James Duddridge

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James Duddridge
James Duddridge October 2014.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Assumed office
11 August 2014
Preceded by Mark Simmonds
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Succeeded by Robert Goodwill
Member of Parliament for
Rochford and Southend East
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Sir Teddy Taylor
Majority 11,050 (26.6%)
Personal details
Born (1971-08-26) 26 August 1971 (age 43)
Bristol, Gloucestershire, UK
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Katy née Thompson
Residence Southend and London
Alma mater University of Essex
Occupation Politician
Profession Merchant banker
Religion Church of England
Website www.jamesduddridge.com

James Philip Duddridge, MP (born 26 August 1971) is a British Conservative politician. He is the Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He has served as a government whip, and before entering politics he worked as a merchant banker.

Early life[edit]

Born in Bristol, Duddridge was educated at Huddersfield High School and The Blue School, Wells. He read Government at the University of Essex, tutored by Professor Anthony King, graduating B.A. in 1993.

Duddridge served as Chairman of the Wells Young Conservatives from 1989 until 1991, and was elected Chairman of Essex University's Conservative Association in 1990. In 1991, Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin appointed him as a researcher.

Professional career[edit]

After graduating in 1993, Duddridge embarked upon a retail and merchant banking career with Barclays until 2005. The company posted him to Africa with the Bank of Swaziland between 1995 and 1996, before he went on to be sales director for Banque Belgolaise in Ivory Coast until 1998. Duddridge returned to the UK in 1998 as Barclays national sales manager, and was seconded as service delivery director by Barclays Bank of Botswana in 2001. He was also a consultant and director of YouGov from 2000, remaining in both positions until his election as an MP in 2005.

Political career[edit]

Duddridge contested Rother Valley at the 2001 general election unsuccessfully for the Conservative Party, finishing second some 14,882 votes behind the sitting Labour MP, Kevin Barron. He was subsequently selected as the Conservatives' parliamentary candidate for Rochford and Southend East at the 2005 general election, following Sir Teddy Taylor's retirement. He held the seat for the Conservatives with a majority of 5,494 and delivered his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 9 June 2005.[1]

From 2005 to 2007, Duddridge served on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, and the International Development Committee from 2006 to 2008, and in January 2008, he was appointed an Opposition Whip. He was returned at the 2010 general election again as Rochford and Southend East's MP, becoming a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (Government Whip) with responsibility for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Education, but later left government in Prime Minister David Cameron's September 2012 reshuffle.

Notably, on 3 December 2010, Duddridge was permitted to reply on HM Government's behalf from the Despatch Box during an Adjournment debate, a rarity as Commons Whips — particularly Government Whips — by convention do not speak in the Chamber.[2]

On 11 August 2014, it was announced that Duddridge would return to Government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs following the resignation of Mark Simmonds.[3]

Duddridge is seen as a hardline Eurosceptic having suggested in Parliament that the Government should tell the European Commissioner to "sod off" rather than pay benefits to Romanians and Bulgarians[4]

Personal life[edit]

Duddridge married Kathryn (Katy) Thompson in May 2004 at St Albans, and they live in Southend-on-Sea with their sons, Tom and Henry, and daughter Mary.

He is a member of the Carlton Club and MCC.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Teddy Taylor
Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East