James Philip Duddridge (born 26 August 1971) is a British Conservative politician and former banker. He has been the Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East since May 2005. He served as a government whip between May 2010 and September 2012 and as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between October 2015 and July 2016. He is currently Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State|
for Exiting the European Union
|Assumed office |
27 July 2019
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||James Cleverly|
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs|
11 August 2014 – 16 July 2016
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Mark Simmonds|
|Succeeded by||Alok Sharma|
|Lord Commissioner of the Treasury|
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Tony Cunningham|
|Succeeded by||Robert Goodwill|
|Member of Parliament for |
Rochford and Southend East
5 May 2005 – 6 November 2019
|Preceded by||Sir Teddy Taylor|
|Succeeded by||Election in progress|
|Born||26 August 1971|
|Spouse(s)||Katy née Thompson|
|Residence||Southend and London|
|Alma mater||University of Essex|
|Profession||Business Management (Banking)|
Early life and career
Duddridge served as Chairman of the Wells Young Conservatives from 1989 until 1991, and was elected Chairman of Essex University's Conservative Association in 1990. In 1991, whilst at university, local Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin appointed him as a researcher.
After graduating in 1993, Duddridge went on to pursue a career in the private sector. He was a banker with Barclays in the City of London and Africa for 10 years, rising to National Sales Director in the Ivory Coast and eventually running the bank’s operations in Botswana with a staff of 750 people. He was also a founder member of the polling firm YouGov.
Duddridge unsuccessfully contested Rother Valley at the 2001 general election for the Conservative Party, finishing second some 14,882 votes behind the sitting Labour MP, Kevin Barron but achieving a 5% swing in his favour. He was subsequently selected as the Conservatives' parliamentary candidate for Rochford and Southend East at the 2005 general election, following Sir Teddy Taylor's retirement. He held the seat for the Conservatives with a majority of 5,494 and delivered his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 9 June 2005.
From 2005 to 2007, Duddridge has served on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, and the International Development Committee from 2006 to 2008, and in January 2008, he was appointed an Opposition Whip. He was returned at the 2010 general election again as Rochford and Southend East's MP, becoming a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (Government Whip) with responsibility for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Education, but later left government in Prime Minister David Cameron's September 2012 reshuffle.
On 3 December 2010, Duddridge was permitted to reply on HM Government's behalf from the Despatch Box during an Adjournment debate, a rarity as Commons Whips – particularly Government Whips – by convention do not speak in the Chamber.
Duddridge voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013 and its third reading in May 2013.
On 11 August 2014, it was announced that Duddridge would return to Government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs following the resignation of Mark Simmonds over his claims that he 'could not support his family in London on an MP's salary'.
In September 2014, he claimed £11,348 for accommodation in London on expenses, mostly for hotels, despite already owning two homes in the city. He stated that his claims were in accordance with the Independent Parliamentary Standards authority. The previous year, it was reported that he had the highest expenses claim of local MPs in Essex. He was accused by Sir Ian Kennedy of pursuing a "squalid vendetta" after he helped block the former head of the Commons expenses watchdog from an appointment to a new job of electoral commissioner in January 2018.
Duddridge is seen as highly Eurosceptic having suggested in 2013 that the Government should tell the European Commissioner to "sod off" rather than pay benefits to Romanians and Bulgarians.
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, Duddridge 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.
On 9 February 2017, Duddridge tabled an Early Day Motion following comments made by Commons speaker John Bercow on the subject of the pending state visit of US President Donald Trump. The motion proposed "that this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker", and received criticism from across the house. The bid to remove Bercow as Commons Speaker failed after just five MPs backed Duddridge's motion of no confidence.
In the House of Commons he sits on the High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Commons) and has sat on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, the International Development Committee, the Regulatory Reform Committee, the Procedure Committee and the International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact.
On 27 September 2017, The Times reported that Duddridge, who was Africa minister until 2016, was being paid £3,300 for eight hours' work a month as a consultant for Brand Communications on top of his MP's salary. The newspaper reported that this had led to renewed calls to review the rules surrounding jobs for former members of government. It was reported that he was working for Brand Communications and that the company was one of a handful that had not agreed to the industry’s code of conduct that bans hiring sitting MPs. Duddridge told The Times: "The work I do involves helping companies going into the African marketplace re-brand themselves. It is not a public affairs role."
- Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (9 June 2005). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 9 Jun 2005 (pt 26)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2016.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Isaby, Jonathan. "Government whip makes speech from the Despatch Box—is this a first?". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Second Reading – 5 Feb 2013 at 18:52 – The Public Whip". Publicwhip.org.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Third Reading – 21 May 2013 at 18:59 – The Public Whip". Publicwhip.org.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "Ministerial appointments: 11 August 2014 – News stories". GOV.UK. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "James Duddridge in £11,000 benefits row over hotel expense". Southend Echo. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "MPs' claimed £167,000 expenses over last year". Southend Echo. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Sir Ian Kennedy accuses MPs of 'squalid vendetta' over expenses". BBC News. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Watt, Nicholas (11 August 2014). "Africa minister Mark Simmonds resigns". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Early day motion 943".
- "Campaign to remove John Bercow 'undignified' says Tory MP". BBC News. 19 February 2017.
- "Bid to oust John Bercow falters as just five MPs sign motion of no confidence in Commons speaker". The Daily Telegraph. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "James Duddridge". Parliament UK. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Wright, Oliver (27 September 2017). "Conservative MP James Duddridge earns £400 an hour from lobbying company Brand Communications". The Times. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- Mattha Busby (27 July 2019). "Nadine Dorries joins Department of Health and Social Care". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- James Duddridge MP's official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Debrett's People of Today
- Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: James Duddridge MP
- BBC: meet the MP
- BBC Politics webpage
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Rochford and Southend East