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James Cleverly

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James Cleverly

James Cleverly
Member of Parliament
for Braintree
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded by Brooks Newmark
Majority 17,610
Member of the London Assembly
for Bexley and Bromley
Assumed office
4 May 2008
Preceded by Bob Neill
Majority 47,768
Leader of the London Assembly Conservative Group
In office
Preceded by Roger Evans
Succeeded by Andrew Boff
Personal details
Born James Spencer Cleverly
(1969-09-04) 4 September 1969
Lewisham, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Susannah Janet Temple Cleverly (née Sparks)
Children Two sons
Alma mater Thames Valley University
Religion None
Military career
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Territorial Army, British Army
Years of service 1991–present
Rank Major
Unit Royal Regiment of Artillery

James Spencer Cleverly, TD (born 4 September 1969) is a British Conservative Party politician and Territorial Army officer. He currently serves as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Braintree,[1] and as the member of the London Assembly for Bexley and Bromley. He was first elected to the assembly in May 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. He won his seat in parliament at the 2015 general election.

Early life and education

Cleverly was born in Lewisham Hospital, to a British father and mother from Sierra Leone. He attended Riverston School and Colfe's School, both in Lee, South East London. After a period serving in the British Army (which was cut short due to injury),[2] he gained a degree in business at Thames Valley University (now known as the University of West London).

Before being elected he worked in the magazine and web publishing industry and is the author of a blog.

Military service

On 6 October 1991, Cleverly was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery, Territorial Army, as a second lieutenant (on probation).[3] In January 1993, his commission was confirmed and he was made a substantive second lieutenant.[4] He was promoted to lieutenant on 6 October 1993,[5] to captain on 26 May 1998,[6] and to major on 1 November 2003.[7] Until 2005, he was Officer Commanding of 266 (Para) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers).[8] He is currently based at Central Volunteers HQ Royal Artillery, in Woolwich, London, and is a Staff Officer in the 1st (UK) Armoured Division.[2][9]

He has been awarded the Efficiency Decoration (territorial) (TD) for long service in the Reserves of the British Army.[10]

Political career

Unsuccessful candidacy

Cleverly had previously stood unsuccessfully in a number of elections for the London Borough of Lewisham; including the borough council elections of 2002, a borough council by-election in 2003, for the Lewisham East seat for the UK Parliament in the 2005 general election and as the Conservative candidate for the directly elected mayor of Lewisham in 2006.

London Assembly

In March 2007, Cleverly was selected as the candidate for the Bexley and Bromley constituency of the London Assembly in a very tightly fought selection contest. The London Assembly election was held on 1 May with the count and declaration on the 2 May, where he received 105,162 votes (52.6% of the vote) and a majority of 75,237.

In January 2009, Cleverly was appointed as the Mayor of London's Youth Ambassador, a newly created role which was seen as being a replacement post for the Deputy Mayor for Young People, a post left vacant after the resignation of Ray Lewis. The creation of the role caused some controversy as it was not filled by a mayoral appointment but by a member of the assembly whose formal role is to scrutinise the Mayor. The decision was defended because of the precedent set by the appointment of Kit Malthouse as Deputy Mayor for Policing.[11]

In February 2010, Cleverly was appointed as the Chairman of the London Waste and Recycling Board, replacing Boris Johnson who had stood down.[12] After the defeat of Brian Coleman at the 2012 London elections he was appointed to the Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA).[13]

In November 2010, Cleverly was re-selected to be the Conservative candidate for Bexley and Bromley in the 2012 GLA elections, going on to win the seat with 88,482 votes (once again 52.6% of the votes) and a majority of 47,768.[14]

House of Commons

In January 2015, Cleverly was selected to be the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Braintree in the upcoming general election on 7 May.[15] He was elected on 8 May 2015.[16]


In August 2010, Cleverly posted a tweet in which he called Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes "a dick". The full tweet stated: "We may be coalition partners but it doesn't stop me thinking Simon Hughes is a dick.".[17] He later apologised.[18]

On 1 November 2015, Cleverly was interviewed by John Pienaar as part of Backbencher’s Questions on BBC Radio 5 Live.[19] During the interview, he admitted to smoking marijuana while at university and watching online pornography.[20]

Personal life

Cleverly is married to Susannah Janet Temple Cleverly (née Sparks). Together, they have two sons; Freddy and Rupert.[2] He does not believe in God.[20]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52740. p. 18966. 9 December 1991. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53171. p. 436. 11 January 1993. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53479. p. 17888. 8 November 1993. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55228. p. 8984. 17 August 1998. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57252. p. 4383. 6 April 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
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  20. ^ a b

External links

  • Biography from the London Assembly
  • James Cleverly's blog
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Brooks Newmark
Member of Parliament for Braintree
2015 – present
Political offices
Preceded by
Bob Neill
London Assembly Member Bexley and Bromley
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Brian Coleman
Chair of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
Succeeded by
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