Ben Gummer
Gummer in 2016
Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
14 July 2016 – 11 June 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byMatt Hancock
Succeeded byDamian Green
Paymaster General
In office
14 July 2016 – 11 June 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byMatt Hancock
Succeeded byMel Stride
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Services
In office
12 May 2015 – 14 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byDan Poulter
Succeeded byNicola Blackwood
Member of Parliament
for Ipswich
In office
6 May 2010 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byChris Mole
Succeeded bySandy Martin
Personal details
Born (1978-02-19) 19 February 1978 (age 46)
London, England, UK
Political partyConservative
Alma materPeterhouse, Cambridge
WebsiteOfficial website

Benedict Michael Gummer (born 19 February 1978) is a British businessman and former politician. He is a partner of Gummer Leathes, a property developer.[1][2] He is a senior adviser to McKinsey & Company, the management consultancy, a visiting fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University and a member of the advisory board of the Office for Place.[3][4]

Gummer served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ipswich from 2010 to 2017.[5] A member of the Conservative Party, he became Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General in the First May ministry in 2016, entering the cabinet as its youngest member. He lost his seat in the House of Commons in the 2017 general election.

Early life and education

Gummer is the eldest child of former Conservative Cabinet Minister John Gummer, and Penelope Jane (née Gardner). John Gummer was MP for Suffolk Coastal until the 2010 general election, when he moved to the House of Lords. Gummer attended St Saviour's Church of England Primary School in Ealing, West London. Between 1987 and 1991, he was a chorister at St John's College School, Cambridge, where he sang under George Guest and Christopher Robinson. Gummer was a music scholar at Tonbridge School in Kent. Having won the Vellacott Historical Essay Prize, he took a starred double first in History at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he was an exhibitioner and scholar.[6]

Early business career

After graduating, Gummer ran a small engineering firm. Between 2005 and 2010, he was managing director of the family-owned Sancroft International, a corporate responsibility consultancy.[5]


Gummer published a history of the Black Death, The Scourging Angel, in 2009.[7][8] The book received favourable reviews. In The Times Literary Supplement, Jonathan Sumption commented that Gummer "establishes the facts more thoroughly than any of his predecessors".[6] Andrew Roberts described it as a "moving and incisive history" and named it one of his 'Books of the Year' in The Daily Telegraph.[9]

Political career

Gummer was selected by open primary as the Conservative candidate in August 2007 for the Ipswich constituency.[10][11] His main three pledges were the retention of services at Ipswich Hospital, a crackdown on binge drinking, and no new housing without provision of infrastructure.[12] Gummer defeated incumbent Labour MP Chris Mole and became MP for the Ipswich constituency in the general election of 2010, enjoying the largest majority of any Conservative in Ipswich since 1935.[13] In the 2015 election, Gummer was re-elected with an increased majority. In April 2017 Theresa May made him responsible for co-ordination of the Conservative manifesto alongside her former advisor Nick Timothy.[14] He lost his seat in the 2017 election by a margin of 831 votes to the Labour candidate Sandy Martin.[15]

Parliamentary interests

Before becoming a minister, Gummer sat on two separate finance bill committees, as well as those on childcare payments, defamation, legal aid, and terrorism prevention.[16] He was a member of the UK parliamentary delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and a patron of the Longford Trust.[17][non-primary source needed]

Political views

Gummer used his maiden speech to argue for rapid deficit and debt reduction and penal reform.[18] He has spoken strongly against votes for prisoners,[19] but in favour of more constructive prison and probation sentences.[20] He has described himself as "a libertarian" and has said that he has "absolutely no problem" with gay marriage,[21] subsequently voting for it in Parliament.[22] He also added his name to an amendment to clause one of the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which calls for the word 'insulting' to be dropped from section 5 of the Public Order Act.[23] Gummer was strongly in favour of the United Kingdom remaining in the European Union and described himself as "devastated" by the result.[24]

Tax statements

Main article: Tax statements

In 2012, Gummer proposed annual tax statements intended to show itemised spending per department in proportion to the amount the taxpayer paid in the year to date.[25] Gummer's proposal was favourably received by the press in the UK and in the US by the Wall Street Journal[26] It was included in the 2012 Budget and due for introduction in 2014 with George Osborne calling it "an excellent idea".[27] The TaxPayers' Alliance subsequently honoured Gummer as their 'Pin-Up of the Month'.[28]

It was also supported by the prime minister. Gummer's breakdown showed that someone with a salary of £25,500 in 2012 would be paying for the following through their income tax and national insurance contributions:

Gummer emphasised that this would help refute suggestions that most taxation goes to the EU, Africa or Trident.[29]

Public debt management

In the financial dailies City AM[30] and the Financial Times[31] Gummer has called for Swedish style fiscal rules. While other MPs argued for a 'deficit ceiling',[32] Gummer argued instead that the government should change the way it sets budgets, ensuring a budget surplus over the medium term. To this end, in the 2012-13 session of Parliament he introduced a Private Members' Bill titled the 'Public Debt Management Bill', the aim of which was to introduce rule whereby the Chancellor of the Exchequer must ensure that the budget is in surplus by at least 1% of over the course of each business cycle.[33] The bill was not taken forward, although in 2015 rules along similar lines, with the Office for Budget Responsibility involved in the way Gummer's bill suggested, were adopted by the government.[34]

Renaming National Insurance

In February 2014, Gummer brought in a ten minute rule bill to rename National Insurance contributions as an Earnings Tax.[35] Although back-benchers were reported to be enthusiastic, the Treasury, which had launched a consultation exercise on it in 2011, is believed to have considered it too expensive.[36]

Parliamentary Private Secretary

In May 2012, Gummer was appointed Parliamentary Adviser to Andrew, Lord Feldman, the Conservative Party co-chairman, helping him to develop the relationship between Conservative Campaign Headquarters and Conservative MPs.[37] In September 2012, Gummer was promoted to Parliamentary Private Secretary to Alan Duncan, Minister of State for International Development, in the government reshuffle.[38] Duncan was responsible for Asia, the Middle East, Caribbean and Overseas Territories, International Finance, International Relations (except the EU), Trade, and Corporate Performance Divisions.[citation needed]

In October 2013, he became PPS to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.[39] Following the 2014 reshuffle, Gummer became PPS to Nicky Morgan. In May 2015 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health.[40]

Health Minister

Following the 2015 general election, Gummer became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care Quality in the Department of Health, one of the broadest junior ministerial briefs. Gummer's ministerial responsibilities included NHS hospitals, the NHS workforce, maternity care, patient safety and end of life care. Gummer's achievements include a new strategy to deal with high levels of stillbirths,[41] the government commitment to ensure high quality, compassionate end of life care across the health system by 2020[42] and the introduction of reforms to nursing training and bursaries, which aim to create 10,000 more nursing, midwifery and allied health degree places and launching a consultation on a new nursing associate role.[43] His ministerial role also involved him in the Junior Doctors' contract dispute and negotiations with the chair of the BMA junior doctors' committee Dr Johann Malawana. Gummer claimed that the new contract was "fair to all, including protected groups, whilst recognising the importance of the contract continuing to be built on equal pay principles".[44] After a series of strikes the BMA returned to the negotiating table and agreed a deal with the government, although its membership rejected the deal, leading to Dr Malawana's resignation.[45]

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General

In July 2016, Gummer was promoted by new prime minister Theresa May to the position of Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General. His ministerial responsibilities included the development, co-ordination and implementation of government policy, management of the functions of government (people, digital, property, procurement and security), oversight of the civil service, constitutional issues, the resilience of the UK's infrastructure and cyber security. A profile of Gummer by Andrew Gimson for Conservative Home described him as "the most important minister whose role you’ve never heard of…Gummer enjoys the confidence of May and her advisers, who describe him as 'first class'".[46]

Constituency projects

Upper Orwell Crossings

In October 2014, Gummer launched the campaign for a new Wet Dock Crossing, as the project was called at the time.[47][48] The project consists of three proposed new crossings to the River Orwell close to Ipswich town centre. The purpose of the crossings is to facilitate regeneration and reduce congestion in the town.[49] £2 million were awarded by the Government in the 2015 budget to allow detailed plans for the project to be drawn up.[50][51] The business case for the crossings, which noted that for every £1 invested, the scheme would yield £5.73 of direct benefits[52] was submitted to the governmental administration in January 2016. Gummer lobbied Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne for the money needed[citation needed] and in the budget 2016, Osborne announced that the government would be funding the crossings.[53]

The project was subsequently renamed the Upper Orwell Crossings.[54] Some of the project's supporters include: The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Ipswich Borough Council, The University of Suffolk, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Associated British Ports (the landowner), and Suffolk County Council who are responsible for delivering the project.[55]


Gummer lobbied the Chancellor of the Exchequer for £500 million of investment into East Anglia's railways, along with Norwich North MP Chloe Smith and Witham MP Priti Patel,[56] and has called for caps on rail fare increases.[57]

After politics

In January 2018, Gummer joined McKinsey & Company, and the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. As of June 2018, he had not spoken in public since the 2017 election.[58]

Personal life

Gummer is married to Sarah Langford, a barrister in criminal and family law. They have two sons.[59]


Coat of arms of Ben Gummer
A cock wings elevated and addorsed Or beaked and combed jelloped and legged Gules grasping in the dexter claws a lily of the valley Argent slipped and leaved Or.
Gules a cross potent nowy quadrate Argent between four escallops fukes inwards Or.
Duc In Altum (Put Out Into The Deep)[60]



  1. ^ "GummerLeathes". Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Benedict Michael GUMMER – Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Ben Gummer Summary of Appointments".
  4. ^ "Vision for building beautiful places set out at landmark design event".
  5. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b "The Black Death in the British Isles – a book by Benedict Gummer". The Scourging Angel. Archived from the original on 31 July 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Ben Gummer's blog". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  8. ^ "The Scourging Angel". Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  9. ^ "My books of the year". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  10. ^ White, Roland (19 August 2007). "Ben Gummer has been selected to contest Ipswich for the Tories". The Sunday Times. London. p. 17.
  11. ^ "Tony Benn is not the only man with a family dynasty". London Evening Standard. London. 2 October 2007. p. 1.
  12. ^ "Ben Gummer fighting for Ipswich". 26 April 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Harman must put up or keep quiet". East Anglian Daily Times. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
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  15. ^ "Ipswich parliamentary constituency – Election 2017 – BBC News". BBC. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Numerology". Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Meet Ben". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  18. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  19. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  20. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  21. ^ "The ambassador from Ipswich". 21 March 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  22. ^ Andrew Sparrow (5 February 2013). "MPs vote in favour of gay marriage: Politics live blog". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  23. ^ "Ben Gummer's blog". Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  24. ^ "Ipswich Star".
  25. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  26. ^ "Ben Gummer: Where Do Your Taxes Go?". The Wall Street Journal. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  27. ^ Giles, Chris. "Taxpayers to receive personal statements". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  28. ^ "TaxPayers' Alliance announces March's Pin-Up and Pinhead of the Month". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  29. ^ Deborah McGurran (21 March 2012). "Success for Ipswich MP's tax plans". BBC. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  30. ^ "Britain needs a Swedish-style fiscal rule to end its yearly Budget farce". City A.M. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  31. ^ Gummer, Ben. "Struggle against public debt must go on". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  32. ^ "Sajid Javid MP: Come on then Ed, back my National Debt Cap Bill now | Conservative Home". Conservative Home. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  33. ^
  34. ^ editor, Patrick Wintour Political (14 October 2015). "George Osborne's fiscal charter passes as 21 Labour MPs defy whip". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 May 2017. ((cite news)): |last= has generic name (help)
  35. ^ Huysman, Margot (24 February 2014). "Conservative backbencher Ben Gummer wants to rename National Insurance". The Independent. London.
  36. ^ Mason, Rowena (30 June 2014). "No 10 plays down Tory idea to merge national insurance and income tax". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  37. ^ "The Conservative Party | Lord Feldman appoints Ben Gummer MP as his Parliamentary Adviser". Conservative Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  38. ^ "Good day for the Gummers". East Anglian Daily Times. Ipswich. 13 September 2012.
  39. ^ Kilpatrick, Tom (17 October 2013). "MP Gummer's new role as aide to Michael Gove". East Anglian Daily Times. Ipswich.
  40. ^ Grant, Katie (13 May 2015). "New health minister opposed to abortion urged to reconsider stance 'that does not reflect the view of the electorate'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  41. ^ "Infant death rate 'lowest ever'". BBC News. 19 April 2016.
  42. ^ "Government commits to high quality end of life care – GOV.UK". Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  43. ^ Gummer, Ben (23 February 2016). "Bursary reform is good for students, nurses and the NHS". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  44. ^ . Retrieved 8 May 2017. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  45. ^ "Junior doctors' contract to be forced through after vote to reject new deal". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  46. ^ "Profile: Ben Gummer – the most important Minister whose role you've never heard of | Conservative Home". Conservative Home. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  47. ^ Geater, Paul. "Video: New "Enterprise Island" could transform Ipswich Waterfront". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  48. ^ "Ipswich Waterfront plan 'critical to town's future'". BBC News. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  49. ^ "Upper Orwell Crossings proposal | Suffolk County Council". Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  50. ^ "Budget 2015" (PDF).
  51. ^ Geater, Paul. "Government pledges £2 million for Ipswich wet dock link". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  52. ^ "Suffolk County Council – Wet Dock Crossing Business Case" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  53. ^ "Budget 2016" (PDF).
  54. ^ "Ipswich's wet dock crossing gets go-ahead in chancellor's budget". BBC News. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  55. ^ "Upper Orwell Crossings – Final Business Case" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  56. ^ "East Anglia: Rail transformation on the way". East Anglian Daily Times. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  57. ^ "Suffolk/Ipswich: MP Ben Gummer to lead the calls for no 3.5% rail fare increases". East Anglian Daily Times. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  58. ^ "Sarah Langford on life at the bar, a harrowing election loss, and her new book". 27 June 2018.
  59. ^ "MP Ben Gummer and his wife Sarah celebrate arrival of their first baby – and it is a boy". Ipswich Star. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  60. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 2019. p. 2288.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byChris Mole Member of Parliamentfor Ipswich 20102017 Succeeded bySandy Martin Political offices Preceded byMatt Hancock Minister for the Cabinet Office 2016–2017 Succeeded byDamian Green Paymaster General 2016–2017 Succeeded byMel Stride