Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North
The son of two school teachers, Mark was born in 1970.
Raised in Kimbolton near Huntingdon, Mark was educated at Kimbolton School where his father managed to combine being the school chaplain with running the family firework company. After school Mark spent a gap year Commission in the Army based in Hong Kong with the Queens Gurkha Engineers, before going on to read Business Studies at Buckingham University and completing an MBA at Exeter University. After university Mark returned to help run his family company Kimbolton Fireworks, helping to organise major international events such as the Hong Kong handover. In more recent years Kimbolton Fireworks has been responsible for such events as the London New Years celebrations and The London Olympics.
Mark’s commitment to public service has been a common thread throughout his career; he transferred his commission to the Territorial Army in 1990 and during 24 years military service has commanded a Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal Squadron and deployed on operational service to Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He was awarded his second long service medal, marking 22 years service by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 and continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Engineers.
Mark’s political career started as a local councillor in Huntingdon and in 2005 he was the first pyrotechnician to be elected to the House of Commons, fittingly coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the gunpowder plot. The pyrotechnical theme continues in Mark’s constituency, which is home to Gayhurst House one of the locations where the plot was conceived by Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators.
At Westminster, Mark has previously held posts as Opposition Whip, Shadow Minister in the Department for International Development, Lord Commissioner of the Her Majesty’s Treasury and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans.