John was born in Aberdeen where he was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School. From there, he attended Dundee University, where he received an Honour’s Degree in History and Politics.
After graduating from his undergraduate degree, John went to Chester College of Law where he studied English Law and subsequently qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and did his articles with the Newcastle Upon Tyne firm of Dickinson Dees. Leaving Newcastle, John took time out to travel extensively through parts of the Middle East, Asia and then on to Australia and New Zealand.
On his return to the UK, he joined the Carlisle firm of solicitors Bendles becoming a partner in 1994.
John’s interest in politics has been long standing and he became heavily involved in Carlisle politics as Chairman of both Carlisle Conservative Association and Penrith and The Border Conservative Association as well as being elected a councillor for the ward of Stanwix urban in 1999. Whilst on the council John held a number of roles but resigned from the council in 2010 when he was elected Conservative MP for Carlisle with a majority of 853. He was the first Conservative to be elected as MP for Carlisle since 1959.
Outside politics John has taken a keen interest in travel having spent three months in Israel and the Middle East working in a kibbutz followed by his extensive travels after leaving his first job as a solicitor.
John is also a keen sportsman both as a spectator and as a participant, playing golf, tennis and running. John completed the New York and London Marathon in 2003/2004 and prior to his election he made a pledge that should he be elected he would cycle from his constituency to London. He completed the cycle in October 2010 raising £13,500 for the Eden Valley Hospice.
John hopes to run in the Cumbrian Half Marathon in October 2012.
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