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 vote of no confidence that led to the fall of the Callaghan government in 1979.
2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… I believe in freedom, enterprise, a strong nation and one in which more power is in the hands of individuals and communities rather than the state..”
3. Who is your political hero and why? Disraeli – a genuine Conservative radical!
4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP? I don’t think there was a single moment when I decided that I wanted to become an MP. I spent most of the last fifteen years in small business after doing an MBA at Cranfield School of Management in the mid-1990s. I then set up the campaign group Mind the Gap in 2003 and then spent time running the think tank Localis. I felt I had reached the right point in life to give it a go and had the right blend of policy and business experience to make a difference.
5. What is your reading material of choice? History, autobiography, American Fiction (Updike, Roth).
6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio? Andrew Neil.
7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why? Foreign Office or Defence. There are profound forces at work globally with a decisive shift in power from west to east. We need to take a creative and innovative approach to protecting our national interests.
8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? Frank Field – a genuinely radical thinker.
9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? I try not to use them in the interests of my fitness!
10. If you were in the US, would you be a Republican or a Democrat? Republican.
11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? Spending time with my children Solomon (7) and Evie (3) who keep my feet firmly on the ground and on the rare occasions it is possible, spending a day at the cricket.
12. What is your favourite book? Ian McEwan’s Atonement.
13. What is your favourite film? Lord of the Rings.
14. What is your favourite music? New Order.
15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? My wife Anna’s fish pie at the table at home.
16. What is your favourite holiday destination? France.
17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? To work hard for my constituents and to push forward the government’s agenda on decentralisation and localism.
18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. I have a first class batting average.
19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. Halesowen has a monastery – the Halesowen Abbey – which was founded in 1218. The remains of the Abbey can still be viewed today.
20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail. My agent’s car got so cluttered with campaign stuff that he contemplated placing David Cameron next to a large washing basket full of leaflets on the back seat of his car while he gave him a lift back to the station after a Cameron Direct Event at Windsor High School in Halesowen. Another driver with a clean car and superior driving skills was found!
> Previously: Gavin Barwell MP