|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs|
11 August 2014
|Preceded by||Mark Simmonds|
|Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury|
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Succeeded by||Robert Goodwill|
|Member of Parliament for
Rochford and Southend East
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Sir Teddy Taylor|
26 August 1971 |
Bristol, Gloucestershire, UK
|Spouse(s)||Katy née Thompson|
|Residence||Southend and London|
|Alma mater||University of Essex|
|Religion||Church of England|
James Philip Duddridge (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
During the expenses scandal it was alleged that Duddridge claimed £53,000 over three years for redecoration and mortgage repayments on his second property. Despite owning two properties in London, he still claims a further £11,000 of expenses per year to fund overnight accommodation at London hotels.
In Spring 2014, Duddridge caused controversy by holding his constituency surgery in a branch of Halifax bank, exclusively for Halifax customers.
In April 2015, Duddridge faced criticism for blocking some of his constituents on Twitter. The users who were blocked had politely asked him to clarify his policies and complained that they were left unable to contact their local MP on the social media site.
It was reported that Duddridge earns £6,000 a year from a second job as an advisor to a firm of financial planners.
- House of Commons Debates 9 June 2005 c. 1456–59
- Isaby, Jonathan. "Government whip makes speech from the Despatch Box—is this a first?". ConservativeHome.
- Watt, Nicholas. "Africa minister Mark Simmonds resigns". Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- James Duddridge MP's official website
- Debrett's People of Today
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: James Duddridge MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - James Duddridge MP
- BBC: meet the MP
- BBC Politics webpage
|Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East