Nigel was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Selby and Ainsty in May 2010 with a swing of 9.7% from Labour and a majority of 12,265 votes. He was re-elected in May 2015 with an increased majority of 13,557 votes and 53% of total votes cast.
A local man born and bred
Being from a community and having knowledge of local issues and problems affecting residents is a big advantage for any Member of Parliament. Nigel was raised in the constituency and attended Camblesforth Primary followed by Selby High School from 1978 to 1984.
Nigel’s upbringing cannot be described as that of a “typical old school Tory”. His parents moved from South Yorkshire mining villages to the Selby area in the late 1950’s. His late mother worked as a school cleaner and for 20 years as a Home Help in the Selby area. His father retired as school caretaker at Read School, Drax in 1991.
Nigel left school aged 17 and early in his work career, was made redundant. Because of this, he was inspired to set up his first business aged 26. He started his telecommunications company from scratch with a £20 a week Enterprise Allowance Scheme Government grant and the company grew successfully year on year and by the time it was acquired by a PLC in 1999, the business had over 40 staff and a turnover of several million pounds.
Following his election in May 201, Nigel served as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to two Leaders of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, The Rt Hon Lord Strathclyde and subsequently his successor, The Lord Hill of Oareford, from August 2010 to July 2014.
Nigel also served on the Number 10 Policy Board with responsibility for Economic Affairs 2014-2015.
An effective campaigner and champion for our local area
He has consistently championed local businesses and actively promotes his constituency to potential investors looking to locate their businesses in Yorkshire. Nigel conceived the idea for and has organised the Selby District Jobs Fair for the last 5 years. Over 50 companies and 800 residents attend the event matching prospective employers with employees. Since the 2010 election, unemployment in Nigel’s constituency has fallen by almost 60%.
Nigel is an enthusiastic advocate for renewable energy via Biomass generation as both Drax and Eggborough power stations aim to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and as such, he is Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Biomass Group. He has been a vocal opponent of inappropriately sited large-scale onshore windfarms and in 2014 successfully introduced a bill to abolish taxpayer subsidies for onshore windfarms. The newly elected Conservative majority government subsequently announced plans to abolish onshore windfarm subsidies.
In Autumn 2013, Nigel gained praise from the Chancellor for successfully leading the campaign to restore the concessionary coal allowance to retired coal miners, who had their allowance stopped following the collapse of UK Coal.
Nigel also has a keen interest in the UK music industry, tourism and rural broadband and their effect on the UK economy. He has led parliamentary debates on these issues and continues to champion these policy areas. Nigel is Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Music and is the Patron of the Rock the House nationwide competition.
Nigel is married to Claire and they have four children between the ages of 13 and 20 and live near York. Nigel is a keen sportsman and still occasionally plays cricket locally in the York Senior League. He is also a former member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s members committee and is Secretary of the Lords and Commons Cricket Club. His greatest sporting achievement was captaining the Lords and Commons Cricket team against MCC at Lord’s in 2013 where he managed to score 125 not out at the home of cricket.
Nigel is also a charity fundraiser and is actively involved on the Yorkshire committee of The Lord’s Taverners and is a Patron of the Selby Hands of Hope charity.
He has been a Governor at Selby High School and is a former Chairman of Governors at Camblesforth Primary School.