Getting Stuff Done!
I was raised and grew up in Bristol, going to school in the constituency, I live in Westbury-on-Trym and my father has worked as a surgeon at Southmead Hospital and the BRI for over thirty years. I studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford and my interests include surfing, surf-life-saving, writing, art, Bob Dylan, running and swimming. Although I do not do as much of the latter as I should! I used to swim competitively, representing City of Bristol, and made the age-group national finals in 200m and 100m backstroke. I also enjoy boxing training and I am very proud to be President of Avonmouth National Smelting Boxing Club.
I have had a range of career experience – from charity work to politics, tutoring children, television production and sports coaching. Whilst at University and afterwards I worked on the Atlantic-coast beaches of North Cornwall as a surf-life-guard. I also taught swimming, worked as a leisure centre assistant, lifeguard and gym instructor at Thornbury Leisure Centre – as well as at my parents' local pub, The Fox. I later worked in Television at The BBC, on 'The Weakest Link' and 'The Holiday Programme'; and for independent companies on programmes for Sky One and the BBC.
I then went into politics co-authoring the report 'More Good School Places' for the Think Tank 'Policy Exchange', which first made the case for the Government's policy of the 'pupil premium'. After this, I worked as Special Adviser to then Shadow Education Secretary, David Willetts. I have also worked for The Young Foundation, and the National Autistic Society, where I was very pleased to be able to help with their Autism Bill.
I formerly edited ‘Crossbow’, the magazine of the think tank The Bow Group, and I have written for a number of publications including The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian Website, Prospect Magazine, and The Spectator.