John Whittingdale was first elected as a Conservative MP in 1992, being re-elected for the constituency of Maldon in 2019 with a massive majority of 30,041.
The constituency of Maldon is a relatively long and narrow seat that stretches across the middle of Essex. It includes the towns of South Woodham Ferrers. Nearer the coast it includes the estuary town of Maldon, and Burnham-on Sea, where there is a particularly strong sailing and yachting community. This area of Essex has supported the Conservatives continuously since 1955, and in 2019 the party polled a very sizable 72% of the vote here, making it one of the party’s safest seats in the UK.
Whittingdale served as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport between 2015 and 2016. He later then also served as the Minister of State for Media in the same department through 2020 and 2021.
Whittingdale served as Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for a decade between 2005 and 2015. During that time he was involved in the Committee’s inquiry into the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World newspaper. He was named Inquisitor of the Year in the 2011 Spectator Parliamentary Awards.
Born in 1959, John Whittingdale was educated at Winchester College and University College, London, where he graduated with a degree in economics.
After leaving university, Whittingdale worked in the Conservative Research Department, and was appointed Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 1984, serving three successive Secretaries of State until 1987.
He then went to work at NM Rothschild Merchant Bank before returning to politics in 1989, when he was appointed Political Secretary to the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
Whittingdale was one of six Cabinet Ministers to support Leave in the 2016 Brexit Referendum. Thereafter he regularly opposed Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.
He supported Boris Johnson in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election.
The Prime minister’s wife, Carrie, also previously worked for Mr Whittingdale for 15 months.
He was Vice Chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs between 2010 and 2015.
Whittingdale is a member of Mensa, the High IQ society.
Personal Website: www.johnwhittingdale.org.uk
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/john.whittingdale?fref=ts