Peter Heaton-Jones

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Peter Heaton-Jones

Official portrait of Peter Heaton-Jones crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for North Devon
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded byNick Harvey
Majority4,332 (7.8%)
Personal details
Born (1963-08-02) 2 August 1963 (age 55)
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of London
WebsiteOfficial website

Peter Heaton-Jones MP (born 2 August 1963) is a British Conservative Party politician and former journalist. A former Borough Councillor and Election Agent in Swindon, he was first elected as the Member of Parliament for North Devon at the 2015 general election.[1] Before working for the Conservative Party, he held senior positions in the media in both the UK and Australia, presenting news programming on BBC national and local radio in the UK, and was the former head of marketing for ABC radio in Australia.

Early life and career[edit]

Heaton-Jones was born on the 2 August 1963 in Kingston upon Thames. He began his broadcasting career after graduating from the University of London. He worked initially in commercial radio before joining the BBC in 1986, becoming a reporter, producer and news presenter at BBC Essex and anchoring the Breakfast and Drivetime programmes. He joined the national news and current affairs network BBC Radio 5 Live when it opened in 1994, presenting Morning Reports and Up All Night.[2]

In 1997, Heaton-Jones moved to Australia to join the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney. He became head of marketing for radio stations ABC NewsRadio, Radio National and ABC Classic FM, but left after three years as a result of the reorganisation instigated by controversial managing director Jonathan Shier.[citation needed]

He returned to the UK in 2000 and joined BBC Radio Swindon, gaining a high profile in the region as presenter of the Breakfast Show and Morning Show from 2000 to 2006. He was also a newspaper columnist for the Swindon Advertiser. He left full-time broadcasting in August 2006, apart from a guest role presenting the launch programme and first week of Breakfast shows at community radio station Swindon 105.5 in March 2008.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Heaton-Jones specialised as a political journalist, including the presentation of BBC election coverage nationally and locally from 1986 onwards. In 2006 he conducted a face-to-face interview with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.[2] After leaving the BBC he joined the British Conservative Party and wrote articles and policy documents. In 2006, Peter Heaton-Jones returned to Australia and worked on the election campaign of Rob Stokes, the Liberal Party candidate in the New South Wales Electoral district of Pittwater. The campaign succeeded, with Stokes regaining the seat for the Liberals from incumbent Independent Member of Parliament Alex McTaggart. After the election, Peter Heaton-Jones was appointed Stokes' policy advisor and press secretary in the New South Wales Parliament.

In 2007 he returned to live in the UK. He unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative Party candidate in the marginal Western ward of Swindon Borough Council at the 2008 local elections.[3] Following this, Heaton-Jones was appointed the Party's media and campaigns director. In 2009 he became a Councillor on Haydon Wick Parish Council and a Governor at Isambard Community School, both in North Swindon.[1]

In 2010, he served as agent and campaign director for the Conservative candidates in the North Swindon and South Swindon parliamentary constituencies, both of which were gained from the Labour Party at the general election on 6 May. On the same day he was elected to Swindon Borough Council as councillor for the Abbey Meads ward.[3] Following the election, he was appointed Senior Parliamentary Assistant to members of parliament Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson. He was also appointed to a number of committees on Swindon Borough Council, including the Planning and Scrutiny committees. In May 2012, Heaton-Jones was re-elected to Swindon Borough Council for the new St Andrews ward. He was appointed Chair of the Economic Scrutiny Committee and Vice-Chair of Scrutiny, and also served on the Licensing Committee.

In February 2013 he was selected as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon[4] and in March 2014 he resigned from Swindon Borough Council.[1]

He went on to win the seat in May 2015, defeating the incumbent Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey.[5] He was re-elected at the 2017 general election, although his majority fell by a third.

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Buckland was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.[6]

Heaton-Jones was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[7]

In the House of Commons he sat on the Environmental Audit Committee between 2015–2017.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Heaton-Jones lives in London and near South Molton in Devon.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Peter Heaton-Jones retires from Swindon Borough Council, peterheatonjones.org.uk; accessed 9 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b Gussin, Tony (25 February 2013). "Tories choose North Devon general election candidate". North Devon Gazette. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Swindon Council Election Results 1996-2012" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  4. ^ Profile Archived 16 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine, standrewsconservatives.info; accessed 11 May 2015.
  5. ^ Peter Heaton-Jones gives acceptance speech, northdevongazette.co.uk; accessed 11 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  7. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Peter Heaton-Jones". Parliament UK. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  9. ^ "About Peter". Personal website. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  10. ^ "IPSA". GOV.UK. Retrieved 20 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nick Harvey
Member of Parliament
for North Devon

2015–present
Incumbent