I was born on the 4th September 1969 in Lewisham Hospital, educated locally at Colfe’s School and then went to Thames Valley University in Ealing, West London. Although I received a degree in Hotel & Catering management I embarked on a career in magazine publishing and have been involved in print media for most of my adult life.
I am married to Susannah (Susie) and have two young sons, Frederick (Freddy) born in Lewisham Hospital on the 30th April 2002 and Rupert also born in Lewisham on the 20th September 2004. We have a dog, Rosie, who is a German Shorthaired Pointer and we all live in the heart of Lewisham.
For over 10 years I have been a member of the Territorial Army, rising to the rank of Major and until October 2005 I was the Battery Commander of 266 (Parachute) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers), a unit that has provided front line troops in the recent war in Iraq and for the subsequent peace support operations. I played rugby at Blackheath for a number of years but I have hung my boots up recently as family, the TA and politics take up all of my spare time.
I have campaigned on a number of local issues including saving Ladywell Leisure Centre and preventing ward closures at Lewisham Hospital. I narrowly missed being elected onto Lewisham Council in May 2002. I stood as the Conservative candidate in Lewisham East in the 2005 General Election and came second with a 4.1% swing.
I worked with Dominic Grieve MP on a number of community cohesion projects, setting up meetings between Dominic and influential individuals from social, community and faith organizations. This has helped the Conservative Party to really understand the needs of people in urban communities and put forward policies that will be of real benefit to them.
As the author of community cohesion discussion document in July 2002 I worked closely with Oliver Letwin’s team (while he was Shadow Home Secretary) on ways in which the Conservative Party can build better relations with the UK’s black communities and appeal to a wider range of voters, particularly the young. This work culminated in me speaking from the floor during the Conservative party conference October 2002. Drawing on personal experience, I highlighted the importance of close families and the role that they play in the prevention of youth drug addiction and associated crime.