|The Right Honourable
|Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans|
4 September 2012
|Preceded by||Andrew Robathan|
|Vice-Chamberlain of the Household|
11 May 2010 – September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Helen Jones|
|Succeeded by||Greg Knight|
|Shadow Minister for Europe|
29 May 2007 – 11 May 2010
|Preceded by||Graham Brady|
|Member of Parliament
for Rayleigh and Wickford
7 June 2001
|Preceded by||Michael Clark|
14 August 1965 |
Islington, London, England
|Alma mater||University of Bristol
King's College London
|Religion||Church of England|
Mark Gino Francois (born 14 August 1965) is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rayleigh and Wickford. On 4 September 2012 he was appointed Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, a ministerial role in the Ministry of Defence.
Early life 
Mark Gino Francois was born in Islington, London. He was educated at the Nicholas Comprehensive School in Basildon, Essex and at the University of Bristol where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1986. He was also the chairman of the University's Conservative Association. He completed his studies at King's College London where he earned a MA in War Studies in 1987.
On leaving university he became a management trainee with Lloyds Bank. In 1988 he joined lobbying company Market Access International, leaving as a director in 1996 to set up his own lobbying firm Francois Associates.
Councillor and parliamentary candidate 
He was a member of Basildon District Council for four years from 1991. He stood for Brent East during the 1997 general election, and lost to Ken Livingstone (who later became the Mayor of London). Following the death of Alan Clark in 1999, he narrowly lost out to Michael Portillo in the selection for the 1999 Kensington and Chelsea by-election. On the retirement of Dr. Michael Clark at the 2001 general election he beat Boris Johnson to be selected to fight the safe Tory seat of Rayleigh.
Member of Parliament 
He served as a member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee for the duration of his first term in Parliament. He was promoted to become an Opposition Whip in 2003 by Michael Howard; to Shadow Economic Secretary in September 2004; and later to Shadow Paymaster General scrutinising HMRC. He was promoted to be Shadow Minister for Europe in May 2007 and joined the Shadow Cabinet at the January 2009 reshuffle.
When the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats joined in a coalition government following the United Kingdom general election, 2010 he was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, a sinecure given to a Government Whip that entails being kept as 'captive' at Buckingham Palace when the Queen opens Parliament. He joined the Privy Council on 9 June 2010. He is a Vice-President of Conservative Friends of Poland.
Territorial Army 
Francois served as an officer the Territorial Army from 1985 - 1991, including with the local Royal Anglian Regiment. He lives in Rayleigh. He has been a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies since 1999, a member of the Lions Club, President of the Rayleigh Conservative Club and Honorary President of the Rayleigh Brass.
Personal life 
He married Karen Thomas in June 2000 in Langdon Hills, Basildon.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
- BBC News 2010
- "Privy Council Orders". Privy Council. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Conservative Friends of Poland website
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Mark Francois MP
- Mark Francois MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Mark Francois MP
- Rayleigh Conservatives
- Rayleigh Conservative Club
- BBC Politics page
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Rayleigh
|Shadow Minister for Europe
|Vice-Chamberlain of the Household