David was first elected as Member of Parliament in May 2005. Following his re-election with an increased majority, David was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister to the Cabinet Office and Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, Minister responsible for Government Policy. David was later reappointed as PPS to Oliver Letwin, providing support to Oliver’s policy role across government and in particular in relation to drugs and alcohol treatment reform and future policy development. Since September 2012, David has retained an advisory role to Oliver Letwin on drug and alcohol policy, however, he has now moved to acting as PPS to Rt Hon Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
David was born in 1969. He is married to Janet and has six young children, Barnaby and Harriet (who are twins), Dougal, Dorothy, Noah and Toby. David has lived all his life in Enfield Southgate, first in Cockfosters, then Winchmore Hill and now Southgate. He was educated in Barnet, Highgate School and then at Exeter University.
Before entering parliament in 2005, David worked as a solicitor for the Enfield firm Shepherd Harris and Co, specialising in criminal law and was an advocate in police stations and Courts in Enfield, Haringey and Hertfordshire.
David was an Enfield local Councillor for 12 years which included being the Cabinet Member for Voluntary and Community Development and Leisure Services. David was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Edmonton at the General Election in 2001 before winning in his local constituency of Enfield Southgate with the largest swing from Labour to Conservatives in the country. David served as a member of the Public Administration Select Committee which undertook high profile scrutiny of the ‘cash for honours’ scandal and the issue of Equitable Life Compensation. He has taken a leading role in scrutinising significant legislation including criminal justice and immigration, armed services, legal services, local government and public involvement in health and human fertilisation and embryos. He is particularly interested in the policy areas of drugs and alcohol, the criminal justice system, family policy, the voluntary sector, and foreign policy involving Cyprus and Israel.
David helped to lead the Conservative Party’s social justice policy review in 2007 concerning drug and alcohol addictions. The 18 month review led to the groundbreaking reports ‘Breakdown Britain’ and ‘Breakthrough Britain’. The reports have formed the basis for the Conservative party’s approach to reforming drugs and alcohol treatment.
As Shadow Justice Minister between 2007 and 2010 David led the Conservative party’s review of youth justice and victims policies. David helped to write the Party’s Green paper ‘Prisons with a Purpose’ which now forms the basis of the Government’s reforms to the criminal justice and penal system. For example, David is the author of the policy to implement the Prisoners Earnings Act 1996 so that prisons do real work in prisons and earn money to be put in a Victims Fund.
David has led a number of campaigns, including the promotion of the life saving value of umbilical cord blood, which led to a Private Members Bill, formation of an All Party Parliamentary Group and establishment of a national strategy to support the collection, donation and transplantation using cord blood. Following the desecration of his local war memorial David has campaigned for proper protection for war memorials and has through his Desecration of War Memorials Bill called for tougher penalties for those who desecrate the memories of our brave servicemen and women.
Parliament has many All Party Parliament Groups representing a wide variety of interests and issues. David is the Co-chair of the People with Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis Group and also the Cyprus group.
Outside of Parliament, David is the Chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and a trustee and active participant in his local church. David is a sports enthusiast and particularly enjoys playing and watching football and cricket and is a strong supporter of Arsenal FC. David has been involved in youth work for many years and is a leader on a summer youth camp. He can often be spotted riding his bike around the constituency, or walking his Labrador dog Cholmeley which helps him with another favourite past time – eating a good curry with his wife!