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Ranil Jayawardena

Ranil Malcolm Jayawardena[1] (born 3 September 1986) is a British Conservative Party politician. Born in London, England, he moved to Hampshire before starting school. His education was at his local comprehensive in North East Hampshire, Robert May's School, followed by Alton College. Jayawardena graduated from the London School of Economics and worked for Lloyds Banking Group, rising to become a senior manager. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Hampshire in May 2015 and was re-elected in the 2017 election.

Ranil Jayawardena
Official portrait of Mr Ranil Jayawardena crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for North East Hampshire
In office
8 May 2015 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byJames Arbuthnot
Majority27,772 (48.2%)
Personal details
Born (1986-09-03) 3 September 1986 (age 33)
London, United Kingdom
Political partyConservative
Alison Lyn Jayawardena (m. 2011)
Alma materLondon School of Economics
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and careerEdit

Jayawardena was born on 3 September 1986 in London, England.[2][3] His father, Nalin Jayawardena,[4] is of Sri Lankan origin and moved to the United Kingdom in 1978 to pursue a career in accountancy.[5] His mother, Indira Jayawardena,[4] has Indian heritage; he also has a brother and sister.[6] His early education was at Hook Infant School and Hook Junior School in Hook,[7] Robert May's School, a state comprehensive school in the village of Odiham,[8] and Alton College in the town of Alton (all in Hampshire).[9] At the London School of Economics, he graduated with a BSc. in Government in 2008.[10] After university, Jayawardena worked for Lloyds Banking Group in capital markets, corporate banking and in its group executive functions. He also worked on a voluntary basis in the office of North East Hampshire MP James Arbuthnot.[11]

Jayawardena served as a councillor of the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane in Hampshire from 2008 to 2015.[12] During his time as a councillor, he was also the Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, before being made Deputy Leader of the Council,[13] where he had a particular focus on urban revitalisation and economic regeneration.[14][15][16]

As Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategy, his role varied from securing a new combined John Lewis and Waitrose store for Basingstoke,[17] cracking down on anti-social behaviour and littering[18] and providing half an hour free parking in all council car parks.[19] The latter policy was so popular that this was later extended to an hour free parking in all council car parks and remains protected today.[20]

He continues to speak out on local issues, informed by his experience as a councillor, such as protecting weekly bin collections.[21][22]

Parliamentary careerEdit

James Arbuthnot, the MP for North East Hampshire, indicated in 2011 that he would retire at the next parliamentary election which was due to be held in 2015.[23] Jayawardena was selected in an open primary as the parliamentary candidate for the constituency in 2013. Other short-listed individuals for the seat included future MPs Victoria Atkins and Helen Whately.[24] He went on to be elected as the MP for the constituency at the 2015 general election with 35,573 votes (65.9% share) and a majority of 29,916.[25] This was the largest margin of victory by any Conservative MP in the election.[26] During the election, the candidate for the UK Independence Party was suspended after making a death threat towards Jayawardena.[27]

In his 'maiden speech', he outlined his belief in the rule of law, in human rights and in equality before the law being matched by equality in opportunity, but contended that human rights were not invented in 1998 and that rights must be balanced by responsibilities.[28][29] In December 2015, he voted to support Prime Minister David Cameron's plans to carry out airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria.[30] In the 2015–17 parliament, he was part of the Home Affairs Committee and the International Trade Committee.[31] Jayawardena supported Brexit in the June 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.[32]

He held his seat in the 2017 general election with 37,754 (65.5%) votes and a majority of 27,772.[33] In June 2017, he shut down his Twitter account after labelling it as "a platform full of trolls, extremists – and worse".[34] After the 2017 election, he was re-appointed to the International Trade Committee and also joined the House of Commons' Procedure Committee.[31]

Jayawardena was elected the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) on Sri Lanka and Finland; and is the treasurer of the APPGs on Iceland and Lithuania.[35] He also founded the APPG on Endangered Species and has consistently championed the need to both protect animals from poachers around the world and clamp down on the illegal wildlife trade.[36][37]

In January 2018, Jayawardena was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministerial team at the Department for Work and Pensions.[38] In September 2018, he was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministry of Justice. He resigned from this post on 15 November 2018 in protest at the government's proposed Brexit deal.[39]

Jayawardena supported Boris Johnson in the 2019 Conservative Party (UK) leadership election,[40] and was one of the eight MPs to nominate him at the outset.[41] Having left Twitter in 2017 (above), he returned to Twitter during the contest.[42]

He is currently a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party.[43] Appointed by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to lead post-Brexit policy development,[44] he has long been outspoken on a wide range of policy matters, from backing pro-consumer free trade policy,[45] to encouraging greater parental choice in education to drive up standards,[46] and holding an independent but pro-Brexit viewpoint.[47] He has also been tasked with working on the next manifesto[48] with Munira Mirza[49] and Rachel Wolf,[50] reporting to a Cabinet Committee, established to make sure that the manifesto is properly tested, unlike in 2017.[51]

Personal lifeEdit

Jayawardena lives in Bramley, Hampshire.[52] He has been married to Alison (née Roberts), a solicitor, since 2011.[4][53] The couple have two daughters.[54] His wife works part-time as a Senior Researcher for his parliamentary office.[55] He is a Christian[2] and a Trustee of the Conservative Christian Fellowship.[56]


  1. ^ "Declaration of Results" (PDF). Electoral Commission. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b Bennett, Owen. "Ranil Jayawardena: I Never Got An Apology From Ukip After One Of Its Candidates Said He Wanted To Shoot Me". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Ranil Jayawardena". MyParliament. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Jayawardena, Ranil Malcolm (Who's Who, online edition)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Ukip candidate suspended for threatening to 'put a bullet in' Tory rival". The Guardian. 5 May 2015. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  6. ^ "'Ranil's election great honour to Sri Lanka'". Daily News. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015.
  7. ^ Harrison-Fisher, Andre (12 December 2017). "MP returns to old school to open new building". Basingstoke Gazette. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  8. ^ Richards, Adam (19 March 2013). "Cllr Ranil Jayawardena says too many children in the borough are being let down". Southern Daily Echo. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Alton to leave East Hampshire in boundary shake up". Farnham Herald. 16 September 2016. Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  10. ^ "LSE alumni elected in the UK general election". London School of Economics. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  11. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Barr, Caelainn (5 March 2015). "300 staff working for peers and MPs have lobbying interests, analysis reveals". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  12. ^ "North East Hampshire". UK Polling Report. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  13. ^ Bave, Jessica (5 June 2014). "Clive Sanders to remain as leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council". Southern Daily Echo. Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  14. ^ Jayawardena, Ranil (March 2013). "Basingstoke Town Centre Programme" (PDF). Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  15. ^ Richards, Adam (26 November 2013). "Derelict eyesore being demolished". Hampshire Chronicle. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  16. ^ Garfield, Richard (20 March 2014). "Network Rail bridges the gap to Basing View". Andover Advertiser. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  17. ^ "John Lewis signs at Basing View". Morgan Sindall Group. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  18. ^ Bave, Jessica (11 February 2015). "Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council launches crackdown on litter at Basingstoke Leisure Park". County Press. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  19. ^ Stanley, John (7 November 2013). "Top of the Town 'set to get free parking'". Basingstoke Observer. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  20. ^ Birkberk, Tim (17 December 2018). "Service prices set for a rise, but hour's free parking remains". Basingstoke Gazette. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Council's bin collection change idea branded 'junk' by former deputy". Basingstoke Observer. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  22. ^ Pamely, Harry (17 February 2017). "Ranil Jayawardena MP rubbishes idea of fortnightly bin collection". Basingstoke Gazette. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Tory MP James Arbuthnot to step down for 'new challenge'". BBC News. 6 June 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Ranil Jayawardena selected as James Arbuthnot's successor". Ranil Jayawardena. 18 November 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Hampshire North East parliamentary constituency — Election 2015". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  26. ^ Williams, Zoe. "In the country's safest Tory seat, prosperity seeks a steady hand". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  27. ^ Dutta, Kunal (5 May 2015). "Ukip sacks candidate Robert Blay for threatening to shoot his Tory rival". The Independent. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  28. ^ Jayawardena, Ranil (3 June 2015). "House of Commons". Hansard.
  29. ^ Fawkes, Guido (3 June 2015). "Human rights weren't invented in 1998".
  30. ^ "Syria strikes: Find out how your MP voted". BBC News. 3 December 2015. Archived from the original on 3 December 2015.
  31. ^ a b "Mr Ranil Jayawardena". Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  32. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  33. ^ "Hampshire North East". BBC News. Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  34. ^ Brown, Matthew (26 June 2017). "MP Jayawardena quits Twitter over 'trolling, extremists – and worse'". Basingstoke Observer. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups". 2 January 2019.
  36. ^ Jayawardena, Ranil (4 June 2018). "House of Commons". Hansard.
  37. ^ Jayawardena, Ranil (4 September 2018). "House of Commons". Hansard.
  38. ^ "List of PPS's | Conservative Home". Conservative Home. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  39. ^ Birkbeck, Tim (15 November 2018). "Ranil Jayawardena resigns from PPS post over the UK's draft Brexit agreement with the EU". Basingstoke Gazette.
  40. ^ Payne, Sebastian; Tilford, Cale; Kao, Joanna S; Stabe, Martin (20 June 2019). "UK's next prime minister — who are the lead candidates?". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  41. ^ Fawkes, Guido (10 June 2019). "10 Candidates Officially Through Into Tory Leadership Race".
  42. ^ MP, Ranil Jayawardena (12 June 2019). "An inspiring launch to @BorisJohnson's campaign to become Leader of the Conservative Party - and Prime Minister of our great country. This is the man who can unite our divided politics and people, with a vision for Brexit and beyond. #BackBoris".
  43. ^ Conservatives (5 August 2019). "Congratulations to Ranil Jayawardena @Ranil, who has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party". @conservatives. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  44. ^ "Ranil Jayawardena MP—Opinion Piece August 2019". Ranil Jayawardena. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  45. ^ "Our post-Brexit trade policy must put power in the hands of consumers". BrexitCentral. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  46. ^ "Ranil Jayawardena: The free school programme is good. Let's make it outstanding". Conservative Home. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  47. ^ "Having voted down the May deal three times, here's why I believe Boris Johnson's deal deserves support". BrexitCentral. 20 October 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  48. ^ Rayner, Gordon; Mikhailova, Anna; Yorke, Harry; Jones, Amy (22 October 2019). "Brexit vote result: Boris Johnson puts Britain on election footing after MPs vote down his timetable creating more delay". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  49. ^ editor, Rowena Mason Deputy political (5 August 2019). "Boris Johnson ushers in radical new era of special advisers". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  50. ^ Miller, Jess (1 November 2019). "The Tories' 2019 General Election Manifesto is being written by a Communist. Yes, seriously". Evolve Politics. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  51. ^ "How the Tories intend to avoid a repeat of the 2017 manifesto disaster". Coffee House. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  52. ^ "Ranil Jayawardena MP visits HLF supported RSPB reserve at Hazeley Heath". Heritage Lottery Fund. 12 November 2015.
  53. ^ "Alison Lyn Jayawardena". The Law Society. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  54. ^ "About Ranil". Ranil Jayawardena. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  55. ^ "Register of Members' Financial Interests" (PDF). p. 253. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  56. ^ "Ranil Malcolm JAYAWARDENA - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 5 February 2019.

External linksEdit