After first being elected to Parliament in 2001, he served on the Select Committee on Work and Pensions and the Select Committee on Deregulation and Regulatory Reform.
He also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon David Davis MP until 2003. He was subsequently appointed first as a Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, and then as Shadow Minister for Disabled People.
After the 2005 General Election, Paul was made Shadow Minister for Childcare and Shadow Economic Secretary in the Conservative Treasury team by David Cameron. In July 2007, he was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government.
He has co-authored Healthy Choice for the Future, a pamphlet about health services, with Rt Hon John Redwood MP and Angela Watkinson MP.