Nick is a campaigner who has fought for a number of prominent causes: defending the rural way of life, keeping Britain out of the euro and improving public services. In 2002 he was described in the Daily Telegraph as "one of the most effective political campaigners of recent years".
Nick was born in 1963, went to school at Haileybury and won an Open Exhibition to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read Law and Land Economy.
Until his selection as Parliamentary Candidate for Arundel & South Downs, Nick was Director of Reform, an independent think tank which he co-founded in 2002. Reform aims to "set out a better way to deliver public services and economic prosperity". It has been described by commentators as "the most important think tank to emerge for a decade", and "having a major impact on the debate in a very short time". Reform has promoted new ideas to tackle crime through zero tolerance policing, improve schools and hospitals by giving people more choice, and reduce the burden of tax.
Before that, from 1998 to 2000, Nick was Chief Executive of Business for Sterling, where he launched the successful 'no' campaign against the euro. He continues to believe that too much power has been transferred to the European Union and that the process not only needs to be halted but also now put in reverse so that powers are returned to national parliaments where they belong.
In the 1997 election, Nick stood as Conservative parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Berwick Upon Tweed, one of the most rural seats in England. He is passionate about defending rural communities and our way of life and protecting the countryside from unsustainable development. From 1990 to 1996, he worked for the British Field Sports Society, becoming its Director of Political Affairs, and he played a leading role in setting up the Countryside Movement, which became the Countryside Alliance.
Nick was elected as Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs in May 2005, and from December 2005 to June 2007 was Shadow Minister for Police Reform. In June 2007 he joined the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in January 2009. Following the 2010 General Election, Nick was appointed Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, working in both the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, a post he held until September 2012.
Since becoming an MP Nick has worked closely with the international development charity Results on the growing problem of tuberculosis, especially in developing countries. In 2006 he helped to form, and was elected co-chairman of, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, a post that he retained until the 2010 General Election. He still maintains an active interest in TB issues.