About James

James Brokenshire was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Old Bexley & Sidcup in May 2010 with a majority of 15,857 and over 50% of the vote.  James lives in Bexley with his wife Cathrine and the couple’s three children.

In the Constituency

James has campaigned to support local NHS services and led the ‘QMYes’ campaign to secure the future of Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup.  As part of this work James successfully lobbied for the hospital to be transferred out of the debt ridden South London Healthcare Trust and into stable new NHS ownership.  He has maintained a consistent drive to see new services added at QMS including a new radiotherapy unit to treat cancer patients locally. 

James has campaigned to see improvements to our local high streets including the successful campaign to get Waitrose to open in Sidcup.  James also helped secure short term parking for Bexley Village and backed the campaign to get a Sunday service on the B12 bus.  He has supported local firms and lobbied for additional business rate reliefs to help the high street.  James was a strong backer of Hope Community School in Footscray’s bid to become Bexley’s first Free School.  James’s other current campaigns include seeking improvements for passengers on Southeastern Trains. 

He is Patron of the Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association, a keen supporter of the Bexleyheath and District Club for the Disabled and an honorary member of the Sidcup Rotary Club and Old Dartfordians Rugby Club. 

In Government 

Following the 2010 General Election James was appointed as the Minister for Crime Prevention at the Home Office.  In this role James took forward reforms to alcohol licensing to curb drink fuelled crime and drugs policy including drafting the Government’s drugs strategy.  He was the lead Minister on the Government’s Protection of Freedoms Act which reformed criminal records bureau checks and provides additional safeguards to stop and search, DNA retention and CCTV surveillance powers to balance personal freedom and collective security.  He also made changes to the law to safeguard rights of protest at Parliament Square whilst preventing permanent encampments on this iconic site.  

From May 2011 to May 2015, James served as Security Minister at the Home Office with responsibility for domestic national security and counter terrorism including supporting the Home Secretary with oversight of the work of the Security Service (MI5) and the national Police Counter-Terrorism network.  James responsibilities also included the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, Contest, and he was part of the Prime Minister’s Extremism Taskforce. 

James led negotiations with the Jordanian government to secure the deportation of Abu Qatada.  He oversaw the security operations during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and has been taking forward work to promote UK security exports overseas, leading a security trade delegation to India in 2013. This role also saw James having oversight of the National Crime Agency responsible for combatting serious and organised crime, including cybercrime where James has been leading policy development for a number of years.

In February 2014, James was promoted to Minister of State for Immigration at the Home Office.  In this role he had oversight of Border Force, UK Visas & Immigration, Immigration Enforcment and HM Passport Office.

On 14 July 2016, James was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In this role he has responsibility for ensuring the smooth operation of the devolution settlement and promoting Northern Ireland as a place in which to invest and do business.

 

James is a Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council.

James’s Background

Born in 1968 in Southend-on-Sea, James went to school at Davenant Foundation Grammar School, Loughton, Essex. James also attended the Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies before going to Exeter University where he graduated with an honours degree in law.  Following university, James took his professional exams to become a solicitor at the City of London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University).

Before entering Parliament James practised law for thirteen years at a large international law firm becoming a partner at the firm. James specialised in company law, corporate finance, takeovers and flotations on the London Stock Exchange with a particular focus on biotech.  In this role James advised a range of companies, businesses and financial institutions in the UK and overseas.

James was the Member of Parliament for Hornchurch & Rainham (2005-2010); a member of the House of Commons Constitutional Affairs Select Committee (2005-6); and Shadow Minister for Crime Reduction (2006-10).

James enjoys watching cricket, jogging, listening to music and hill walking - particularly in the Highlands of Scotland.