Brief Personal History

Born in 1955
Raised on a dairy farm in East Devon with his parents and five brothers.

1978
Married his wife Jan.

1980
Trained as a lawyer. Later joined a Plymouth-based law firm and specialised in company and employment law.

1986
Started his involvement in Politics. He wished to make a contribution to the community.

1986
Elected to Plymouth City Councilwhere he served for six years.

1992 - 1997
Elected Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton. Subsequently elevated to the whip's office.

1995 - 1997
Promoted to Minister in the Lord Chancellor's department.

1997 - May 2001
Re-elected as MP for the new South West Devon constituency with a majority of 7,471.

June 1998 - Sept 2001
Shadow secretary of state for International Development.

June 2001 - May 2005
re-elected as MP for South West Devon with a majority of 7,144.

Sept 2001 - Sept 2002
Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party

Nov 2003 - Dec 2004
Shadow Minister in the International Affairs Department

May 2005 - April 2010
Re-elected as MP for South West Devon with a majority of 10,141

July 2005 - April 2010
Appointed a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee

September 2005
Appointed Chairman of the Conservative Human Rights Commission. Gary resigned as chairman in March 2007 and remains on the commission.

September 2005 - March 2008
Appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party International Office. Gary resigned as chairman in March 2008 to enable him to focus attention on a range of issues from the backbench.

October 2006
Appointed a member of the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission. In May 2009 asked to represent the Committee and answer Parliamentary Questions when required. Gary resigned from the committee in December 2016 having completed 10 years, seven of them answering parliamentary questions in the chamber every six weeks.

December 2006
Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues, formally entered in Register of All-Party Groups on 21 December 2006 and held its inaugural meeting on 7 February 2007. Gary stepped down as a co-chair in 2013.

January 2009
Joined the Chairmen's panel, chairing the weekly committees and debates that take place in the House of Commons when the House is sitting.

May 2010
Re-elected as MP for South West Devon with a majority of 15,874

June 2010
Appointed Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group - Christians in Parliament

July 2010 - 2013
Appointed Chairman of the board of Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Gary resigned as chairman in September 2013.

May 2015
Re-elected as MP for South West Devon with a majority of 20,109