Born in West Dorset; Championing West Dorset
Chris was born at the Yeatman Hospital, Sherborne in September 1981. He enjoyed a rural upbringing at Folke on his parents' family farm, where he is the 4th generation. He attended primary schools at Holwell and Bishops Caundle, before attending The Gryphon School for his secondary education. He still lives near Sherborne, not far from the family farm still run by his parents. On the 28th September 2019, he was formally adopted as the Prospective Conservative MP for West Dorset; on the 12th December 2019, he was elected as the MP for West Dorset with a majority of 14,106.
Chris wasn't fortunate enough to go to university and instead, at age 18. began his railway career with a job as a train guard on the Waterloo to Exeter line, then as a manager for the Bournemouth to Weymouth line. In 2003, he moved from Sherborne to work with major rail operators in London, across the UK and then to Europe in 2010. Returning to the UK railways in 2012, he became Head of Service Strategy for a railway in the South West. He progressed to lead a team of 300 running the UK's best performing train company, creating more train services and better connections for Dorset, whilst delivering the multi-million-pound upgrade of London Waterloo station - the largest in Europe.
Long before being elected as MP, Chris developed his public service career when, at age 18, he became Parish Clerk for Bishops Caundle in 1998/99. For this, he was awarded the young person’s merit award for commitment to the local community. He was elected to West Dorset District Council to represent villages to the south of Sherborne in 2013 and was Association Chairman of West Dorset Conservative Association for three and a half years until August 2019.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys travelling, bellringing, classical music, national politics and rural affairs, and has held various voluntary roles including Chairman of the Institution of Railway Operators, Councillor of Southwark Cathedral and Director/Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport as well as being a Freeman of the City of London. As a Christian, he has also been a member of Sherborne Parochial Church Councils and is an occasional organist at Folke, Bishops Caundle and other local churches. He learned to bell-ring at St James’ Church Longburton.
How to keep up-to-date with Chris
As the Member of Parliament for West Dorset, Chris is keen to regularly update his constituents and members of the public on the work he is doing. He sends out a fortnightly newsletter, which you can subscribe to via the Home Page. He regularly sends out press releases, available on the News & Press webpage.
Chris also writes in several local newspapers and magazines, including a weekly column for the Western Gazette; Dorset Echo; and the Bridport and Lyme Regis News. He also writes a monthly column for the West Dorset Magazine, the Sherborne Times, and the Blackmore Vale Online; and a the fortnightly column for the New Blackmore Vale magazine.