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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
Chris Grayling
Chris Grayling

Date of birth

1 April 1962

Political profile

Chris Grayling was tipped in 1997 as a future Tory high-flier, but he stalled when he was unable to win the marginal seat of Warrington South.

At that election was one of the candidates who defied John Major to denounce the European single currency.

He also warmly welcomed proposals for young offender "boot camps."

After the disappointment of 1997, he consoled himself by finding office as a Merton councillor the next year, before landing the nomination for the safe Tory constituency of Epsom and Ewell.

The seat propelled him into Parliament in 2001.

He is a former journalist who started his career at the BBC, where he says that his hatred of its bureaucratic nature helped to crystallise his Conservative views.

He later moved to Channel 4, before joining an international communications group.

He sat on the Commons transport select committee for a year, and proved to be an acerbic and tenacious critic of the government on the subject.

He was made a Whip in Iain Duncan Smith's 2002 re-shuffle, before being promoted to the frontbench as a health spokesman.

When Michael Howard came to power, Grayling was moved to the education portfolio, holding particular responsibility for further and higher education. Contact

Commons office: 020 7219 8194

chris.grayling@btinternet.com

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