John Whittingdale was first elected as MP for the area since 1992 and lives in Maldon.
John was educated at Winchester College and University College, London, where he graduated with a degree in economics. Prior to his election, John worked both in Whitehall and the City. Having worked in the Conservative Research Department, he was appointed Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 1984, serving three successive Secretaries of State until 1987.
He then went to work at NM Rothschild Merchant Bank in the City before returning to Government work in 1989 when he was appointed Political Secretary to the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. He continued in that role until Margaret Thatcher left office in 1990 and he was awarded the OBE in her resignation honours list.
John continued to work as Private Secretary to Margaret Thatcher until 1992, when he was elected MP for South Colchester and Maldon. He served as a member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Health from 1993 to 1997 and was also Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Education and Employment between 1994 and 1996.
In 1997, John was elected to represent the new constituency of Maldon and East Chelmsford. He spent a year as an Opposition Whip and in 1998 was appointed a front bench Treasury spokesman. In 1999, he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Leader of the Opposition, William Hague. After the 2001 General Election, John was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and in July 2002, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Following a year covering the Agriculture portfolio, John returned as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport in September 2004, leaving the post after the election in 2005. In 2005, he became Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. In 2010, John was re-elected unopposed as Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
Between 2006 and 2010, John served as one of three Parliamentary representatives on the Board of the Conservative Party and remains a member of the Candidates Committee. In 2007, he was appointed a Vice Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Party 1922 Committee. In 2015, John became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, a position he held until July 2016.
In 2016, John was elected to serve on the Exiting the European Union Committee, intent on making sure that Britain gets the best possible deal when leaving the European Union.