrial jobs and continues to argue for more police, better healthcare and decent pensions.
His campaigns have yielded results. For example, the Licensing Bill was altered to protect Somerset’s Morris Men from new charges before it became law, and Somerset County Council reversed its controversial speed management policy after vigorous pressure from Ian. Ian is a fighter.