Open main menu

David Michael Gauke MP (/ɡɔːk/; born 8 October 1971) is a British Conservative Party politician and solicitor serving as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor since 2018 and Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Hertfordshire since 2005.

David Gauke

Official portrait of Mr David Gauke crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Justice
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Assumed office
8 January 2018
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byDavid Lidington
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
In office
11 June 2017 – 8 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byDamian Green
Succeeded byEsther McVey
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
14 July 2016 – 11 June 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byGreg Hands
Succeeded byElizabeth Truss
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
15 July 2014 – 14 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byNicky Morgan
Succeeded byJane Ellison
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
In office
13 May 2010 – 15 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded bySarah McCarthy-Fry
Succeeded byPriti Patel
Member of Parliament
for South West Hertfordshire
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byRichard Page
Majority19,550 (32.2%)
Personal details
Born (1971-10-08) 8 October 1971 (age 47)
Ipswich, Suffolk, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Rachel Gauke
Alma materSt Edmund Hall, Oxford
University of Law
WebsiteOfficial website

Gauke was appointed as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor in January 2018.[1]


Early life and careerEdit

Gauke was educated at Northgate High School in Ipswich, Suffolk before attending St Edmund Hall, Oxford where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in law in 1993, and the College of Law in Chester where he graduated in legal practice in 1995.

In 1993, he was a researcher for Barry Legg, the Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South West. He worked as a trainee solicitor with Richards Butler from 1995, being admitted as a solicitor in 1997. From 1999 to 2005, he was a solicitor in the financial services group at Macfarlanes,[2] a corporate law firm.

Gauke was elected as the vice-chairman of the Brent East Conservative Association for two years from 1998, and contested the seat at the 2001 general election finishing in second place 13,047 votes behind the Labour MP Paul Daisley.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Gauke was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election for Hertfordshire South West following the retirement of Richard Page. Gauke won the seat with a majority of 8,473, making his maiden speech on 9 June 2005.[3] Between 2005 and 2008, he served as a member of the Procedure Select Committee. He was a member of the Treasury Select Committee between 2006 and 2007, before joining the Opposition front bench as Shadow Treasury Minister.

Following his re-election at the 2010 general election, he was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

In December 2013 Gauke was reported to HM Revenue and Customs after advertising an unpaid six-month "training post" at his constituency office in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.[4]

On 13 July 2016 Gauke was made a member of the Privy Council.[5]

On 14 July 2016 Gauke was made Chief Secretary to the Treasury as part of Theresa May's ministry. On 11 June 2017, Gauke was made Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, having previously only worked in the Treasury.

On 8 January 2018 Gauke succeeded David Lidington as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor.[6] He is the first solicitor to hold the post.[1]

On 8 June 2019, following his 'refusal to enact the commitments made in the Conservative Manifesto'[7] and supporting the leadership candidacy of Rory Stewart MP in favour of persisting with Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement, his constituency association has written to all members calling a special meeting for a vote of no-confidence.[8][9]

On 19 June 2019, The Times reported that "The conduct of David Gauke, the justice secretary, was described as “reprehensible” by the judge" in an Employment Tribunal case brought by Mr Ben Plaistow.[10]


Gauke claimed £10,248.32 in stamp duty and fees involved in the purchase of his second home in London, a flat. A Channel 4 Dispatches programme revealed that he was claiming expenses on the flat in central London despite having a property located only one hour away on public transport.

Gauke sold the flat in August 2012, keeping £27,000, the property price having increased by £67,000 since purchase. He paid nearly £40,000 of this to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) as MPs only have to pay back any profit made in the previous two years.[11]

He told the UK public that negotiating a price discount with a tradesmen for paying in cash for the purposes of evading tax is morally wrong.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Gauke is married to Rachel, who is a professional support lawyer specialising in corporate tax at legal research provider LexisNexis.[13] They have three sons and live in Chorleywood in Hertfordshire.[14] He is a lifelong supporter of Ipswich Town F.C.[15]


  1. ^ a b Cross, Michael (8 January 2018). "Gauke named as first solicitor lord chancellor". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  2. ^ Your fate in their hands, Legal Week, 18 November 2004
  3. ^ House of Commons Debates for 9 June 2005 UK Parliament
  4. ^ Gil, Natalie. "Minister reported to own department for advertising unpaid post in his office". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  5. ^ Government of the United Kingdom (13 July 2016), Privy Council appointments: Arlene Foster, Ruth Davidson, David Gauke and Ed Vaizey, retrieved 16 July 2016
  6. ^ "David Gauke moves from work and pensions to become justice secretary". The Guardian. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Gauke No Confidence Notice Sent Out -". Guido Fawkes. 8 June 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart: I have enough MPs' support to get to first round". CityAM. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  9. ^ "MP faces confidence motion from Conservative association - and his two-word response over influence claim". Watford Observer. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Justice secretary David Gauke treated employment tribunal with 'contempt'". The Times. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  11. ^ Claire Newell,Holly Watt and Christopher Hope (16 November 2012). "Minister in cash row keeps £27,000 profit from sale of second home".
  12. ^ "Paying tradesmen cash in hand morally wrong, says minister". BBC News. BBC. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  13. ^ Biography of Rachel Gauke,
  14. ^ "Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury: David Gauke MP". HM Treasury. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  15. ^ Biography of David Gauke,

External linksEdit