Justin Tomlinson

Justin Tomlinson
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance
Assumed office
9 July 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Kit Malthouse
Minister for Disabled People
In office
8 May 2015  15 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded by Mark Harper
Succeeded by Penny Mordaunt
Member of Parliament
for North Swindon
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Michael Wills
Majority 8,335 (15.2%)
Personal details
Born (1976-11-05) 5 November 1976[1]
Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Joanne Wheeler (m. 2012; div. 2016)
Domestic partner Katie Bennett (since 2016)
Relations Brother Mark Hicken
Alma mater Oxford Brookes
Website www.justintomlinson.com

Justin Paul Tomlinson[2] (born 5 November 1976) is the Conservative MP for North Swindon. He was originally a Conservative Councillor on Swindon Borough Council, being elected in 2000. He is the current Member of Parliament for Swindon North. He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People following the 2015 general election victory of the Conservative Party, serving until new Prime Minister Theresa May reshuffled the government in 2016.[3] Prior to that he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Vaizey.[3] On 9 July 2018, Tomlinson was appointed as a junior minister in the Department for Work and Pensions as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance.[4][5]

Early life and career

Tomlinson studied at Harry Cheshire High School, a state comprehensive in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, and Oxford Brookes University, where he was Chairman of its Conservative Student Branch from 1995–99. He was National Chairman of Conservative Future, the youth-wing of the Conservative Party, between 2002 and 2003.[6]

Tomlinson was manager of a nightclub called Eros in Swindon, Wiltshire. He also operated a small marketing business.[7]

Parliamentary career

Tomlinson stood in North Swindon at the 2005 general election, but lost to the defending Labour MP Michael Wills by 2,571 votes. He won the seat from Labour at the 2010 general election, defeating Labour candidate Victor Agarwall by 7,060 votes. In total, Tomlinson received 22,408 votes (44.6% of the vote), with a swing of 10.1% from Labour to the conservatives.[8]

Along with fellow Conservative MP Chris Kelly, Tomlinson placed a bet while at university that he would be Prime Minister before the year 2038. He stands to win £500,000 should this happen.[9]

Tomlinson sat on the Public Accounts Committee between 2012 and 2014.[10]

He reported then Labour MP Sadiq Khan to the police in 2014 after Khan was photographed apparently driving whilst using a mobile phone. Tomlinson said "those who make the laws should certainly not be above them".[11]

Tomlinson was given the role of Minister for Disabled People in May 2015.[12]


Tomlinson faced calls for his resignation in October 2015 after it was revealed than he had leaked information from the Public Accounts committee regarding regulation of short term high cost credit "payday lenders" to Wonga.com back in 2013. Tomlinson accepted he had broken the rules and apologised, claiming that his "strongly-held belief that action needed to be taken on payday lenders" had caused his "judgement to be clouded".[13]

Tomlinson arranged £30,000 of sponsorship for Swindon Supermarine F.C., a local football team by the same payday lender wonga.com. The football club's chairman, Jez Webb has made donations of £30,218 to both Tomlinson's and local Conservative party funds since 2014. Webb stated that he donated in a personal capacity and that the very similar amounts "were coincindental."[14][15]

Tomlinson was subsequently accused of trying to remove references to previous links to Wonga from his website, including the arrangement of a sponsorship deal with Swindon Supermarine F.C. in 2011[15]

In September 2016, Tomlinson was forced to apologise for leaking "a draft of a public accounts committee report on the credit industry to someone he knew who worked for payday lender Wonga. And when his mate (sic) emailed four suggested amendments back, he had forwarded them virtually word for word on to the committee as if they were his own".[16]

Personal life

Tomlinson announced his engagement to Jo Wheeler in August 2011, having proposed on The Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island.[17] The couple married at the House of Commons on 2 June 2012.[18] In July 2016 Tomlinson confirmed he had divorced his wife and was dating his office manager Katie Bennett, who is 14 years younger than him.[19]


  1. "Justin Tomlinson MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8745.
  3. 1 2 "Justin Tomlinson MP". UK.GOV. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  4. https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/foreign-affairs/brexit/news/96669/jeremy-hunt-named-new-foreign-secretary-after-boris
  5. https://twitter.com/10DowningStreet/status/1016428954444599297
  6. The Telegraph Election 2010 UK Political Database – Justin Tomlinson (Conservative, Swindon North). Published by: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved: 14 November 2011.
  7. "Biography – Justin Tomlinson". www.justintomlinson.com. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  8. McPherson, Scott (7 May 2010). "Swindon turns Blue as Labour suffer double dose of defeat". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  9. "The curious world of long-term bets". BBC News.
  10. "Justin Tomlinson". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  11. "Sadiq Khan faces police inquiry over mobile phone claims". Telegraph. Press Association. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  12. Chapman, James (13 May 2015). "Cameron keeps his enemies closer with a slew of top jobs: MPs who rebelled in the past are made ministers in new government". Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  13. "MP Justin Tomlinson sent Wonga draft parliamentary report". BBC. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  14. "Tory minister caught leaking document to Wonga whitewashes his part in sponsorship deal from his website". Daily Mirror. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  15. 1 2 Cork, Tristan (25 October 2015). "Tory minister denies cover-up over Wonga sponsorship of local football club". Western Daily Press. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  16. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/15/justin-tomlinson-shows-sorry-seems-to-be-the-easiest-word
  17. Love at first sight brings MP Justin together with Jo Published by: Swindon Link. Retrieved: 11 January 2012
  18. North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson weds in Parliament Published by: Swindon Link. Retrieved: 6 January 2013
  19. MP confirms new romance after splitting from wife Published by: Swindon Link. Retrieved: 31 October 2017
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Wills
Member of Parliament
for North Swindon

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