Julian Knight (politician)

Julian Carlton Knight[1] (born 5 January 1972) is a British Conservative Party politician. He was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Solihull in 2015.[2]

Julian Knight

Official portrait of Julian Knight MP crop 2.jpg
Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Assumed office
29 January 2020
Preceded byDamian Collins
Member of Parliament
for Solihull
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byLorely Burt
Majority21,273 (38.4%)
Personal details
Born (1972-01-05) 5 January 1972 (age 48)
Chester, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Philippa Harrison
Alma materUniversity of Hull
WebsiteOfficial website

Early lifeEdit

Knight was born in 1972 in Chester, and grew up in a lone parent family.[3] He attended Chester Catholic High School, and went on to study History at the University of Hull, the first in his family to do so.[3]

Employment before ParliamentEdit

After graduating with a 2:2, Knight moved to London to find work, doing a variety of jobs before finding a job on a local newspaper. He moved up in journalism over the intervening years, working for the BBC as personal finance and consumer affairs reporter for five years until 2007, working across online, TV and radio. In 2007 he became the Money and Property Editor of The Independent on Sunday.[4]

In April 2015, Knight was criticised for a book he authored on tax avoidance. In his 2004 book, 'Wills, Probate and Inheritance Tax for Dummies', Knight "sets out ways that hardworking parents can pass on the graft of a lifetime" to their children. In the book, he is critical of the system of Inheritance Tax that existed at the point of publishing. He distinguished between personal tax avoidance, which he advised families on, and the "aggressive tax avoidance" of some multinational companies.[5]

Political careerEdit

ElectionsEdit

In 2014, Knight was selected to be the Conservative candidate for Solihull,[6][7] a former Conservative safe seat which had been won by the Liberal Democrats in the 2005 General Election.[8][9] At the 2015 general election Knight won the seat back for the Conservatives with a majority of 12,902, after an 11.9 per cent swing towards the Conservatives.[10]

Prior to the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership within the European Union, Knight campaigned to remain but now backs the Conservative Party policy of exiting the EU.[11]

Knight defended his seat at the 2017 general election and was returned with an increased majority.[12]

Knight once again defended his seat during the 2019 General Election. He once again increased his majority, this time to 21,273. [13] The Liberal Democrats were again pushed into third place by Labour. [14]

GovernmentEdit

In January 2018, Knight was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Ministry of Justice[15] providing support to Ministers. In September 2018 he moved to the Department for Work and Pensions before moving to HM Treasury in January 2019.

Knight is a passionate animal rights advocate and called for CCTV in slaughter houses before it was Government policy.[16]

Knight also serves as the Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Mongolia, where he forms part of a network of parliamentarians with the role to strengthen relations with foreign countries, and aide British businesses in accessing foreign markets.[17] In April 2018, Knight made his first visit to the country as Trade Envoy.[18] Knight is due to make his second visit in September 2018.[19]

CommitteesEdit

From July 2015 to April 2017, Knight served as a member of the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee,[20] during which time he co-sponsored the Government's Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.[21]

Since December 2016 he has served on the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, later the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.[20] In that role he has made several high-profile interventions, including on the BBC gender pay row[22][23] and against Facebook and disgraced digital company Cambridge Analytica during the Committee's inquiry into 'fake news'.[24][25]

In January 2020 Knight was elected as Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. Knight beat incumbent Chair, Damian Collins, by 9 votes to win the Committee. [26] In the election he pledged to “get the BBC sorted, get broadband sorted, and get progress in sport sorted.” [27]

Other workEdit

Knight has written books on a variety of subjects for the For Dummies series, including the Euro crisis, Retiring Wealthy and The Royal Wedding.[28]

Personal lifeEdit

Knight lives in Solihull. He is married to Philippa, a former nurse.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "No. 61961". The London Gazette. 19 June 2017. p. 11779.
  2. ^ "Solihull Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Knight, Julian. "About". Julian Knight. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Julian Knight - The Independent on Sunday". Independent. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Tory candidate for Solihull under fire over book on tax avoidance". Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Solihull Conservatives select Julian Knight as our Parliamentary Candidate". Solihull Borough. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Julian Knight selected for Solihull". West Midlands. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Electoral Commission | Solihull". www.electoralcommission.org.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Lib Dems hold inquest after their 'decapitation strategy' misses". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Solihull parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Solihull's Conservative MP Julian Knight will vote to stay in Europe". Solihull Observer. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Solihull parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  13. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000931
  14. ^ https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/general-election-2019-solihull-result-17326399.amp
  15. ^ "List of PPS's | Conservative Home". Conservative Home. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Knight hails Government's progress on animal welfare".
  17. ^ "Trade envoys". GOV.UK. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  18. ^ "PRESIDENT RECEIVES UK TRADE ENVOY JULIAN KNIGHT - President of Mongolia". President of Mongolia. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Trade Mission to Mongolia 16th – 21st September 2018 - CEA: Construction Equipment Association". CEA: Construction Equipment Association. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Julian Knight MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Solihull MP Julian Knight has pledged to support Solihull Council in its new effort to tackle homelessness in the borough". Solihull Observer. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  22. ^ Singh, Anita (1 February 2018). "Sarah Montague: I was gobsmacked by BBC gender pay report". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  23. ^ "BBC Managers Face Barrage of Criticism in Gender Pay Dispute". Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  24. ^ Waterson, Jim (26 April 2018). "'Facebook is a morality-free zone': tech chief lambasted by MP". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  25. ^ "MPs laugh at Facebook boss during intense grilling in parliament". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  26. ^ https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2020/january/select-committee-chair-election-nominations-2020/commons-committee-chair-elections-2020/
  27. ^ https://order-order.com/2020/02/03/knight-plans-bbc-battle/
  28. ^ "Who is Julian Knight". Birmingham Mail. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lorely Burt
Member of Parliament
for Solihull

2015–present
Incumbent