in Cornwall, Mark set up his first business in 1988, Global E., a music
promotions and equipment hire company. He moved to London to study at
the University of Westminster and graduated with a bachelor's honours
degree in Business and Economics. Mark
then studied at the University of Reading where he was awarded a master's
degree in Politics under the renowned Professors John Cottingham and
Barry Jones. During this time he was twice elected as the University's
admitted to the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House)
in 1996 and also became a member of the Carlton Club during this time.
continued for two years in a joint doctorate at St Antony's College
Oxford and Reading University, though had to put it on hold when his
business and political careers took off.
author and poet, in 1992 Mark spent three months in the USA "philosophising
with a hammer", debating life, the universe and everything. After
a writing holiday in Rome in 1994 he was awarded the Poetry Guild 'Editor's
Choice Award' of 1995. His first book on socio-political philosophy,
A Conquest of Thoughts, was published later that year.
fall of the Soviet Union, Mark also travelled to Eastern Europe. While
in Warsaw he joined the Polish-Lithuanian team that discovered plundered
Christian remains and burial vaults in Vilnius. Seeing first hand the
communists' repression and attempted destruction of the Church crystalised
Mark's belief in the importance of spiritual illumination, honour and
courage in politics and society. He
completed his travels with teaching in Poland in 1996.
worked in the House of Commons as Parliamentary Aide to Cabinet Office
minister Robert Hughes MP, Mark then joined blue chip companies BAE
Systems and later Capgemini in high profile marketing roles. During
this time he also served as Deputy-Chairman of Harrow West Conservative
Association, and for seven years was also Chairman of the Harrow on
the Hill ward.
for Republican Senator Rod Grams in the 2000 U.S. elections he returned
to the UK and founded the VML marketing agency, and was Managing Director
for ten years. In 2011 he handed over operational control and became
Chairman of the company. Mark also advises the boards of other companies
and is a non-exec board director of an NHS Hospitals Trust.
believer in duty and service to country, Mark joined H.M. Armed Forces
in 1996 and is a
commissioned officer in the
Royal Navy Reserve. He has served with UK and NATO forces, overseas,
at sea and at
national military headquarters in Northwood.
as a Parliamentary Candidate in 2007 Mark said, "Integrity and moral
courage are not meaningless words... they go to the heart of what a
miltary officer is... and I believe the same is true of being a MP."
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a decade's past experience in various community roles -
of a conservation committee, Director of a residents' association,
Board of Trustees of a heritage charity, and a school
governor - Mark first stood for public office in 1998 and was
elected to the London Borough of Harrow in 2002, representing the ward
of Harrow on the Hill. He topped the poll and denied Labour absolute
control of the Council.
quickly promoted, being made Chief Whip three months into his first
term, a role which he served in for three years, and then in 2005 was
appointed Chairman of the scrutiny select committee on children and
young people. In 2006 he was re-elected by the people of Harrow with
an increased majority and in May 2007 was promoted to Chairman of the
influential Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee, which oversaw
the Council's £620 million budget.
2007 he was selected in an open primary as the Conservative Parliamentary
Candidate for the Manchester constituency of Stretford and Urmston.
Mark fought various campaigns such as saving Trafford General's maternity
unit and having David Cameron visit the hospital in January 2008, stopping
the Manchester congestion charge, and helping to win medication funding
for local residents in a high profile case in 2007.
and a half years as candidate, and changing business commitments in
London at the height of the recession, the distance to Manchester became
an issue. Mark announced he would step down in October 2009.
2009 Mark became Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Forum of the Conservative
Party. His first official overseas engagement was in Macedonia in January
2010 representing the Conservative Party, with Lord Foulkes representing
the Labour Party, in meetings with the country's President and Parliament.
Affairs Forum is a Peers, MPs, and Parliamentary Candidate only group
that facilitates relationship building with individuals in foreign governments
and parliaments and also provides a media free environment where foreign
affairs can be debated and discussed among politicians from different
2011 Mark was elected to Central Bedfordshire Council representing the
ward of Heath and Reach, where he lives with his wife and four children.
Two weeks after his election he was appointed Executive Member for Children's
Services and Schools. In May 2011 he resigned his seat on Harrow Council
and also resigned as Managing Director of VML, to dedicate himself to
his new role in Central Bedfordshire.
for many years involved in a national race relations charity with his
British-born Indian wife and also served on the Board of Trustees of
Both Mark and his wife have been school governors since the 1990s.
musician with a Grade 8 from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama,
outside politics Mark spends time with his wife and four sons.