All about Jeremy
A bit more about me:
My parents were both teachers – dad taught maths and physics and mum taught music. My brother, who is two years younger, and I went to the local primary school and then I won a scholarship to Taunton School. There I sat A levels in English, History and Latin and went on to read Law at Exeter University. My brother joined the Royal Navy and is now a Lieutenant Commander.
As a family we were not party political but we always talked about current affairs so I became interested in politics.
After university I pursued a career in the law because I had always wanted to be an advocate. I have always derived great satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment from helping someone to make their case, but I began to think how much better it would be if, rather than just representing one person as a barrister, I could represent thousands of people as their Member of Parliament.
That led to me seeking selection as a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives. I was delighted to be chosen to represent the party in Rugby and Kenilworth in 2003, and even more delighted to win the seat back from Labour in 2005.
In Opposition I was a member of the Justice Committee – where my experience as a barrister proved extremely useful, and I formed the all-party parliamentary group on Dementia. This is an issue I believe deserves greater prominence as it will be one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades. My determination to raise its profile on the political agenda led me to set up the all-party parliamentary group on Dementia which I chaired until 2010 when my appointment to the Government, as a Whip, meant that I could no longer continue in this role.
In the Government reshuffle in September 2012 I was promoted to the position of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for the prison service, probation, rehabilitation, the criminal justice system and sentencing.
I met Yvonne while on an internship working for a congressman in Washington DC in 1994. Yvonne was at university in Washington but was working for a professor during the summer helping to place interns....so she saw my CV before she saw me! I eventually persuaded her to come to the UK in 1997 and we were married in 1998.
I have always worked in the West Midlands and we have lived in Coventry, Warwick, Rugby and now Shrewley. In my very limited free time I try to play golf and enjoy watching cricket. In fact I like playing cricket too but I am so useless no-one will play with me. I enjoy listening to music and I used to play the trumpet, but I can barely get a note out of the instrument these days. I also enjoy travelling, particularly to the United States.
About the constituency
The constituency of Kenilworth and Southam is geographically one of the largest in the West Midlands.
The constituency forms a reverse ‘ C’ shape encircling Warwick and Leamington and was created for the 2010 election from parts of the oversized constituencies of Rugby, Warwick and Leamington, and Stratford and covers mostly rural and semi-rural parts of the local government districts of Rugby, Warwick and Stratford.
Its largest town is Kenilworth, with a population of around 23,000. The only other town in the constituency is Southam.
It covers many villages though, including Baddesley Clinton, Rowington, Kingswood, Lapworth, Lowsonford, Shrewley, Little Shrewley, Beausale, Chessetts Wood, Five Ways, Rowington Green, Turner’s Green, Pinley Green, Waste Green, Haseley Knob, Haseley Green, Honiley, Mousley End, Copt Green, Holywell, Wroxall, Burton Green, Leek Wootton, Hill Wootton, Stoneleigh, Stareton, Cubbington, Old Milverton, Blackdown, Ashow, Bubbenhall, Baginton, Ryton, Stretton and Bourton on Dunsmore, Frankton, Dunchurch, Thurlaston, Princethorpe, Draycote, Eathorpe, Kites Hardwick, Wappenbury, Birdingbury, Marton, Weston under Wetherley, Leamington Hastings, Broadwell, Willoughby, Grandborough, Hunningham, Offchurch, Nethercote, Flecknoe, Long Itchington, Radford Semele, Stockton, Ufton, Bascote, Lower Shuckborough, Napton, Harbury, Ladbroke, Bishops Itchington, Deppers Bridge, Chesterton, Ashorne, Moreton Morrell, Moreton Paddox, Little Morrell, Newbold Pacey, Wellesbourne, Kineton, Little Kineton, Combrook, Chadshunt, Temple Herdewyke, Northend, Gaydon, Lighthorne, Lighthorne Heath, Lighthorne Rough, Priors Marston, Marston Doles, Priors Hardwick, Wormleighton, Knightcote, Fenny Compton, Burton Dassett, Farnborough, Avon Dassett, Radway, Edgehill, Ratley, Warmington and Shotteswell.
While the area might at first glance appear to be a mix of dormitory towns and commuter villages, it is an area of diverse interests and activities. Agriculture is very significant, not only in terms of local farming but also because the constituency is home to the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) at Stoneleigh and the headquarters of the National Farmers Union.
Vital transport links criss-cross the constituency, with the M40 motorway snaking from north to south and the Grand Union Canal crossing from east to west. Baginton airport is in the north of the constituency. The constituency is also home to key research and development sites, in particular Jaguar and LandRover at Gaydon, which is also home to Aston Martin, and Warwick University’s administrative and research facilities north of Kenilworth.
Southam cement works is a landmark which can be seen for miles around, and the area has a rich history, with many historic houses, including four National Trust properties- Baddesley Clinton, Packwood, Upton and Farnborough; the nationally-acclaimed art gallery at Compton Verney, beautiful old churches and pubs and, of course, Kenilworth Castle, all of which make it a popular destination for tourists and day trippers and a desirable area to live.