Mark Field

Mark Field
Mark Field MP
Member of Parliament
for Cities of London and Westminster
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Peter Brooke
Majority 11,076 (30%)
Personal details
Born 6 October 1964 (1964-10-06) (age 47)
Hanover, Niedersachsen, Germany
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Victoria Elphicke
Residence London
Alma mater St Edmund Hall, Oxford
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Religion Church of England
Website Mark Field - Home Page

Mark Christopher Field (born 6 October 1964), is a British Conservative Party politician and MP for the Cities of London and Westminster.


Early life and education

Born at the British Medical Hospital in Hanover, Germany, his father was a British Army officer whose wife, Field's mother, is of German birth. Mark Field was educated at Reading School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford[1] and graduated with a Master's degree in Law (MA) in 1987, and was National Political Officer of the Oxford University Conservative Association 1985-86. He completed his education at The College of Law, Chester, qualifying as a solicitor in 1988.

Career before Parliament

In 1984 he became a personal assistant to the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, John (now Lord) Patten, before practising as a solicitor with Freshfields in 1990. He then became a director of his own employment agency, Kellyfield Consulting from 1994 until 2001, but after being elected to Parliament he sold his share of that business to a consortium led by his former business partner.

He became the Vice Chairman of the Islington North Conservative Association for two years from 1989, and was elected as a Councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1994 before standing down after his election to the House of Commons in 2002. He contested the Conservative held seat of Enfield North at the 1997 General Election following the retirement of the sitting MP Tim Eggar. However, 1997 was the year of Labour's Parliamentary landslide and he was defeated at the election by Labour's Joan Ryan by some 6,822 votes.

Parliamentary career

In December 1999 he was selected to contest the safe Conservative seat of the Cities of London and Westminster following the retirement of the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Brooke at the 2001 General Election. Field won the seat with a majority of 4,499 and has been returned to Parliament with an increased majority ever since. His constituency includes many of London's famous and iconic sights, such as St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Bank of England, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall as well as the Houses of Parliament.

Field made his maiden speech on 27 June 2001, when he announced his great political hero was the former Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law.[2]

In Parliament, Mark Field was a member of the Lord Chancellor's Department and the renamed Constitutional Affairs Select Committee for a year from 2003. He was made an Opposition Whip by Iain Duncan Smith in 2003, becoming the Shadow Minister for London later that year. Between May and December 2005 he was Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury. In the eleven months to November 2006 he was the Conservative Party's spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport under the new leadership of David Cameron in 2005. During his tenure he led for the Opposition on the National Lottery Act 2006 and promoted the policy of safeguarding lottery funds for the four original causes of the arts, heritage, charities and sport. He also led debates and opposition to the lack of leadership and vision in Britain's declining public library service. His other responsibilities included the Arts, Heritage, Architecture and Design, Museums and Galleries, the Royal Parks, Regional Policy and Local Government as well as aspects of broadcasting.

In September 2010, Field was appointed by the Prime Minister to the prestigious Intelligence & Security Committee, chaired by former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind. He is the youngest MP on this Committee, which reports directly to 10 Downing Street and oversees the UK’s intelligence and security services.

He takes a special interest in economic matters, financial services, foreign trade and international development and is currently Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Azerbaijan; Venture Capital & Private Equity; and Business Services; as well as Vice Chairman of the Groups on Football and Bangladesh. He has served on the Standing Committees of several important pieces of legislation, including the Business Rates Supplements Act and the Finance Acts in 2008 and 2009. He has also written for the Daily Telegraph about City of London financial regulatory reform.[3]

As a backbencher, Field has tabled a number of debates on issues of local and national importance such as homelessness, Government debt, Heathrow airport, policing in London, social housing, home education and population estimates. He has run local campaigns on business rates, St Bartholomew's Hospital, assisting the creative industries, the control of rickshaws in the West End, social housing rent rises, the independence of the City of London Police and on 19 July 2011 successfully argued in Parliament for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's continuing control of the Royal Parks.[4]

Field was an outspoken critic of the previous system governing MPs' second home allowances.[5] Field was found not to be making excessive claims[6] by the Daily Telegraph's investigation of MPs’ expenses.

Since 2007 Mark Field has been a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour. He also appears frequently on BBC 1’s Daily Politics, ITV’s Late Debate and Sky News as a newspaper reviewer. He makes regular contributions, to the influential political blog, ConservativeHome, particularly on economic matters. He articulated the thoughts of many following the overwhelming "No to AV" referendum which was held on 5 May 2011, saying: “I’m pretty sure that David Cameron will be very energised by what’s happened. Clearly there will be an effort to try to sure up [sic] Nick Clegg’s position but I think the idea now that there will be a whole lot of policy concessions allowing the Liberals to look good in the months to come is way, way short of the mark.” [7]

Field is Patron of the Bishopsgate Institute and St Andrew's Club.[8] He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors.

In October 2011, Field voiced opposition to Occupy_London protestors in his constituency. He expressed concern that their "tent city" was turning into a "semi-permanent encampment" which was disrupting St Paul's, a "key iconic tourist site" and place of worship. He suggested that police should clear the camp at night[9] and went on record in the Daily Telegaph, stating: "While no one expects anti-capitalism to be a 24-hour activity, I would have hoped the protesters would show a little more respect for the sanctity of St Paul’s."[10]

Personal life

Field is married to celebrity agent, Victoria Elphicke (sister of the Conservative MP for Dover, Charlie Elphicke). They live in Westminster and Majorca with their son, Frederick William Crispian Field, born on 19 December 2007, and their daughter, Arabella Matilda Catherine Field, born in June 2011. Field's first marriage to Michèle Acton ended in divorce in 2006, reportedly in difficulties before his affair with Liz Truss which occurred in 2004-05,.[11] The affair was a significant factor in causing Truss to face an unsuccessful attempt in November 2009 to remove her as a Conservative parliamentary candidate.[12] Truss is now the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk since 2010.

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Brooke
Member of Parliament for the Cities of London and Westminster


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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