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James Morris (British politician)

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James Morris
James Morris MP.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Halesowen and Rowley Regis
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Sylvia Heal
Majority 3,082 (7.0%)
Personal details
Born (1967-02-04) 4 February 1967 (age 48)
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Political party Conservative

James George Morris[1] (4 February 1967)[2] is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the West Midlands of England since the 2010 general election.[3] He has served on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee since his election.

Early life

Morris was born on 4 February 1967 in Nottingham. He has roots in the Black Country: his grandfather worked in the Halesowen Steel works in the 1930s and 1940s, his parents are from the Black Country and his uncle lives in Rowley Regis.[4]


Morris was educated at Nottingham High School,[5] an independent school for boys in his home city of Nottingham, followed by the University of Birmingham, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. He then undertook Postgraduate research at the University of Oxford, where he also represented the University at cricket, ending up with a first class batting average of 12. He later studied at Cranfield School of Management, from which he obtained an MBA.[4]

Life and career

Before becoming involved in politics in Halesowen and Rowley Regis, Morris had a successful career as a small businessman specialising in computer software. In 2003 he founded Mind the Gap, an independent campaign to promote civic action and to encourage more grass roots involvement in politics. In 2004 he wrote a pamphlet entitled - Change Starts Small - which explored how to get more local grass roots involvement in politics and argued that the British political system needed fundamental change.[6] Morris is married to Anna and they have two young children.[4]

Prior to the 2010 Election, Morris was the Chief Executive of Localis, a local government and localist think tank, where the mission was to 'stimulate and challenge the current orthodoxy of the governance of the UK.' During his time at the think tank, Localis released a number of reports, including The Million Vote Mandate, Can Localism Deliver?, and For Good Measure, all of which he edited.[7]

Political career

He was selected as the seat's Conservative candidate after previous candidate Nigel Hastilow stepped down in November 2007 following Hastilow's controversial remarks claiming that warnings of "rivers of blood" by Enoch Powell in 1968 had been proven correct.[8]

He served on the Communities and Local Government Committee between 2010 and 2014. He is a member of a number of APPGs, including Youth Affairs, United Nations and Mental Health.[9] In March 2011, the Sunday Mercury confirmed that Morris had the best attendance record of all 57 West Midlands MPs – attending 96% of votes.[10] In the local area, Morris has been a supporter of the successful campaign to Save Rowley Hospital which secured and maintained in-patient facilities at the hospital. He has also raised questions over the future for Halesowen Abbey in Parliament.[11]

He was PPS to Esther McVey but resigned his position in January 2015 in order to vote for a change in the law that would require planning permission to demolish or change the use of local pubs.[12]


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sylvia Heal
Member of Parliament for Halesowen & Rowley Regis