Dr Julian Lewis MP

  1. Dr Julian Lewis MP
    The Conservative MP for New Forest East

    Julian Lewis is the Conservative MP for New Forest East, in Hampshire. From November 2002 until May 2010, he was the Shadow Defence Minister for the Royal Navy, the nuclear deterrent and strategic issues. He held this post continuously, except for a period as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office from September 2004 until the 2005 General Election.

    He read Philosophy and Politics at Oxford before specialising in Strategic Studies. He was awarded his doctorate in 1981 and a book based on his research, Changing Direction: British Military Planning for Post-war Strategic Defence 1942–47, was published in 1988. A second edition, based on newly-declassified archives, was published by Frank Cass in 2003, and as a University paperback by Routledge in 2008.

    In the late 1970s, Julian waged a campaign to expose the activities of Trotskyist Militants in the Labour Party – a decade before they were eventually expelled.

    Between 1981 and 1985, he was a leader of the anti-CND campaigns waged by The Coalition for Peace Through Security, and by the Conservative Party. He briefed many politicians during the nuclear weapons debate and was Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Swansea West in 1983.

    In 1985, he became Director of the political consultancy Policy Research Associates, which successfully campaigned for changes in the law on Educational Indoctrination, Media Bias, Propaganda on the Rates, and Trade Union Democracy.

    Four years later, Julian Lewis and John Bercow – elected Speaker of the House of Commons on 22 June 2009 – began a series of Advanced Speaking and Campaigning Courses for Conservative activists. Over 60 of these were held in Conservative Central Office and elsewhere, including several in Eastern Europe and the United States.

    Julian was appointed Deputy Director of the Conservative Research Department in February 1990 and Director of the CCO Media Monitoring Unit in 1995. His role in forcing the Labour Opposition to retreat from its one-sided nuclear disarmament policy was publicly acknowledged in July 1991, but he resigned his CCO posts in December 1996 to oppose Britain joining a single European currency.

    In February 1996, he was selected from 179 applicants to be prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the new seat of New Forest East. He was elected to Parliament in May 1997, and re-elected in June 2001 and May 2005.

    In February 2000, Julian was appointed as one of the three Conservative Members of the Select Committee on Defence. The following month he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and European Affairs Committee, in succession to the late Michael Colvin. He stepped down from these posts on joining the front bench in September 2001 as an Opposition Whip.

    He was promoted in November 2002 to become a Shadow Defence Minister, specialising in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, nuclear deterrent and other strategic issues. During his time as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, in the months leading up to the 2005 General Election, he repeatedly tackled Labour's Alan Milburn at the Dispatch Box and took the lead in countering Government abuses of the new Freedom of Information legislation.

    Julian previously served for four years as Secretary of the Conservative Parliamentary Defence Committee, and has taken part in the RAF's programme for the 1998 Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, in the RAF's 2000 AFPS graduate programme, and in the Royal Navy's 2004 AFPS graduate programme. He is an AFPS member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, which selected his 2006 course dissertation for publication as a Seaford House Paper.

    In April 2006, the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies announced that Julian had been awarded 1st Prize in its 2005 Trench Gascoigne Essay Competition for his paper on Nuclear Disarmament versus Peace in the 21st Century. He won the 2007 RUSI Trench Gascoigne Essay Competition for a further paper entitled 'Double-I, Double-N': A Framework for Counter-Insurgency.

    From May to July 2008, he initiated and organised the successful campaign to change the Freedom of Information Act so that a dangerous High Court ruling, that 14 MPs' home addresses should be published, could never be repeated in respect of any other Parliamentarians. More than 250 backbenchers from all parties, as well as members of the Government and the Shadow Cabinet, supported this campaign.

    From July 2008, he initiated a second campaign to give candidates standing in General Elections the choice whether or not publicly to reveal their exact home addresses. This was incorporated into the Political Parties & Elections Bill, following Free Votes on his amendment in the Commons on 2 March and in the Lords on 17 June, 2009.