Simon Hughes MP

  1. Simon Hughes MP
    Conservative Party MP of Folkestone and Hythe

    I was born in Cheshire, moving to Wales when I was eight and then to Herefordshire when I was eighteen.

    I read Law at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1970-73), joining the Union of Liberal Students and becoming President of the College Student Union.

    I was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1974. I then took the opportunity to study in Europe - spending a year at the College of Europe in Bruges of postgraduate European Studies.

    I moved to Southwark in 1978 and have lived here ever since. Before I entered local politics I was a youth leader with the Greenhouse Trust until 1982. During that time I was also the founding Chairman of the Burgess Park Residents' Association and for nearly ten years I was a member of Southwark Area Youth Committee.

    I was elected to Parliament as the youngest opposition MP in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election which set a still unbeaten record for swing between two parties in any British parliamentary election (50.9%).

    I was re-elected for the enlarged Southwark and Bermondsey constituency in 1983, 1987 and 1992. At the 1997 election the seat was enlarged again by the addition of a further ward - Newington - and renamed North Southwark and Bermondsey. I was again elected to represent the seat in 2001 with a significantly increased majority, and was re-elected in the 2005 general election.

    I consider myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to represent North Southwark and Bermondsey for such a long time.

    The constituency has always been a vibrant and exciting place to represent and I hugely enjoy living and working here. Since 1983 our local area has seen a large amount of regeneration and renewal. The traditional factories and industry have been largely replaced by new shops and communities and the constituency is now a thriving area for businesses as well as residents.

    Between 2005 and April 2010 there was still no shortage of work for me as the local MP and I spent over 70 hours per week helping constituents and representing their issues in parliament.