David Amess was successfully re-elected as MP for Southend West in May 2010 with a majority of 7,270 votes.
He was born in Plaistow, London to James and Maud Ethel Amess, and raised Roman Catholic. He attended St Anthony's Junior and Infant School, then St. Bonaventure Grammar School (now St Bonaventure's Catholic Comprehensive School) on Boleyn Road in Forest Gate and then Bournemouth College of Technology, where he earned a BSc degree with honours in Economics and Government.
Amess taught at the St John the Baptist Primary School in Bethnal Green for a year from 1970, and then spent a short time as an underwriter before becoming a recruitment consultant. He became chairman of Accountancy Solutions from 1987-90, then Accountancy Group from 1990-6.
He contested the safe Labour Party seat of Newham North West at the 1979 General Election, and the seat was retained by Labour's MP Arthur Lewis. In 1982, Amess was elected as a councillor to the London Borough of Redbridge.
The sitting Conservative MP for Basildon, Harvey Proctor, moved to Billericay in the 1983 General Election, and Amess won the nomination to fight the Basildon seat. He was elected as the Member of Parliament for Basildon on 9 June 1983.
Amess continued to serve both as an MP and a local councillor until 1986, when he stood down from Redbridge Borough Council to concentrate on his Westminster seat. He held his Basildon seat narrowly at the 1987 General Election, in part by developing a significant personal following. During the 1987 campaign, the constituency was visited by future Prime Minister John Major.
Following the election Amess was appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Portillo, a position he held for ten years throughout Portillo's ministerial career. Amess held his seat again at the 1992 General Election, which was the first but vital sign that the Conservatives would unexpectedly win the 1992 election; the Basildon constituency was viewed as the make-or-break milestone.
In 1997, Amess moved to represent Southend West in Essex after the retirement of former Cabinet minister Paul Channon. Amess received the nomination and was returned to Westminster again, in the wake of the landslide Labour victory. His former seat of Basildon fell to the Labour candidate, Angela Smith.
Iveagh Hall, 67 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 1JW
Date of Birth
26 March 1952
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
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