What makes Tory MP Grant Shapps tick? Read on to find out...
Constituency: Welwyn Hatfield
Marital Status/Kids: Married, children: Hadley, 4; Tabytha and Noa - twins aged 1
Educated: Watford Grammar Boys; Cassio College Watford - business and finance OND; Manchester Poly (now metropolitan uni) - business and finance HND
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU WERE AN MP?
Founded and ran my own design and print company for 15 years. PrintHouse Corporation now run by management team in Park Royal, London.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AT SCHOOL?
Not hugely inspired by formal education. Always quite entrepreneurial.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO POLITICS?
The idea of setting the rules (laws) that we all live by and the concept of public service and working for the community. I also recall being distinctly unimpressed by some of the Members of Parliament of the day and wanted to have the opportunity of replacing at least one of them.
WHAT'S THE BEST/WORST THING ABOUT BEING AN MP?
The best thing about being an MP is that it really is possible to get things done, particularly for your constituents. Many people (including other MPs) make the mistake of thinking that because there aren't many formal powers associated with being a Member of Parliament, you can't actually change anything. The truth is that people and organisations will respond to a letter from the MP in a very fast and efficient manner and usually pay some attention. In reality, it really is possible to achieve a great deal as a hard working MP.
The worst thing is probably having to wear a suit all day long. In the business that I created, the dress code was always casual smart, because it's just a more comfortable way to work.
WHO IS YOUR HERO?
Whenever I think about this question it's always hard to think beyond Churchill as the greatest "hero" of all time. In many ways he was an outsider, yet his ability to articulate what the nation was thinking and lead the defence of Britain means that he was in a very true sense of the word a "hero".
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG/PIECE OF MUSIC?
Lovely Day, by Bill Withers.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FASHION SENSE?
I would say that I prefer to be comfortable than worry about being hugely fashionable.
WHAT'S YOUR IDEA OF A GOOD NIGHT OUT?
Dinner with my closest friends.
WHAT CAN'T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
Sadly (perhaps), access to the internet, as it provides access to every piece of information and knowledge in the entire world.
TELL US SOMETHING WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU
For fun I once took part in a musical talent competition at school and elected to play that well known classical piece "I'm a little tea pot" on the violin - even though I'd never actually learned to play this instrument. During the performance I knew that it wasn't going down well, but fortunately my teachers saw the funny side and rather than expelling me, actually awarded me the second prize.
Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives, Maynard House, The Common, Hatfield, AL10 0NF
Welwyn Hatfield Office: 01707 262632
Parliamentary Office: 020 7219 8497