I served as the Member of Parliament for Kingston and Surbiton from 1997 to 2015, and from June 2017 until the snap election was called in early November 2019.
In September 2019, I was appointed as Deputy Leader of the Party, and as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have been campaigning on key issues including stopping a harmful Brexit, Climate Emergency, and for local police and train services.
In Parliament, I was also working with charities such as Shelter and St Mungos to develop a new law — the Homelessness (End of Life Care) Bill which would give terminally ill homeless people the extra help they need.
You can view my old website, which covered my MP periods.
I’ve lived for the past twenty-three years in Surbiton, where my wife Emily and I are bringing up our two young children, John and Ellie. Living in our Royal Borough means there's no shortage of fun things to do — from Surbiton Ski Sunday to joining in to help Love Kingston.
Taking the children swimming is my favourite pastime at the moment — followed by walks in nearby parks and countryside. John has an undiagnosed neurological condition which means he can’t walk or talk, so swimming is really important to give him exercise — and fun!
I’m an economist by training — and was a business consultant before getting elected first time in 1997. And since 2015, I’ve set up a new consultancy working primarily in the energy and climate change field. It was my concerns about our environment that first got me politically active, so it’s great now to be working in the area of renewable energy.
My work ranges from chairing a Community Energy Co-operative Company, called Mongoose Energy, where we primarily develop solar energy sites, to chairing a network of over 80 charities and non-for-profits called “Fit for the Future” where organisations ranging from the National Trust to RSPB are working together to become more sustainable.
I was born and brought up in Nottinghamshire — hence I support Notts County, a challenging task. My father died when I was four and my mother when I was fifteen, so I learnt from an early age to be independent — but I followed my two older brothers after university and moved to London.
However, I never planned a career as a politician — I toyed with ideas like journalism and studying to become an agricultural economist to work in developing countries. Unlike many politicians, I didn’t join a political party till after University — and when I did join the Liberal Democrats back in 1989, our poll rating was just 4% so it was hardly a good career move!
As for likes — a great breakfast for me could be freshly ground coffee and figs with honeyed greek yogurt, my eclectic music taste ranges from Coldplay to Genesis, via Gregorian Chant and the Soweto String Quartet while I can happily watch repeat after repeat of Monty Python, the West Wing and When the Boat Comes In. Overall you can see I won’t ever pass off as “trendy”!
If you want to learn more, do read my full biography.