David was previously the Member of Parliament for Aylesbury constituency since 1992. He was a member of Theresa May’s former cabinet, serving as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. As Leader of the Commons, he had responsibility for the overall management of the Government’s legislative programme and sat on the House of Commons Commission which is the equivalent of the board of directors of the House of Commons. The title of Lord President of the Council is an ancient one going back to the reign of Henry VIII who appointed the first Lord President of the Privy Council. A certain amount of Government business still has to be done through the Privy Council and David attended and lead business at each month’s Council meeting with Her Majesty The Queen.
Before elected to the House of Commons, David took a degree in history and then a doctorate in Elizabethan history at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He then worked for a time industry for BP and for Rio Tinto.
While an MP, David has held a number of different responsibilities. He served on the education select committee during his first parliamentary term. During the Labour governments of 1997-2010, he worked as parliamentary private secretary to William Hague, the then Leader of the Opposition, and then was Opposition Spokesman successively on home affairs, treasury matters, environment and agriculture, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. Under David Cameron’s Government he was Minister for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for British policy towards the entire continent of Europe from Russia and Turkey to Iceland and Greenland. David has represented the United Kingdom at the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the Council of Europe, NATO and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). His ministerial work took him to 45 countries on behalf of the British Government.
David has lived in Princes Risborough for more than 25 years. He is married to Helen, a local primary school teacher, and they have four grown up sons, all born in Stoke Mandeville hospital.
While an MP, David successfully piloted through parliament the Chiropractors Act 1994 which placed chiropractic on a professional, self-regulated basis for the first time.
While at university, David captained the Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University Challenge team which won the championship in 1979. In 2002, to mark the 40th anniversary of the show, previous winning teams were invited back for a Champion of Champions tournament which the Sidney Sussex team again won. So David has the rare claim of having captained a championship University Challenge team twice.