David was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate in May 2005 with the biggest swing in the country from Labour to Conservatives. In May 2015 he was elected for a third term and retained the same share of the vote won in 2010, despite the swing against the Conservative Party in London.
David is an Executive Member of Conservative MPs' influential backbench 1922 Committee and Chairman of its Justice Committee. He is a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee. In and outside Parliament David champions the interests of his constituents and the cause of social justice and human dignity.
David was born in 1969. He is married to Janet and has six children: Barnaby, Harriet, Dougal, Dorothy, Noah and Toby. David has lived all his life in Enfield Southgate, first in Cockfosters, then Winchmore Hill, and now in Southgate. David was educated at 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 a Councillor in Enfield for 12 years and served as 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.
David is particularly interested in the policy areas of social justice, criminal justice and the family, with a particular focus upon drug and alcohol rehabilitation, homelessness, refugees, and the disabled. David has established the Compassionate Conservatives Caucus which supports the Prime Minister's "all out assault on poverty". He also champions human dignity from the beginning to end of life.
David helped lead the Conservative Party’s social justice policy review in 2007 concerning drug and alcohol addiction. The 18 month review led to the ground breaking 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 2007-2010, David led the Conservative party’s review of youth justice and victims policies. David helped 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. David is the author of the policy to implement the Prisoners Earnings Act 1996, so that prisoners 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 lifesaving value of umbilical cord blood, which led to a Private Members Bill, formation of an All Party Parliamentary Group, and the establishment of a national strategy to support the collection, donation and transplantation of cord blood.
Following the desecration of his local war memorial, David 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.
David championed the cause of his constituent Gary McKinnon who faced extradition to the US for alleged hacking of US Naval computer systems in his search for UFOs and free energy. Gary McKinnon has Aspergers Syndrome and his mental illness made it likely that he would commit suicide if he was extradited. Following a national campaign with Gary's mother Janis Sharp the Government decided to stop his extradition which David said in Parliament was a "victory for compassion".
David has been a longstanding campaigner against knife crime following a spate of knife attacks in Enfield. He led the law changes to introduce mandatory sentences for repeat possession of a knife. David has also been campaigning against human trafficking and was actively involved in the scrutiny of the Modern Slavery Act, and the introduction of child trafficking advocates and transparency in supply chains. David has been a leading advocate for traditional marriage and the family. He led the cross party opposition to the same sex marriage legislation and supported the introduction of the marriage tax allowance.
In this Parliament David has spoken up on a number of key issues which have led to changes in Government policy and legislation. For example David led the call for more Syrian refugees to be accepted in the UK; he successfully led the cross party opposition to assisted suicide and the relaxation of Sunday Trading laws, he supported the blanket ban on the supply of so called 'legal highs', and helped prevent cuts to disability benefits.
In 2010 David was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Francis Maude and Oliver Letwin, both ministers in the Cabinet Office, providing support to Oliver’s policy role across government and particularly in relation to drug and alcohol treatment reform and future policy development.
In September 2012 David was appointed PPS to Owen Paterson, then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. David resigned his position in June 2014 to spend more time campaigning on local issues. He was then elected to serve as a member of the Public Accounts Committee during the final year of the last Parliament.
Parliament has many All Party Parliament Groups (APPG) representing a wide variety of interests and issues. David is Co-Chair of the Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis APPG, Protection of Cultural Heritage APPG, and Stem Cell Transplantation. David is also an officer of the following APPGs - Cyprus, Human Trafficking, Religious Education, Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia, Refugees and Ending Homelessness.
Outside of Parliament, David is 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 Football Club. David has been involved in youth work for many years and is a leader of a summer youth camp. He can often be spotted riding his bike around his constituency, or walking his Labrador dog Cholmeley which helps him with another favourite past time – eating a good curry with his wife!
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