I am a Dad, an entrepreneur and I am the MP for Croydon South.
Raised just up the road in West Wickham, my mum worked as a primary school teacher and my dad as an archaeologist.
Although offered a place at Trinity here in Croydon, my family could not afford the fees and so I went to a state Grammar School in a next-door borough, and from there I made it to Oxford, graduating with a 1st in Physics.
I set up my first business at 24 – a distribution business – and started off driving the delivery van myself. Four years later the company had successfully created hundreds of jobs. Since then I’ve founded businesses in finance, in travel, and one which helped to rebuild the former Yugoslavia in the aftermath of its civil war. I’ve got real-world experience that is often lacking in Parliament.
In 2009 I set up a charity, Next Big Thing. I wanted to give young people the same opportunities to fulfil their potential that I have had. The charity worked with hundreds of youngsters across London, giving them mentoring from successful businessmen and helping them to create their own business plans. The materials for the project have now been handed over to The Mercer’s Company, who are continuing the charity’s work with my full support.
I’m married to Lizzy, and our twins Kitty and Nicholas were born in April 2013.
Kitty and Nicholas were born incredibly prematurely at just 25 weeks.
But they both did well after some incredible care at one of the NHS’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
In 2015 I was elected as the MP for Croydon South and since then have been energetically taking action for our constituency.
I want public services to be there for everyone. That’s why I helped secure £25m for a new A&E Department at Croydon University Hospital and successfully campaigned to get the morning opening hours at Purley Hospital’s Minor Injuries unit restored from April 2017. It’s also why I successfully fought against the Labour-controlled council’s plans to close Purley Pool.
On Southern Rail, I led the campaign to get the Government to pay compensation to 2016 season ticket holders, and after personally lobbying the Prime Minister, secured £300 million of funding to improve the points and signals. Work started in April 2017. I am keeping up the pressure on Southern and GTR.
I’m also committed to keeping our neighbourhood special, so I’ve been campaigning with residents to stopthe Purley Skyscraper. Our efforts have paid off. The government recently ‘Called In’ in the planning application, and an independent Planning Inspector will decide whether the skyscraper should be cancelled.
But there is still a lot do. More than ever, Croydon South needs an MP who will take action and not just talk.
I campaign across our constituency on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to help by delivering leaflets, displaying a garden sign near election time, helping me to knock on doors or make a campaign donation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.