Gavin Barwell

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Gavin Barwell
Comptroller of the Household[1]
Assumed office
11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Don Foster
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
15 July 2014 – 11 May 2015
Preceded by Anne Milton
Succeeded by TBD
Assistant Government Whip
In office
07 October 2013 – 15 July 2014
Preceded by Greg Hands
Succeeded by Therese Coffey
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Education
In office
12 September 2012 – 07 October 2013
Preceded by David Evennett
Succeeded by Ben Gummer
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State for Decentralisation and Planning Policy
In office
14 December 2011 – 12 September 2012
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by David Mowat
Member of Parliament
for Croydon Central
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Andrew Pelling
Majority 165 (0.3%)
Personal details
Born (1972-01-23) 23 January 1972 (age 46)
Cuckfield, Sussex, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Karen Barwell
Children Three sons
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Gavin Laurence Barwell[2] (born 23 January 1972)[3]) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Croydon Central since the 2010 general election.[3]

Barwell worked for the Conservative party headquarters from 1993 until his election in 2010 and was – between 2003 and 2006 – the Party's Chief Operating Officer responsible for over a hundred staff and a multimillion-pound budget, sitting on the Party Board working closely with Party Leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron.[3] He was a councillor in the London Borough of Croydon between 1998 and 2010.

Early life

Gavin Barwell was born in Cuckfield in Sussex and subsequently moved to Croydon in South London where he was educated at the Trinity School of John Whitgift.[3] He gained a degree in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1993.[3]

He was President of the Cambridge Union (Easter Term 1993).

Political career

Conservative Party HQ (1993–2010)

After graduating, Barwell was employed by the Conservative Central Office in a number of roles between 1993 and 2010.[3]

He worked at the Conservative Research Department from 1993 to 1995 as a desk officer in the home affairs section responsible for housing, local government, the environment and inner cities. He replaced James Gray as Special Adviser to Secretary of State for the Environment John Gummer MP from 1995 to 1997, and was the Head of Local Government from 1998 to 2003. He served as the Chief Operating Officer in the Campaigns Headquarters between 2003 and 2006 before being employed as a "consultant" until 2010.[3]

He worked with Deputy Party Chairman Lord Ashcroft's target seat scheme, and significantly contributed to the Conservatives' 2010 general election plan.[4]

Croydon borough councillor (1998–2010)

In May 1998, Barwell was elected to Croydon Council representing the Woodcote and Coulsdon West ward. In May 2006, when the Conservatives took control of the Council, he was appointed Chief Whip of the Conservative Group and he subsequently served as the Cabinet member for resources and customer services and the Cabinet member for community safety and cohesion before standing down from the Council in May 2010.[3]

Parliamentary career (2010–present)

Barwell was chosen as the parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party in Croydon Central. At the 2010 general election he defeated the sitting Independent MP, Andrew Pelling who had previously been elected as a Conservative. Barwell gained 39.5% of the vote, beating the Labour Party candidate, Gerry Ryan, by 2,969 votes.[5]

Barwell was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Clark, Minister for Cities and Decentralisation. In September 2012, he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Gove the Secretary of State for Education.[6] The Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Barwell to the position of Assistant Government Whip on 7 October 2013.[7] On 15 July 2014, Cameron promoted Barwell to the position of Government Whip, Lord Commissioner.[8]

He was a member of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee (2010–2012) and the Draft Lords Reform Bill Joint Committee (2011–2012).

Until October 2013, Barwell was Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils.

His main subject interests are education, urban policy, policing, criminal justice system, crime, immigration and asylum.

Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill 2012–13[9]

On 14 June 2012, Barwell announced that, having come fourth in the Private Members Bill ballot,[10] he would introduce the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill.[11][12] The legislation is designed to remove automatic bans from people who have received treatment for mental illness from undertaking jury service, being removed as directors of companies and as MPs.[11][12]

The Bill was introduced in June 2012 and passed its Second Reading on 14 September 2012,[13] supported by all political parties[12] before passing its committee stage in October 2012[13] with the full support of all committee members.[14] The Report Stage and Third Reading of the Bill passed the Commons on 30 November 2012[13] before the Bill moved to the House of Lords where it was sponsored by Lord Stevenson of Coddenham.[9] The bill passed its first reading in the Lords on 3 December 2012 and its third reading on 11 February 2013. The Bill became an Act of Parliament after receiving Royal Assent on 28 February 2013.[15]

Lillian's Law

Lillian's Law is a law-reform campaign named after Lillian Groves, a 14-year-old constituent of Barwell's who was killed outside her home in New Addington by a driver under the influence of drugs.[16] He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, reduced to four months by entering a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity.[17]

Barwell successfully lobbied the Prime Minister, David Cameron to introduce legislation to make driving under the influence of drugs a similar offence to driving under the influence of alcohol.[16][18][19] Cameron met with the Groves family and legislation was included in the 2012 Queen's Speech.[20] The legislation created a new offence under the Crime and Courts Act 2013.[21]

Deletion of material from Wikipedia relating to "headline grabbing"

In December 2014, the local paper the Croydon Advertiser called on Barwell to "stop launching campaigns" and "persistent attempts at headline-grabbing" saying "Gavin, we get it, there's an election on."[22]
This page was one of a number edited ahead of the 2015 General Election by computers inside Parliament; an act which the Daily Telegraph says "appears to be a deliberate attempt to hide embarrassing information from the electorate." In Barwell's case, the information deleted related to "his persistent attempts at headline-grabbing."[23]

Allegations of electoral fraud

In May 2016, a member of the public complained to the Metropolitan Police Service over possible electoral fraud in Barwell's 2015 election campaign.[24] The claims relate to the number of leaflets Barwell delivered in his constituency, as undelivered election material does not fall under the election spending limit.[25]
Barwell denies the claims, saying he followed 'proper process' when filing the election expenses.[24] The Police investigation is ongoing.

Personal life

Barwell married Karen McKenzie in 2001. His wife, a speech and language therapist, previously worked at Applegarth School in New Addington. The couple have three sons.[3]


  1. "Gavin Barwell given ancient Government role after holding on to Croydon Central seat". Your Local Guardan. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  2. The London Gazette: no. 59418. p. 8736. 13 May 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 ‘BARWELL, Gavin Laurence’ Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edition (subscription required)
  4. Top 50 New MPs Total Politics
  5. Election 2010 – Croydon Central BBC News, 7 May 2010; Retrieved 28 December 2012
  6. Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell nets new job with Michael Gove, Croydon Today, 12 September 2012; Retrieved 28 December 2012
  7. Gavin Barwell appointed whip in government reshuffle, Croydon Advertiser, 7 October 2013; Retrieved 10 October 2013
  8. Gavin Barwell MP, GOV.UK; Retrieved 21 August 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill 2012–13, UK Parliament, 28 February 2013; Retrieved 28 December 2012
  10. Bill-by-bill: Guide to MPs' private members' bills, BBC News, 25 June 2012; Retrieved 28 December 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 Deborah Orr Good to hear MPs talking about their mental health issues, The Guardian, 16 June 2012; Retrieved 28 December 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 'Discriminatory' ban on MPs with mental health issues to be axed, BBC News, 14 September 2012; Retrieved 28 December 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Bill stages — Mental Health (Discrimination) (No. 2) Bill 2012–13, UK Parliament; Retrieved 28 December 2012
  14. Clause 37 – drugs and driving TheyWorkForYou, 7 February 2013
  15. Parliamentary Business, House of Lords, 28 February 2013 UK Parliament
  16. 16.0 16.1 Davies, Gareth (13 April 2012). "Major step forward for a new drug-driving law". Croydon Advertiser. Local World. 
  17. "Lillian's family want names for drug-test petition". Local World. 30 September 2011. 
  18. "MP Barwell: 'Meeting David Cameron was a big step forward for campaign'". Croydon Advertiser. Local World. 2 December 2011. 
  19. Davies, Gareth (11 October 2013). "Gavin Barwell appointed whip in government reshuffle". Croydon Advertiser. Local World. 
  20. Clarke, Natalie (4 February 2012). "For the love of Lillian". Mail Online. Associated Press. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  21. Davies, Gareth (19 June 2013). "MP inspired by Lillian's Law proposes further drug-driving reforms". Croydon Advertiser. Local World. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  22. "Tory MP is told to stop pestering his constituents". The Independent. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  23. Ben Riley-Smith (26 May 2015). "Expenses and sex scandal deleted from MPs’ Wikipedia pages by computers inside Parliament". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 Davies, Gareth. "Croydon MP Gavin Barwell 'confident' in election expenses despite police complaint". Croydon Advertiser. Local World. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  25. "The MP for creative accountancy?". Private Eye (via the Internet Archive). Private Eye. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Andrew Pelling
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central
Political offices
Preceded by
Don Foster
Comptroller of the Household