|The Right Honourable
|Member of Parliament
for Cities of London and Westminster
7 June 2001
|Preceded by||Peter Brooke|
6 October 1964 |
Hanover, West Germany
|Spouse(s)||Victoria née Elphicke|
|Relations||Charlie Elphicke MP|
|Alma mater||St Edmund Hall, Oxford|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Website||Mark Field – Home Page|
Early life and education
Born at the British Military Hospital in Hanover, Germany, his father (Peter, died 1991) was a Major in the British Army and his mother (Ulrike, née Peipe, died 2010) was of German birth. Mark Field was educated at state-funded grammar school, Reading School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Jurisprudence in 1987. He was Secretary and National Political Officer of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1985–86; JCR President of St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1986; he was also News Editor of student newspaper Cherwell while it was under the editorships of Christina Lamb and Anne McElvoy. During his student days, Field also set up a small publishing business after spotting a gap in the market for careers handbooks in the legal profession. He completed his education at The College of Law, Chester, qualifying as a solicitor in 1990.
Career before Parliament
Whilst an undergraduate at Oxford University he became a personal assistant to the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, John (now Lord) Patten, before training as a solicitor and practising as a corporate lawyer with Freshfields between 1990 and 1992. He then became a director of his own lawyer employment agency, Kellyfield Consulting from 1994 until 2001; the company employed a dozen staff and turned over almost £2 million pa. After being elected to Parliament he sold his share of that business to a consortium headed by his ex-business partner.
Field served as Vice-Chairman of the Islington North Conservative Association for two years from 1989, before being elected a Councillor for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1994, standing down in 2002 after entering the House of Commons. He had unsuccessfully contested the Conservative held seat of Enfield North at the 1997 general election following the retirement of the sitting MP Tim Eggar. However, 1997 was the year of Labour's parliamentary landslide and he was defeated at that election by Labour's Joan Ryan by 6,822 votes.
In December 1999 he was selected to contest the safe Conservative seat of the Cities of London and Westminster following the retirement of former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Brooke at the 2001 general election. Field won the seat with a majority of 4,499 and has been returned to Parliament with an increased majority three times since (2005 – 8095; 2010 – 11076; 2015 – 9671).
In Parliament, Mark Field was a member of the Lord Chancellor's Department (renamed Constitutional Affairs) Select Committee for a year from 2003. He was appointed an Opposition Whip by Iain Duncan Smith in 2003, becoming the Shadow Minister for London later that year. Between May and December 2005 he was Shadow Financial Secretary to HM Treasury. In the eleven months to November 2006 he was the Conservative Party's spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport under the new leadership of David Cameron in 2005. During his tenure he guided Opposition policy on the National Lottery Act 2006 and promoted policy safeguarding lottery funds for its four original causes of the Arts, heritage, charities and sport. He also led debates and opposition to the lack of leadership and vision in Britain's declining public library service. His responsibilities ranged from the Arts, Heritage, Architecture and Design, Museums and Galleries, the Royal Parks, Regional Policy and Local Government as well as aspects of broadcasting.
In September 2010, Field was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Intelligence & Security Committee, chaired by former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind. He became the youngest MP on this committee, which reports directly to 10 Downing Street and oversees the UK’s intelligence and security services.
He takes a special interest in economic affairs, financial services, foreign trade and international development and is currently Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Venture Capital & Private Equity as well as Vice-Chairman of the Groups on Football and Bangladesh. He previously served as Chairman of the APPGs for Azerbaijan and Business Services. He has served on the Standing Committees of several important pieces of legislation, including the Business Rates Supplements Act and the Finance Acts in 2008 and 2009.
As a backbencher, Field has tabled a number of debates on issues of local and national importance such as homelessness, Northern Ireland, Government debt, Heathrow airport, policing in London, social housing, home education and population estimates. He has run local campaigns on business rates, St Bartholomew's Hospital, assisting the creative industries, the control of rickshaws in the West End, social housing rent rises, the independence of the City of London Police (including its fraud detection expertise) and in July 2011 successfully argued in Parliament for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's continuing control of the Royal Parks.
In October 2011, Field voiced opposition to Occupy London protestors camped in his constituency. He expressed concern that their "tent city" was turning into a "semi-permanent encampment" which was disrupting St Paul's, a "key iconic tourist site" and place of worship. He suggested that police should clear the camp at night and went on record in The Daily Telegraph, stating: "While no one expects anti-capitalism to be a 24-hour activity, I would have hoped the protesters would show a little more respect for the sanctity of St Paul’s." On 28 February 2012, after 137 days of occupation, Field's initial recommendation became reality following a Court order when the site was cleared by the City of London Police in just 137 minutes.
In March 2014, he launched Conservatives for Managed Migration in order to spark a "calm and rational debate about migration both within and beyond the Conservative Party" before the 2015 General Election. Field asserted that the Coalition Government's pledge to get "annual net migration down to the tens of thousands" was undeliverable, risked potential harm to the economy and could ultimately be electorally damaging to the Conservative Party.
In March 2015, Field was sworn of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, thereafter being accorded the honorific prefix of "The Right Honourable". He serves as Patron of the Bishopsgate Institute and of the St Andrew's Club in London; he has also been admitted as a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors.
Writer and commentator
Since 2007 Mark Field has been a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour. He also appears frequently on various other BBC TV programmes, including Daily Politics, Sunday Politics & Newsnight, ITV’s Late Debate (panellist since 2009) and Sky News as a newspaper reviewer. He makes regular contributions to the influential political blog, ConservativeHome, particularly on economic matters.
His first book, Between the Crashes, brings together his articles on UK politics and global economics following the aftermath of the financial crisis and was released by Biteback Publishing in April 2013.
Field's first marriage to Michèle Acton ended in divorce in 2006, reportedly being in difficulty before his affair with Liz Truss which occurred during 2004–05. Their affair contributed significantly towards Truss facing in November 2009 an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to deselect her as a Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate; Truss is now Conservative MP for South West Norfolk since 2010 and a Cabinet member since 2014.
- "Mark Field". UK Parliament. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Mark Field: Electoral history and profile – Politics – The Guardian". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 27 Jun 2001 (pt 18)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "About Mark". Mark Field MP. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Mark Field". Conservative Party. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Boris will not be given control of royal parks". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- MPs who milked the expenses system now complain about attempts to reform it. Daily Telegraph, 29 August 2009
- "MPs' expenses – what your MP claimed – A-H". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Occupy London: Thermal Images 'Reveal Camp Empties At Night'". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Bishop of London branded hypocrite as he backs St Paul's protest... and eviction". Telegraph.co.uk. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "St Paul's camp: Occupied for 137 days, cleared in 137 minutes". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Field, Mark. "Conservatives for Managed Migration want a sensible immigration policy, not an open door". Conservative Home. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Tory MP's group wants net migration target dropped". BBC News. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Privy Council appointments: March 2015". Press release. Prime Minister's Office. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "St Andrew's Youth Club :: Home". Standrewsclub.com. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "The Government must hold its nerve on bank stakes". Telegraph.co.uk. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "The fee pool – London's essential export". Telegraph.co.uk. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Hobbling the City will also hobble the country". Telegraph.co.uk. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Mark Field MP (10 January 2011). "What happened to 'a new politics'?". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "MF Global’s bankruptcy highlights perilous faults in UK finance rules". Cityam.com. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "There’s no third way for the City in Britain’s relationship with the EU". Cityam.com. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "How rent-a-mob jihadis are tormenting a benighted Christian minority in Bashar al-Assad's Syria". The Independent. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Richard Kay and Michael Seamark "A-list Tory's affair with married Cameron high-flyer", Daily Mail, 20 May 2006
- "Deselection meeting 'over affair'", BBC News, 27 October 2009
- Field's official site
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Debrett's People of Today
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for the Cities of London and Westminster