My parents were both teachers – dad taught maths and physics and mum taught music. My brother and I went to the local primary school and then I won a scholarship to Taunton School. From there I went on to read Law at Exeter University. My brother served as an officer in the Royal Navy.
As a family we were not party political but we always talked about current affairs so I became interested in politics.
After university I pursued a career in the law because I had always wanted to be an advocate. I have always derived great satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment from helping someone to make their case, but I began to think how much better it would be if, rather than just representing one person as a barrister, I could represent thousands of people as their Member of Parliament.
That led to me seeking selection as a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives. I was delighted to be chosen to represent the party in Rugby and Kenilworth in 2003, and even more delighted to win the seat back from Labour in 2005.
In Opposition I was a member of the Justice Committee – where my experience as a barrister proved extremely useful, and I formed the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia. This is an issue I believe deserves greater prominence as it will be one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades. I chaired the group until 2010 when my appointment to the Government, as a Whip, meant that I could no longer continue in this role.
In 2012 I was appointed to the position of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for the prison service, probation, rehabilitation and sentencing.
In the Government reshuffle in July 2014, I was promoted to be Attorney General, chief legal adviser to the government. The role also oversees the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.
I served as Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 9th July 2018 until the new Prime Minister took office on 24th July 2019.