Brandon Lewis

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Brandon Lewis
MP
BrandonLewis.jpg
Minister of State for Housing and Planning for Department for Communities and Local Government
Incumbent
Assumed office
15 July 2014
Preceded by Kris Hopkins
Member of Parliament
for Great Yarmouth
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Tony Wright
Majority 4,276 (9.9%)
Personal details
Born (1971-06-20) 20 June 1971 (age 43)
Harold Wood, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative Party
Children 2
Residence Great Yarmouth
Alma mater Forest School
University of Buckingham
King's College London
Profession Politician

Brandon Kenneth Lewis (born 20 June 1971) is the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth. He was elected at the 2010 general election.

Early life[edit]

Lewis was born on 20 June 1971 in Harold Wood, and educated at Forest School in Walthamstow.[1] He received a degree in economics from the University of Buckingham,[2] an LLB in Law from Buckingham, and an LLM in commercial law from King's College London.[1] He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple and is a qualified barrister. He was a director of Woodlands Schools Limited, a provider of private primary schools based in Hutton, Essex until September 2012 when he resigned his position.[3]

Local government[edit]

Lewis became a Borough Councillor in May 1998 for Hutton South on Brentwood Borough Council, and later became Conservative Group leader in 2002. He was leader of the council from 2004 to 2009 before resigning as a councillor.[1] During his time as leader of the council he co-hosted The Eric and Brandon Show with local MP Eric Pickles on Phoenix FM, a local radio station in Brentwood.[4] Under Lewis' leadership the council refused to identify land for additional traveller sites when required to by the government, citing greenbelt classification. Lewis claimed that the council was being "victimised".[5]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Lewis stood for election in the Sherwood constituency in 2001, coming second to Paddy Tipping the Labour party candidate with a 34% share of the vote.[2][6] He was selected to represent the Conservative party in the Great Yarmouth in 2006 and was elected at the 2010 general election, defeating sitting Labour MP Tony Wright with a majority of just over 4000 - a swing to the Conservatives of 8.7% in the seat which was number 66 on their list of target seats.[7][8]

Lewis served on the Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Regulatory Reform Select Committee from his election until 2012.[9] He has been a member of a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups, including time as the chair of the Local Growth group and co-chair of a group discussing coastal erosion. A report by the Local Growth group in September 2012, when it was chaired by Lewis, criticised the government for an "uncoordinated" approach to its Local Enterprise Partnership policy which, according to Lewis, left "gaps and weaknesses".[10][11]

In September 2012 Lewis was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, working under Eric Pickles. In July 2014, Lewis was promoted to Housing and Planning Minister replacing Kris Hopkins.[12]

In January 2013 Lewis was criticised for comments he had made about local councillors' allowances by Clive Betts, the Chair of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.[13] Later in 2013 Lewis was critical of local councils, including many Conservative run councils, planning council tax rises in 2013 against the wishes of the government, saying that there was "still massive scope" for councils to cut "waste and inefficiency".[14][15][16] He has also attacked the Local Government Association for producing proposals to give local councils more freedom over their levels of council tax in the future.[17]

According to the website Electoral Calculus, as at July 2014 Brandon Lewis is at risk of losing his seat to Labour in the 2015 General Election.[18]

Ministerial career[edit]

In July 2014, Lewis was appointed to the Cabinet as Housing and Planning minister. He was quoted as saying that there had been a “dramatic swing” in public opinion - with almost half of people now in favour of new housing in their area.[19] This related to the controversial National Planning Policy Framework, which made it substantially easier for developers to build on greenfield land.

Campaigns[edit]

Brandon has run a variety of campaigns as Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth. Campaigns have included opposing the removal of free bus passes for school children in Belton & Burgh Castle,[20] cutting fuel duty,[21] protecting Norfolk bus services[22] and fixing Great Yarmouth train station.[23]

Expenses[edit]

Lewis ran for Parliament in 2010 on a "Clean expenses pledge", pledging to be "completely open about my expenses".[24] In 2010-2011 Lewis claimed just over £15000 in accommodation expenses and in 2011-12 and 2012-13 he claimed just under £21500 for accommodation.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Lewis married Justine Rappholt in 1999; the couple have two children.[1] He completed the London Marathon in 2005 and 2008 and lists running as an interest.[1][26] He is a member of the Carlton Club.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f ‘LEWIS, Brandon’, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 2012 accessed 2013-05-28.
  2. ^ a b Brandon Lewis: Electoral history and profile The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  3. ^ Lewis, Brandon (Great Yarmouth), Register of Members' Financial Interests: Part 1. As of 7th May 2013, www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  4. ^ Walker, Tim (2 November 2009). "The Couch Surfer: 'If political parties insist on invading pop culture, they won't re-engage anybody'". The Independent (Independent News and Media Limited). Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Travellers trapped by press and politics, The Guardian, 2005-03-18. Retrieved 2013-05-28
  6. ^ "Vote 2001: Sherwood". BBC News Online (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2001. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Election rivals fight for support in Great Yarmouth, BBC Election 2010, 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  8. ^ Great Yarmouth, BBC Election 2010. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  9. ^ Brandon Lewis, www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  10. ^ Impartiality of local enterprise partnerships 'at risk', Daily Telegraph, 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  11. ^ 'Unco-ordinated' government is a barrier to business engagement, Guardian - Local government network, 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  12. ^ Kelly, Liam (15 July 2014). "Brandon Lewis promoted to housing and planning minister in reshuffle". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Chair responds to comments on Councillors on the Frontline report, Communities and Local Government Committee, www.parliament.uk, 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  14. ^ Defiant councils planning tax rises, Daily Telegraph, 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  15. ^ One in three town halls to defy Eric Pickles and hike council tax in April, Daily Telegraph, 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  16. ^ Council tax revolt forces up bills, Daily Telegraph, 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  17. ^ Minister attacks councils for pushing for tax hikes, Daily Telegraph, 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  18. ^ [1]"Electoral Calculus",2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  19. ^ [2],"Daily Telegraph. TRetrieved 2014-07-27.
  20. ^ Belton & Burgh Castle Bus Services, Brandon Lewis. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  21. ^ Fair Fuel UK, Brandon Lewis. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  22. ^ Fair Fares – Protecting Our Buses, Brandon Lewis. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  23. ^ Fix Great Yarmouth Station, Brandon Lewis. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  24. ^ About my Parliamentary expenses, Brandon Lewis. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  25. ^ Brandon Lewis, Conservative, Great Yarmouth CC, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  26. ^ Brandon Lewis, Biography, politics.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-28.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tony Wright
Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth
2010
Incumbent