Here is the latest in our series of Twenty Questions with members of the Class of 2010…
1. What is your earliest political memory?
The assassination of JFK and the election of Harold Wilson as PM in 1964.
2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… I believe in enterprise, reward for risk and hard work and the freedom of the individual."
3. Who is your political hero and why? Margaret Thatcher, because I grew up in the Seventies and my father’s business, which was entirely self made (he left school at 14), was nearly destroyed by the Trade Unions and no one thought it was possible to change the course of decline Britain was firmly on.
4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP? When I was 16 I asked Michael Heseltine at a by-election public meeting whether a Conservative Government would denationalise the nationalised industries. He said great idea, but no one would want to buy them….. I thought there had to be a way and that I’d like to become an MP and have a go.
5. What is your reading material of choice? Biographies and history, political diaries, The Times and The Week.
6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio? Nick Robinson.
7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why? Business, Innovation & Skills – I’d like to put my experience of business and further education to use, I think I’d be a good ambassador for British Business and manufacturing and I’d like to do everything possible to defend excellence in higher education.
8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? Barbara Castle: she saw the need to stand up to the Unions before anyone else did and she was a fighter – until late in to her 80s she was shaming the Labour Government’s record on pensions.
9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? Gordon Brown.
10. If you were in the US, would you be a Republican or a Democrat? What a choice – a fiscally conservative Democrat or a socially liberal Republican, either way I’d be in for an uncomfortable ride!
11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? I walk my dog – or cook a nice meal, nose around my wine collection and maybe order a few more bottles.
12. What is your favourite book? Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
13. What is your favourite film? The Go Between.
14. What is your favourite music? I like so many types of music, I love Motown, soul, opera and the sort of Rock genre that includes Pink Floyd, U2, Dire Straits etc but most of all I love choral music.
15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? A Sunday roast with my family in our home in the Cotswolds.
16. What is your favourite holiday destination? An impossible choice but France has everything, great skiing, wonderful beaches, beautiful cities and the rural way of life that I adore – I like everything about France except doing business there!
17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? I would like to make a positive mark on the Health bill, the provision of mental health services (not forgetting mental health in the criminal justice system), and accommodation for older people – in particular I’d like to contribute to the solution we find for funding residential care. I’d also like to support IDS’s efforts to make work pay. Most of all I’d like to make the people who voted for me in Stourbridge feel proud of me as their MP..
18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. There are times when I wish I wasn’t so driven because I would love to have more of the life I only have a tiny slice of really – time with my nephews and nieces, time making jam and marmalade, picking vegetables and cooking for Jay and the family..
19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. It is the Balti capital of the Midlands as well as being the centre of historic glassmaking – the factories of Stuart Crystal, Webb Corbett and others becoming world renowned.
20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail.
When I managed to offend all but one of my wonderful young male volunteers: I served lots of tea and cake during our afternoon breaks and gave a fork to everyone and the last guy to be served one day was Matt, a tree surgeon who had come in from work and had dirt all over his good looking face. I said ‘’Here's your cake Matt, you don’t need a fork, do you, you’re a real man’’ and the others were obviously quite upset!
> Previously: Sajid Javid MP