Chris Skidmore

Christopher James Skidmore, FRHistS, FSA, FRSA (born 17 May 1981) is a British politician, and author of popular history. He served as Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation from December 2018 to July 2019, and from September 2019 to February 2020.

Chris Skidmore
Official portrait of Chris Skidmore crop 2.jpg
Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation
In office
10 September 2019 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byJo Johnson
Succeeded byMichelle Donelan (Universities)
In office
5 December 2018 – 24 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded bySam Gyimah
Succeeded byJo Johnson
Minister of State for Health
In office
24 July 2019 – 10 September 2019
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byStephen Hammond
Succeeded byEdward Argar
Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office
In office
17 July 2016 – 8 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byJohn Penrose
Succeeded byChloe Smith
Member of Parliament
for Kingswood
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byRoger Berry
Majority11,220 (22.8%)
Personal details
Born (1981-05-17) 17 May 1981 (age 40)[1]
Longwell Green, Avon, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
ProfessionAuthor and historian

Skidmore was first elected in 2010 as the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, and became vice-chairman of the Conservative Party for Policy in 2018.

Early life and educationEdit

Skidmore was born on 17 May 1981 at Longwell Green in South Gloucestershire (then in the county of Avon), in the West of England. As a teenager, he became a member of the Conservative Party in 1996.[2] Skidmore was educated at Bristol Grammar School, an independent day school ), before attending Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 2002 with a first-class degree in Modern History (BA).[citation needed]

Skidmore worked for David Willetts and Michael Gove as an advisor, and served as chairman of the Bow Group for 2007–08,[3] before being appointed by another right-leaning think tank, Policy Exchange, as a research fellow.[4]

Parliamentary careerEdit

After being selected to contest the marginal seat of Kingswood for the Conservatives in 2009, he was elected as its Member of Parliament in 2010, defeating incumbent Roger Berry of the Labour Party.[5]

Skidmore served as a member of the Health Select Committee, leaving that committee on 17 June 2013 (being replaced by Charlotte Leslie),[6] to sit on the Education Select Committee.[7] He is also a member of the Free Enterprise Group of MPs, and along with colleagues co-authored After the Coalition (2011) and Britannia Unchained (2012). The authors of Britannia Unchained claimed that "Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world".[8]

He was re-elected with an increased majority at the general election in 2015 and became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.[9]

From 2016 to 2018, Skidmore was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Cabinet Office, where he served as Minister for the Constitution.[10] Following the 2018 Cabinet reshuffle, he was sacked from his Cabinet Office role, but gained the role of vice-chairman of the Conservative Party for Policy.[11]

Skidmore was named by the ConservativeHome website in 2012 as one of a minority of loyal Conservative backbench MPs not to have voted against the government in any significant rebellions.[12] He is a regular guest on BBC political programmes, such as The Daily Politics.

Skidmore was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 EU membership referendum.[13] In February 2018, he argued in a speech to the Centre for Policy Studies that his party needed a broad and positive policy programme to gain wider support, further stating: "If we are just going to talk about Brexit then the Conservative Party will rapidly decline".[14]

Skidmore was appointed Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation on 5 December 2018, following Sam Gyimah's resignation over the government's Brexit policy.[15]

Following the appointment of Boris Johnson to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in July 2019, Skidmore was moved to the Department for Health and Social Care, serving as the Minister of State for Health.

Following the resignation of Jo Johnson from cabinet, Skidmore re-assumed his position of Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation in September 2019. However, he was dismissed from government and replaced by Michelle Donelan in the cabinet reshuffle of February 2020.



  • Edward VI: The Lost King of England (2007) ISBN 9780312351427
  • Death and The Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart (2010) ISBN 9780297846505
  • Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors (2013) ISBN 9780753828946 (published in the United States as The Rise of the Tudors: The Family That Changed English History, 2014)
  • Richard III: Brother, Protector, King (2017) ISBN 9780297870784


  1. ^ "Chris Skidmore MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Chris Skidmore". Conservative Party. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  3. ^ Bow Group
  4. ^ "Chris Skidmore MP". Policy Exchange. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Kingswood". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Health Committee – membership". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Membership - Education Committee". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Tackle 'lazy' Britain, fellow Tories tell David Cameron". London Evening Standard. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  9. ^ "David Cameron gives Bristol and South Gloucestershire MPs junior government roles". Bristol Post. 2 June 2015. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for the Constitution)". UK Government. Archived from the original on 22 January 2017.
  11. ^ Wheeler, Brian (10 January 2018). "May buying MPS' support, claims Labour MP". BBC News.
  12. ^ Barrett, Matthew. "The 24 Conservative MPs who are still on the backbenches and have never rebelled". Conservative Home. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  13. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  14. ^ "What the Tories have to do to defeat 'ruthless' Jeremy Corbyn at the next election". Bristol Post. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  15. ^ Gaind, Nisha; Vesper, Inga (5 December 2018). "Government loyalist appointed new UK science minister as Brexit woes continue". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07655-9. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries". Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 1 February 2017.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Kingswood

Political offices
Preceded by Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Health
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation
Succeeded by