Biography

Stephen is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the regional “Metro” Mayor of the West of England.

Stephen was the MP for Bristol West from 2005 to 2015.  In his time in Parliament he served in several roles relevant to the Metro Mayoralty:

• Member of the Education and Skills Select Committee 2005-07
• Member of the Public Accounts Committee 2005-06
• Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Universities and Adult Skills 2006-10
• Liberal Democrat Spokesman on the Treasury 2010-13
• Minister for Communities at DCLG 2013-15 responsible for local economic growth, regulation of housing and for community cohesion.
• Vice Chair of the cabinet committee on local economic growth
• Member of the cabinet committee on devolution

Prior to being an MP Stephen was the Avon County councillor and Bristol City councillor for Cabot ward from 1993 to 1999 and was Leader of the Liberal Democrat council group. In Parliament Stephen worked with MPs from other parties on a variety of issues and was an officer in several cross party committees, including those on UK-USA relations and the Middle East.  He was chair of the committee on Smoking and health from 2010-13, following years of campaigning on a variety of public health issues.  In 2013 Stephen was awarded a UN medal by the World Health Organisation, the only British politician to receive such an honour.  Also in 2013 he led for the Liberal Democrats in all the legislative stages of the Same Sex Marriage Bill.

From the time of his graduation from Bristol University in 1988 (History and Economic History) he worked for 17 years in the private sector as a tax consultant.  He qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.  He advised hundreds of West of England companies, small businesses and individuals while working for PWC and Grant Thornton in their Bristol and Bath offices.  He worked as a tax manager in industry for local large employers Orange (EE), Wincanton Logistics, Kraft Jacobs Suchard and the RAC.