John Glen (politician)

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Not to be confused with John Glenn.
For other people named John Glen, see John Glen.
John Glen
John Glen MP.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Salisbury
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Robert Key
Majority 5,966 (12.3%)
Personal details
Born (1974-04-01) 1 April 1974 (age 41)
Bath, Somerset, England[1]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Emma Glen[2]
Alma mater Mansfield College, Oxford
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Religion Christian

John Philip Glen (born 1 April 1974[3] in Bath) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Salisbury in Wiltshire since the general election in May 2010.

Early life and education[edit]

Glen was brought up in a small family horticultural business in rural Wiltshire. He was educated at King Edward's School, Bath where he was Head Boy, and Mansfield College, University of Oxford, where he read Modern History and was elected President of Mansfield College JCR. He later entered the University of Cambridge, where he studied for an MBA at Fitzwilliam College.[4] He was the first person in his family to go to university.


After graduating from Oxford, Glen worked for two Ministers in 1996-1997.

He went on to campaign in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland for Michael Bates (now Lord Bates) in the 1997 general election, following which he joined the Strategy practice of Accenture, a large management consultancy firm. Whilst there he worked on projects for Glaxo Wellcome, BP and the Post Office.

After three years in consulting, Glen worked for Rt Hon William Hague MP's team (then Leader of the Conservative Party). In his role as Head of the Political Section of the Conservative Research Department, he helped prepare Hague for Prime Minister's Question Time and briefed the Shadow Cabinet for media appearances.

Glen was one of the youngest candidates at the 2001 general election, when he stood in Plymouth Devonport. He came second, achieving 27.1% of the vote and a 2.9% swing.[5] Following this election, he took an MBA at Cambridge University and worked in the oil and gas industries in the UK and in the US for the next few years.

Early in 2004, he returned to the Conservative Party to work as Deputy Director of the Conservative Research Department in the run up to the 2005 general election. He then became Director of the Department and set up the secretariat for the Policy Review that was established after David Cameron became Leader.

He returned to business in 2006, managing his firm's relationship with the World Economic Forum.

He became a Magistrate (JP) at Horseferry Road, Westminster in 2006.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Glen was elected to Parliament in the General Election of May 2010 with an increase in the percentage share of the vote compared with the Conservative result in 2005.[6]

From June 2010 to September 2012, he sat on the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.[7]

In the September 2012 reshuffle, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He was succeeded by Henry Smith in May 2015.

Glen sits on the Downing Street Policy Board with responsibility for constitutional affairs.[8]

According to a survey by, a non-campaigning website which enables constituents to contact their MP, Glen was ranked as the second most responsive MP.[9] Overall, MPs responded to only 56 per cent of mail sent to them through the site; John Glen responded to 95 per cent.[9]

After the 2015 General Election, Glen was made PPS to Business Secretary Sajid Javid MP.[10]


Glen has a wide variety of interests including Defence,[11] Foreign Policy,[11] poverty and inclusive economic growth,[12] and beginning and end of life matters.[13]

APPG Membership[edit]

Glen sits on a number of All-party parliamentary groups (APPGs). He is the Chair of the APPG on Global Uncertainties which exists to inform parliamentarians of the activities of the UK Research Councils in response to global security challenges which help governments, businesses and societies to better predict, detect, prevent and mitigate threats to security. Recent meetings have included topics such as Ebola, UK Human Trafficking and Religious Literacy in World Affairs.[14]

Furthermore, Glen is vice-chair of the Carpet Industry APPG,[15] which is funded by The Carpet Foundation.[16] Glen also played a significant contributory role[17] in the APPG Hunger and Food Poverty’s Inquiry, Feeding Britain.[18] Additionally, he is Secretary for British Council APPG which took him on a visit to Kabul as being a member of APPG Egypt and APPG Parents and Families.[19]

His website lists his memberships:[19]

  • Archives and History
  • British Council - Appointed Secretary in 2011
  • British-Maldives Parliamentary Group
  • Carpet Industry – Vice Chair
  • Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis
  • Constitution, Parliament and Citizenship
  • Global Uncertainties - Chair
  • Historic Churches
  • Malaysia
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Parents and Families
  • Runaway and Missing Children and Adults
  • Suicide and Self Harm Prevention
  • Voice UK


Fellow Christian MP Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome described John Glen as a "full spectrum Conservative":

For want of a better expression, he's what I think of as a full spectrum Conservative. On the one hand he's a Eurosceptic; he's a believer in low taxation; he supports a tough approach to crime and strictly controlled immigration. But there's also a commitment to the greener, gentler conservatism of David Cameron. John was helping me with the social justice project ten years ago when we worked together in the Conservative Christian Fellowship. In his campaign video he makes it clear that, in fixing Labour's deficit, we mustn't balance budgets on the backs of the poor. He's a practical environmentalist; strongly committed to recycling, better use of energy and protecting the countryside.[20]

  • Anti-abortion/Pro-life - Glen is listed by ProLife Alliance as being pro-life in their 2010 election briefing document.[21] He supported Alliance of Pro-life students at their first Parliamentary event.[11]
  • Anti-assisted suicide - Glen argued in parliament for the status quo and said in his speech in March 2012, "I do not support any move to change the law or the prosecution policy or to put that policy in statute law"[22] & argued that a blanket ban was the only way to protect vulnerable people[23]
  • Anti-gay marriage equality - Glen twice voted against allowing gay people to have the same marriage rights as straight people & voted against allowing members of the armed forces those same rights too. However, he voted in favour of measures for those seeking to object to conducting same-sex marriages.
  • Anti-mitochondrial donation therapy - Glen described himself as "instinctively cautious about technologies that, while noble in intent, could potentially open the door to the development of 'genetically modified babies'"[24]
  • Armed Forces - Glen is committed to supporting the armed forces and ensuring that defence commitments are matched by funding for equipment[25]
  • Education - Glen welcomed the government's education reforms, and believes in the role of competition in schools and increased rigour in qualifications[25]
  • Eurosceptic - Glen describes himself as a "committed eurosceptic"[26]
  • Food poverty - Glen took part in the APPG on Hunger and Food Poverty inquiry, and argued that prosperity needs to be shared, and that the Department for Work and Pensions should improve benefit payment reliability in order to prevent the need for foodbank use.[12] Trussell Trust Chairman Chris Mould and CEO David McAuley said that Glen "been very supportive of The Trussell Trust and has played an important role as a key member of the APPG Inquiry Panel"[17]
  • Living wage - Glen welcomed the rise in the minimum wage and supports employers paying the living wage [27]
  • Pro-'traditional' family - Glen believes in the importance of the so-called traditional family and that "we should do all we can to support the institution of marriage, including recognising it within our tax system" [25]
  • Pro-religious advantage - Glen is a trustee of Conservative Christian Fellowship,[28] a group founded by (David Burrowes MP & Tim Montgomerie). He is an advocate for religious education.[29]

Blood Stem Cell Donation[edit]

In June 2013 Glen joined the Delete Blood Cancer register at an event in Parliament. Despite the 1 in 1200 chance of being matched with a cancer sufferer, less than a year later he had been matched with a blood cancer patient.

On 28 January 2015, Glen donated his blood stem cells at The London Clinic, enabling the patient to have a second chance at life.

Glen said: "“It is a huge privilege to be asked to donate some of my blood stem cells to someone with a blood cancer who is in desperate need of them.[30]

“There is a desperate need for more people to be on the register, as around 50% of patients each year who need a donor do not find one.[31]

“On signing up myself I never thought I would hear from them again, but now I have this amazing opportunity for what is simply only a little discomfort to me.”[32]

Free Enterprise Group paper[edit]

On 31 January 2013 Glen published a paper entitled 'Completing the Reform, Freeing the Universities' as a member of the Free Enterprise Group of MPs.[33]

The paper advocated encouraging universities to build up endowments, which could then replace income from grants; reforms to the tuition fee cap towards "total course costs" instead of per-year caps, and allowing fee differentials by subject group; changes to the way in which research funding is allocated; and administrative savings from the Research Councils and the Office of Fair Access.[34]

He wrote an op-ed for the Daily Telegraph about the policies advocated in the paper, entitled 'Tuition fees cannot be the last reform of university funding'.[35]

The paper also received coverage in the Times Higher Education Magazine and was described as a possible basis for university policy in the next Conservative manifesto.[36]

Presumption of Death Bill[edit]

Glen was 14th in the 2012 Ballot to introduce a Private Member's Bill.[37]

He chose to introduce the Presumption of Death Bill, which would introduce a court-based process in the case of a presumed death to issue a certificate that would act like a death certificate, simplifying administrative and practical processes in the case of a missing person or a presumed death.

The Bill was supported by the Government, by the Shadow Justice Minister, and members of the Justice Select Committee, and received a unanimous Second Reading on 2 November 2012.[37]

It was not amended in Public Bill Committee and received a unanimous Third Reading on 30 November 2012.[38]

The Bill passed its Second Reading stage in the House of Lords unopposed on 1 February 2013.[39] and became law at the end of March 2013[40]

Opposition to Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act[edit]

Glen rebelled against his own party by voting against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.[41]

His own website reports his views:[42]

  • "For me the definition of marriage is fundamentally a lifelong, exclusive union between a man and a woman"
  • "I believe that men and women are complementary, and that the essence of marriage includes the inherent biological link to having children"
  • "I do not believe governments should alter a historic institution such as marriage – it should instead remain as it stands"
  • "I shall press ... for robust protection for churches and other religious institutions that do not wish to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies"

In his speech on 5 February 2013, Glen stated:[43]

  • "My concern this afternoon is to uphold marriage"
  • "Of course marriage is about love and commitment, but it is also about the complementary, both biologically and as a mother and father, of a man and a woman who have an inherent probability of procreation and of raising children within that institution"
  • "I cannot see how any Government can automatically confer marriage on somebody by passing a law without changing the nature of what marriage means"
  • "It will lead to legislative anomalies and undermine the recognised obligations and norms that sustain and underpin marriage as an institution"
  • "...redefining marriage is the wrong way to tackle prejudice"
  • "If the Government want to strengthen marriage, I respectfully submit that they should leave it alone"

He chastised the Bishop of Salisbury, Nick Holtam, for his criticism of those who oppose same-sex marriage.[44] Holtam had written "Sometimes Christians have had to rethink the priorities of the Gospel in the light of experience" and "For example, before Wilberforce, Christians saw slavery as Biblical and part of the God-given ordering of creation. ... No one now supports either slavery or apartheid. The Biblical texts have not changed; our interpretation has.”.[45] Glen responded "...congregations object to gay marriage not because they object to homosexuals, but because they believe marriage should follow the biblical pattern affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19".[46]


  • In February 2015, he spoke in a debate on Improving Cancer Outcomes focusing on the broader role public health has to play.[47]
  • With access to broadband being a major issue for many people in Salisbury, Glen spoke in a debate on Rural Phone and Broadband Connectivity to highlight the struggles of many of his constituents.[48]
  • In January 2015, he spoke in a Westminster Hall debate about Grammar School funding, using the examples of two Grammar schools in his constituency.[49]
  • Following his extensive work with the APPG Hunger and Food Poverty, in December 2014 he spoke in a debate on food banks arguing for an appreciation of the broader causes behind food poverty.[50]
  • In October 2014, he argued for the importance of Father involvement for children's wellbeing in a Westminster Hall debate on Relationships and Children's Wellbeing.[51]
  • In September 2014 he called a Westminster Hall debate to urge the Government to reconsider options for relocating PHE Porton Down.[52]
  • In July 2014, he spoke in a debate regarding the Modern Slavery Bill, focusing on the number of trafficked children who go missing.[53]
  • In June 2014, he spoke on behalf of his constituents in a debate on Passport Applications and the problems surrounding the application process.[54]
  • In March 2014, he called a Westminster Hall debate on the future of the A303, arguing that access to the South West needed to be improved whilst being sensitive to Stonehenge as a World Heritage Site [55]
  • In February 2014, he spoke in favour of the use of NHS patient data in medical research[56]
  • At a Backbench Business debate in February 2014, he urged the government to prioritise end-of-life care and expand patient choice at the end of life[57]
  • He spoke on the challenges facing rural communities, especially access to broadband, at a Backbench Business debate in January 2014[58]
  • In December 2013, he spoke on the need for a fair funding settlement for children's hospices in a Backbench Business debate[59]
  • In November 2013, he spoke in favour of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill and asked the government to embed residential centres into the justice system[60]
  • In September 2013, he called an adjournment debate on the future Public Health England site in Porton Down[61]
  • In February 2013, he spoke against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at Second Reading, warning that in attempting to widen access to marriage, the government would be redefining and undermining marriage as an institution[62]
  • In November 2012, he took part in a Westminster Hall debate calling on the Government to put pressure on the Maldivian government to secure a fair trial for former President Mohamed Nasheed [63]
  • On 24 October 2012, Glen put forward a Ten-Minute Rule Motion calling for the use of unpaid work orders to pay off fines, arguing that the level of unpaid fines was too high and unpaid work orders represented a practical and compassionate solution. The motion was passed unopposed but a Bill was not introduced for Second Reading.[64]
  • He called an adjournment debate on the miscalculation by the Ministry of Defence of military spouse's pensions in October 2012 [65]
  • He spoke against any change in the law on assisted suicide in a backbench business debate in March 2012.[66]
  • In February 2012 he led a Westminster Hall debate on the need for the coordination of soft power resources in British foreign policy.[67]
  • In October 2011, he raised the issue of planning decisions in Salisbury in a debate on the National Planning Policy Framework.[68]
  • On 12 October 2011, he led a debate in Westminster Hall on innovation in the NHS, where he urged the government to bring in measures to allow the NHS fully to benefit, through cost savings and better patient outcomes, from innovative procedures and techniques developed "in-house" by the NHS.[69]
  • In September 2010, he urged investment in new capabilities, and the maintenance of capabilities to deal with future threats, in a debate on the Strategic Defence and Security Review.[70] He later praised the conclusions of the SDSR as "the best that could have been achieved in the time available".[71]
  • In his maiden speech in May 2010, he paid tribute to his predecessor, Robert Key, and called on the government to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy for small businesses, to address rural poverty, and to support rural economies.[72]


Glen writes regularly for Conservative Home and the Huffington Post.

  • Following his Ten-Minute Rule Motion on 24 October 2012, Glen published an article proposing the use of unpaid work orders to pay off fines.[73]
  • In October 2012, he wrote a critique of the current state of the Labour party and its leadership for Conservative Home entitled "Rhetoric vs Reality".[74]
  • Following the publication of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee report on Accommodation, Glen wrote an article analysing the government's policy in this area.[75]
  • In May 2012, he co-authored an article with Davis Lewin arguing for the primacy and importance of NATO.[76]
  • Following the local election results in May 2012, Glen argued that Conservatives should be optimistic about the next general election.[77]
  • Following the publication of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee report on Libya, Glen commented on the uniqueness of the Libyan conflict on the Huffington Post.[78]
  • He wrote an article for Conservative Home on value for money in the Ministry of Defence in January 2012, following a recent Select Committee report.[79]
  • In January 2012, he wrote for Huffington Post, arguing that legalisation of assisted suicide was misguided, and that palliative care was a more compassionate response.[13]
  • In November 2011, he contributed an article to Huffington Post that praised the work of the British Council in Libya and highlighted the importance of soft power to British foreign policy.[80]
  • Glen has written for Conservative Home on Higher Education access where he argued that the focus on admissions outcomes could compromise university standards and addresses the symptoms, rather than the cause, of lack of access to elite universities.[81]
  • In October 2011, he wrote an article for EPolitix on commercial innovation in the NHS where he called for measures to be put in place to allow the NHS to benefit from the innovative techniques and procedures developed by NHS staff.[82]


Christian Action Research & Education controversy[edit]

In 2012, Glen was listed by the Guardian[83] as being one of a group of twenty MPs who provided placements for graduates on the Leadership Programme run by the charity Christian Action Research and Education. The charity's aim is "recognising the dignity and worth of every person from fertilisation to life’s natural end", and are opposed to assisted suicide, abortion, and same-sex marriage.[84] In 2009 CARE, in association with Anglican Mainstream sponsored an event called the Sex & the City Conference[85] billed as having "a special focus on how religious professionals and friends/relatives can respond biblically and pastorally to those struggling with unwanted SSA (same-sex attraction)".[86] which listed prominent American "ex-gay" and advocates of conversion therapy as the main speakers

Whilst many MPs severed their links with CARE after the event[87] Glen confirmed he would not be "bullied into cutting ties"[88] and in 2014 the Register of Members' Interests records that he has a CARE intern.[89] Additionally, Glen has accepted a payment from CARE for a speaking appointment [90] which was donated to charity.

Glen, who was himself a CARE intern[91] described the controversy as "a smear".[92] He distanced himself from the conference, making clear that "CARE did not use this term 'gay cure', they wouldn't use that term nor would my intern nor would I".[92]


Glen featured in the Guido Fawkes article on the re-renting scandal.[93] The article features a list of every MP who pays his own party for renting an office from them.[94]

He appeared again in their article Re-renting name and shame: 131 Tory re-renters[95]

Rent swapping[edit]

John Glen owns a flat in London and declares this in Section 8, Land and Property, of The Register of Members Interests ("Flat in London, from which rental income is received").[96] However, whilst he rents out his own flat, he also claims for another flat that he then hires and all of the associated costs of running that flat (e.g. rent, water, electricity, gas, television licence, council tax, service charges, etc.).

Glen's accommodation costs were noteworthy enough to be reported in the Daily Mail on an article regarding rising MP expenses.[97]


John is married to Emma and has two stepchildren, William and Emily. Emma used to work for the Foreign Office in Paris and works as a part-time Senior Secretary for Glen.[98]


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  58. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 09 Jan 2014 (pt 0002)". 
  59. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 18 Dec 2013 (pt 0002)". 
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  64. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 24 Oct 2012 (pt 0001)". 
  65. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 16 Oct 2012 (pt 0004)". 
  66. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 27 Mar 2012 (pt 0003)". 
  67. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 01 Feb 2012 (pt 0002)". 
  68. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 20 Oct 2011 (pt 0003)". 
  69. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 Oct 2011 (pt 0001)". 
  70. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 16 Sep 2010 (pt 0003)". 
  71. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 04 Nov 2010 (pt 0003)". 
  72. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 27 May 2010 (pt 0017)". 
  73. ^ "John Glen MP: Unpaid work would be a practical, restorative, and compassionate means of paying court fines". Conservative Home. 
  74. ^ "John Glen MP: Rhetoric vs Reality, or why Miliband’s speech will be forgotten". Conservative Home. 
  75. ^ "John Glen MP: Forces families receive mixed signals on accommodation". Conservative Home. 
  76. ^ "John Glen MP and Davis Lewin: Britain must ensure NATO remains the pre-eminent global military alliance". Conservative Home. 
  77. ^ "John Glen MP: Last week's election results were disappointing. But remember who we will be up against in 2015". Conservative Home. 
  78. ^ "Lessons From Libya". The Huffington Post UK. 
  79. ^ "John Glen MP: Compulsory redundancies for military personnel but voluntary redundancy for civilian personnel. Further reform of the MOD is urgently required.". Conservative Home. 
  80. ^ "Soft Power and British Foreign Policy". The Huffington Post UK. 
  81. ^ "John Glen MP: Access targets will lower the quality of our top Universities". Conservative Home. 
  82. ^ "Breaking politics and political news for Westminster and the UK -". 
  83. ^ Robert Booth. "'Gay cure' Christian charity funded 20 MPs' interns". the Guardian. 
  84. ^ "Our Causes". 
  85. ^ "Sex & the City Conference". 
  86. ^
  87. ^ "UK MP cuts ties to Christian gay ‘cure’ charity". Gay Star News. 
  88. ^ "MP John Glen refuses to cut ties with ‘gay cure’ charity". PinkNews. 
  89. ^ "TheyWorkForYou". 
  90. ^ "". Search the Money. 
  91. ^
  92. ^ a b "MP John Glen in 'gay cure' charity row". BBC News. 23 April 2012. 
  93. ^ "Names of Every MP Caught in Re-Renting Scandal". Guido Fawkes. 
  94. ^ "Scribd". 
  95. ^ "Re-Renting Name and Shame: The 131 Tory Re-Renters". Guido Fawkes. 
  96. ^
  97. ^ Martin, Daniel (7 September 2012). "£89m! MPs' expenses soar by more than a quarter in just a year". Daily Mail (London). 
  98. ^ "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests (9th February 2015) - Part 2: Part 2". 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Key
Member of Parliament for Salisbury