Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP

Biography

Mark Harper was appointed as Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) on 10 May 2015. He was elected Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean in May 2005.

Education

Mark was educated at Headlands school, Swindon, and Swindon College, before studying philosophy, politics and economics at Brasenose College, Oxford.

Political career

Mark was elected as an MP in May 2005. In December 2005, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Defence and in July 2007 he became Shadow Minister for Disabled People. Following the formation of the coalition government in 2010, Mark was appointed Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform. He was appointed Minister for Immigration in September 2012.

Career outside politics

Mark qualified as a chartered accountant with the professional services network, KPMG, in 1995. Until 2002 he worked for Intel Corporation in a variety of fields, including finance, business operations and marketing, before establishing his own chartered accountancy business in the Forest of Dean.

Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

The Chief Whip is responsible for administering the whipping system that ensures that members of the party attend and vote in Parliament as the party leadership desires.

Whips are MPs or Lords appointed by each party in Parliament to help organise their party’s contribution to parliamentary business. One of their responsibilities is making sure the maximum number of their party members vote, and vote the way their party wants.

Other whip duties

Whips frequently act as tellers (counting votes in divisions). They also manage the pairing system whereby Members of opposing parties both agree not to vote when other business (such as a select committee visit) prevents them from being present at Westminster.

Whips are also largely responsible (together with the Leader of the House in the Commons) for arranging the business of Parliament. In this role they are frequently referred to as ‘the usual channels’.

Previous roles in government

  1. Minister of State for Disabled People

    • 2014 to 2015
  2. Minister of State

    • 2012 to 2014
  3. Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform

    • 2010 to 2012

Announcements

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  1. National Grid joins government’s Disability Confident campaign

    • Press release
  2. Independent Living Fund reappointment of Chair and Vice Chair of board of trustees

    • Press release
  3. Improved specialist employment scheme will double number of disabled people supported into work

    • Press release
  4. £100,000 boost for tech innovators seeking to improve disabled people’s lives

    • Press release
  5. Creating inclusive buildings and design

    • Press release
  6. 400 more disabled people in work every day

    • Press release
  7. Accessible Britain Challenge Awards 2015 shortlist announced

    • Press release
  8. Make every town Disability Confident: MPs called on to support disability employment drive

    • Press release
  9. DWP fraud busters win industry accolade

    • Press release
  10. Benefit fraud clampdown as maximum penalty to be more than doubled

    • Press release