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"Family and home life are incredibly important to me.

"
I simply could not do the work that I do for our Party without the support of the members of my family, support which they give generously and constantly and for which I am eternally grateful"

I live with my wife Barbara in East Ham in the London Borough of Newham. I moved to London from the West Midlands in 1995 when Barbara and I got married, having met at the Conservative Party Conference in Bournemouth in 1994.

When I am not out campaigning or working, I like to spend as much time as possible with my family.

Fortunately, given my longstanding political involvement, we are a very political family, my elder step-daughter Elaine has been putting leaflets through letterboxes since she was in a pushchair, and my younger step-daughter Lisa is a first rate canvasser and fought her first local government campaign in 2006. Previously Barbara worked for Local Government Department (back in the Smith Square days) and, until 2010 for the Conservative Women's Organisation.

As you can imagine, with this combination I have very strong backing and support from my family for what I am trying to achieve in my political life.

As far as relaxation is concerned, when the opportunity presents I enjoy reading a wide range of literature with a special emphasis on the period from just after World War One to the end of the Cold War era. A fascinating chapter in world history which has shaped so much of our modern political and social agenda. I also have a very broad taste in music ranging from classical through jazz to the latest releases.

One constant companion for me is the radio - as my family members will attest - I am usually either carrying a portable radio or listening through the PC, 'phone or laptop over the net. I have been an avid listener to speech radio since the late 1960's and I invariably start each day with the Today programme (shouting at John Humphries is a great way to wake up) and end it (provided I haven't got any late night paperwork or emails to attend to) with the Radio 4 midnight news bulletin.

 
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