Brief Life History
Richard was born in Holbrook, Derbyshire and lived on Blenheim Drive, Allestree, Derby for the first eleven years of his life – 1962 – 1973 and attended Allestree Portway Infants and Junior Schools.
Because of his father’s employment the family moved to Arnold (equally as Tory as Allestree if not even more) Nottingham in 1973.
During Richard’s formative years, despite being surrounded by people with a Tory mindset he developed some resiliant characteristics. He felt destitute having failed his 11+ exam, alienated from his friends and was angered by the way a Tory education policy seemd destined to permanently create division from a very young age. He felt left on the scrap heap and was determined to campaign for a better, fairer society where people were treated the same, whatever their background.
He had a very strict puritan upbringing, being brought up to believe that being a Tory and a certain type of “Christian” was the only way to live!
Richard left Arnold Hill Comprehensive School in 1978 and joined the Civil Service, first as a Casual Typist in 1979 (and was surrounded by women). For a 17-year-old adolescent male this seemed too unbelievably good to be true.
Richard joined the Labour Party in 1981 (much against the wishes of his parents). Working as he was then in the Social Security Offices Richard witnessed first hand the misery of long-term unemployment – and recalls grown men crying in front of him, having being put out of work because of the repressive Thatcher regime.
Richard was also horrified how the Miners were treated by Thatcher and MacGregor; this served as another reason from him joining the Labour Party.
Richard joined the Civil Service Trade Union – the Civil & Public Services Association (CPSA) during the early 80s and became active in representing the concerns of work colleagues to senior managers.
In 1991 Richard first stood for elected office as a Borough Councillor in Broxtowe and went on to represent constituents in the Eastwood East ward until 2003. Richard then opted to fight a more marginal seat resulting from boundary changes in May 2003. He topped the poll then, also in May 2007 and May 2011 in the Cossall & Kimberley Ward. Richard was successfully re-elected again at the borough elections on 7 May 2015 – despite the Labour cull throughout the rest of the country!
Between 1997 and 2005 Richard was also County Councillor for Kimberley & Trowell, and a member of Nottinghamshire Police Authority. He did not stand again in 2005 due to fighting his first parliamentary seat (Charnwood).
In September 2003 Richard left the Civil Service, securing employment with Helen Clark who was Labour MP for Peterborough. After guiding Helen through her re-selection process, Richard was chosen to fight the Charnwood Parliamentary seat for the Labour Party. Richard moved on from working in Peterborough having accepted a new post working with Andy Reed MP for Loughborough from 1st April 2004. He worked for Andy as his Constituency Office Manager to just after the General Election in May 2010.
Since then he has worked for Ed Miliband, Yes to Fairer Votes, Electoral Reform Society, Yes Minister, UNISON, and currently works as Senior Parliamentary Assistant for Gavin Shuker MP in Luton South.
As Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Charnwood in the General Election 2005 Richard attained the fourth lowest swing against Labour (0.68%) throughout the whole of the East Midlands. House of Commons number crunchers equated this to an additional 2,500 votes taken off the Tories which went to Labour & Richard instead. For more detailed information on Charnwood election results see
One of the proudest moments in Richard’s life was in June 2000 where he graduated from Nottingham Trent University, having spent six years studying part-time (whilst at the same time working part-time for the Benefits Agency, being a Borough Cllr, County Cllr, Member of the Police Authority and having a young family). He received a 2:1 in History & Politics, winning acclaim for his final essay from his tutor and independent assessor (click here to read Richard’s essay).
Richard is a member of: Christians on the Left: http://www.christiansontheleft.org.uk
Richard and his wife are members of Trent Vineyard Church in Nottingham http://www.trentvineyard.org/