Before Becoming an MP
I was born in Worksop in 1964 and educated at Worksop College and Trent University. I am married to my wife Lizbeth, and we have three children; Isabella, Oriana, and Oliver. When asked what I like doing best I always answer spending time with my family which is my number one priority.
I was elected onto Wandsworth Borough Council for the Southfield Ward in Putney in 1990 where I remained until 1994 when I stepped down to pursue a parliamentary career.
In the 1997 General Election I fought against Geoff Hoon in Ashfield. Following this, I was selected for Boston and Skegness from an extensive list of applicants. My victory in 2001 was repeated in 2005 with a massively increased majority and one of the largest swings in the country.
Since my election I have worked tirelessly on behalf of my constituents on a wide range of issues.
As an MP
2001 I won my seat of Boston and Skegness in the June General Election. I was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt. Hon. Michael Ancram MP QC, the Shadow Foreign Secretary.
2004 I was promoted to the front bench as the Shadow Minister for Education and was also a member of the Education and Skills Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Select Committee.
September 2004 I was appointed Shadow Foreign Office Minister focusing on international affairs in the Middle East, Africa, Central and South East Asia, and South America.
May 2005 (Post General Election) I was appointed Shadow Minister for International Development, focusing on aid, trade and debt.
July 2007 I was promoted to Shadow Minister for Health, where my responsibilities included healthcare commissioning, cancer, NHS information and the relationship with NICE.
May 2010 (Post General Election) I was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State at DEFRA.
October 2012 I was promoted to a Ministerial position in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. My responsibilities include Africa, the Caribbean, overseas territories, protocol, consular services, conflict, international energy and climate change.
My political interests include foreign affairs, education, agriculture, health and environmental issues.