Born in Hertfordshire in 1968, I went to school in Watford and set up my own printing business at the age of 22. I fought the North Southwark and Bermondsey parliamentary seat in 1997 before standing as the Conservative candidate for Welwyn Hatfield in 2001, finally winning the seat from Labour in 2005.
Since then I’ve campaigned on local issues like protecting our local health services, and have started a successful apprenticeship programme; whilst working tirelessly to represent the concerns of my constituents. After the May 2010 election I was appointed Minister for Housing and Local Government within the Coalition Government. In 2012 I was appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party and helped pull off the 2015 Conservative majority. In May 2015 I was appointed Minister of State for International Development, shortly thereafter, I became Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I was the first person to be Minister of State in both departments posts simultaneously.
Since leaving ministerial office, I have built and chaired the British Infrastructure Group of MPs (BIG) which brings together cross-party Members of Parliament dedicated to promoting better infrastructure across the United Kingdom.
The core purpose of BIG is to ensure that every opportunity for growth is seized, with bold and thoughtful recommendations, backed by authoritative research and evidence. Each report released focuses on a different area of current or future infrastructure need, identifying shortcomings and setting out measures for improvement.