Mark Francois was re-elected MP for Rayleigh and Wickford (Rayleigh until 2010) on May 7th 2015 with 29088 votes, taking 54.7% of the vote.
Mark was born in Islington in 1965 and moved to Basildon with his parents in 1971. He now lives in Rayleigh but, like quite a number of his constituents, has a family link back to London.
He attended Bristol University and King’s College, London, where he read history and war studies respectively. During the ‘Cold War’ Mark served as an infantry officer in the Territorial Army, including with the local Royal Anglian Regiment.
Prior to his entry to Parliament, he worked as a self-employed consultant. Mark’s political career began in local government, when he was elected to Basildon District Council in 1991 for the Langdon Hills Ward. When the Conservatives took control of the council in 1992, Mark served for three years as the Vice-Chairman of the Housing Committee, during which time he gained considerable experience of social housing policy.
Mark fought his first parliamentary election in 1997, when he stood as the Conservative candidate in Brent East against Ken Livingstone (prior to Ken becoming the Mayor of London). Mark reached the final selection for the Kensington & Chelsea by-election but was defeated by Michael Portillo for the Conservative nomination. He was subsequently elected to Parliament as the MP for Rayleigh in June 2001. He nearly doubled his majority at the 2005 general election.
For three years Mark served on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), and environmental watchdog which checks that Government departments and agencies are acting in accordance with sustainable development principles. During that time, the EAC produced a major report about sustainable housing, arguing strongly that large-scale house building should not take place without local democratic accountability and the timely provision of supporting infrastructure.
In 2002, Mark was promoted to the Opposition Whips’ office, in which he served for over two years, having departmental responsibility for home affairs, health and education. In the autumn of 2004, Mark was promoted again to become Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury and in 2005 moved up to become Shadow Paymaster General. In this role Mark has responsibility for dealing with HM Revenue & Customs’ issues, including the tax code and matters such as tax credits.
In June 2007 he was again promoted to Shadow Minister for Europe where he works for the Shadow Foreign Secretary the Rt Hon William Hague MP. Mark as Shadow Minister for Europe has shadow responsibility for Britain’s relations with Europe including the European Union, Russia, the Balkans, NATO, and the OSCE.
He became minster for defense personnel in September 2012, and held the office until 2013, before being appointed a Minister of State for the Armed Force. After the 2015 UK general election he was appointed both Minister of State for Communities and Resilience and Minister of State for Porstmouth.
Constituency: Rayleigh and Wickford
Constituency Address: 25 Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, SS6 7ED
Constituency Tel: 01268 742 044
Date of Birth: 14 August 1965
Personal Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government
Westminster Address: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Westminster Tel: 020 7219 8287
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MarkFrancoisRayleighandWickford