Mark Francois

Mark Francois
The Right Honourable
Mark Francois
Shadow Minister for Europe
In office
29 May 2007 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Graham Brady
Member of Parliament
for Rayleigh and Wickford
Rayleigh (2001–2010)
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Michael Clark
Majority 22,338 (42.7%)
Personal details
Born 14 August 1965 (1965-08-14) (age 46)
Islington, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Karen Thomas
Alma mater University of Bristol
King's College London
Religion Church of England

Mark Gino Francois (born 14 August 1965) is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rayleigh and Wickford.


Early life

Mark Gino Francois was born in Islington, London. He was educated at the Nicholas Comprehensive School in Basildon, Essex and at the University of Bristol where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1986. He was also the chairman of the University's Conservative Association. He completed his studies at King's College London where he earned a MA in War Studies in 1987.

On leaving university he became a management trainee with Lloyds Bank. In 1988 he joined lobbying company Market Access International, leaving as a director in 1996 to set up his own lobbying firm Francois Associates.

Councillor and parliamentary candidate

He was a member of Basildon District Council for four years from 1991. He stood for Brent East during the 1997 general election, and lost to Ken Livingstone (who later became the Mayor of London). Following the death of Alan Clark in 1999, he narrowly lost out to Michael Portillo in the selection for the 1999 Kensington and Chelsea by-election. On the retirement of Dr. Michael Clark at the 2001 general election he beat Boris Johnson to be selected to fight the safe Tory seat of Rayleigh.

Member of Parliament and Shadow Cabinet

Francois held the seat comfortably with a majority of 8,290 and remains the MP. He made his maiden speech on 4 July 2001.[1]

In Parliament he served as a member of the environmental audit select committee for the duration of his first parliament. He was promoted to become an Opposition Whip in 2003 by Michael Howard, in September 2004, to be a Shadow Minister as Economic Secretary in the Shadow Treasury Team and latterly as the Shadow Paymaster General with shadow responsibility for HM Revenue & Customs.

He served as an officer the Territorial Army, including with the local Royal Anglian Regiment. He lives in Rayleigh. He has been a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies since 1999, a member of the Lions Club, President of the Rayleigh Conservative Club and Honorary President of the Rayleigh Brass. He was promoted to be Shadow Minister for Europe in May 2007 and took his special provision of membership of the Shadow Cabinet in the January 2009 Shadow Cabinet Reshuffle.

He was appointed as a Privy Counsellor on 9 June 2010. [1] He is a Vice-President of Conservative Friends of Poland.[2]

He acted as the 'hostage' MP at Buckingham Palace during the State Opening of Parliament on 25 May 2010. [3]

Personal life

He married Holly Thomas in June 2000 in Langdon Hills, Basildon.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Clark
Member of Parliament for Rayleigh
Political offices
Preceded by
Helen Jones
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
Preceded by
Graham Brady
Shadow Minister for Europe
Succeeded by
Chris Bryant

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