22 Facts About Mark Harper


Mark Harper was a chartered accountant before his election to Parliament.


Mark Harper resigned as Immigration Minister amid a scandal in February 2014, but quickly returned to government as Minister of State for Disabled People in the July 2014 reshuffle.


Mark Harper was promoted to Cameron's Cabinet as Chief Whip of the House of Commons following the 2015 general election; he served in the role for a year before being sacked by incoming Prime Minister Theresa May in 2016.


Mark Harper was a candidate for Leader of the Conservative Party in the 2019 leadership contest, finishing 9th out of 10 candidates with 10 votes.


Mark Harper was born and raised in Swindon, Wiltshire, where he had a working class upbringing, his father a manual worker and his mother employed by a book club.


Mark Harper was educated at the Headlands Comprehensive School and Swindon College.


Mark Harper read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Brasenose College, Oxford where he studied under Professor Vernon Bogdanor.


Mark Harper contested the Gloucestershire seat of Forest of Dean at the 2001 general election, but was defeated by the sitting Labour MP Diana Organ.


Organ retired at the 2005 general election and Mark Harper gained the seat for the Conservatives with a majority of 2,049 votes, which was the same number of votes by which he was defeated at the previous election.


Mark Harper has sat on the Commons Administration Committee and briefly on the Work and Pensions Committee.


The scandal over MPs' expenses showed Mark Harper to be a frugal parliamentarian: his only significant expenses claim was for a brief period of temporary accommodation occupied on a short-term basis soon after being elected in 2005.


Mark Harper worked on the House of Lords Reform Bill, which set out to introduce a smaller second chamber consisting mostly of elected peers.


In October 2013, Mark Harper told MPs: "The advertising vans in particular were too much of a blunt instrument and will not be used again".


Mark Harper resigned as immigration minister on 8 February 2014, after he discovered that his self-employed cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK.


The ministerial reshuffle in July 2014 saw Mark Harper restored to office in the role of Minister of State for Disabled People at the Department for Work and Pensions.


In January 2015, Mark Harper appeared before the Work and Pensions Select Committee to face questions over the problems with PIP.


In February 2015, Mark Harper was interviewed by the BBC about David Cameron's request to Professor Dame Carol Black that she advise him on whether withholding ESA claimants' benefits if they were obese or addicted to alcohol or drugs would encourage them to undergo further treatment.


Mark Harper described this approach as "a very sensible move on the part of the Prime Minister".


Mark Harper was promoted to Chief Whip after the Conservative general election victory in May 2015.


In December 2015, after a vote in favour of using Britain's military capabilities against the Islamic State in Syria, the London Evening Standard reported that: "David Cameron dashed to the Government whips' office to congratulate Chief Whip Mark Harper following the Commons vote on the war, which saw MPs back action after a 10-hour debate".


Mark Harper said that Johnson was now "no longer worthy" of remaining Prime Minister.


Mark Harper was sworn in as a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council on 13 May 2015.