John is a hard-hitting campaigner who has taken up many causes during his years in Parliament. A business man by background, John tried out many different jobs before being elected as MP for Wokingham in 1987, so that he understood how many of his constituents saw life.
He has been a schoolteacher and a Director of a merchant bank, a temporary postman and the Chairman of a major Stock Exchange quoted industrial company, a County Councillor and a University Professor, a shop assistant and the pioneer of privatisation worldwide, a bank clerk and the Head of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit.
John has written several books and many articles on a range of economic and political topics. He has pointed out the dangers to jobs and prosperity of the Euro scheme, and has run a campaign to ensure better recognition of England’s interests in our now devolved UK. He is the Parliamentary Ambassador for Variety, the children’s charity. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls College, Oxford (unpaid), where he sometimes lectures on economic topics.
John has a grown up daughter and son, and lives in the Wokingham district. He is a keen cricketer and cricket watcher, and enjoys swimming, the theatre and cooking. He wishes the Engoish summer was a couple of months longer as it is difficult to choose between trips to Wimbledon, Lords, the Globe and the Oval whilst fitting in his own week-end cricket fixtures.
John entered Parliament in 1987 and was soon made a Minister, joining the front bench in 1989 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for Corporate Affairs. Promoted to Minister of State in 1990, he supervised the liberalisation of the telecoms industry. He became Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities after the 1992 election where he successfully saw through the introduction of the council tax.
In 1993 he was made a Privy Counsellor and Secretary of State for Wales in the Cabinet. He resigned in 1995 in order to set out the case against the Euro and for lower taxes.
In 1997 he joined the Shadow Cabinet handling the DTI brief. In 1999 he became Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment. In 2000 he was appointed Head of the Parliamentary Campaigns Unit. In September 2004 he became Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation.
From December 2005 until 2010 he was the Chairman of the Party's Economic Competitiveness Policy Group. Since 2010 he has been the Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee.
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