Michael Ellis
Official portrait of Rt Hon Michael Ellis MP crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2020
Minister for the Cabinet Office
Assumed office
8 February 2022
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded bySteve Barclay
Paymaster General
Assumed office
16 September 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byPenny Mordaunt
Solicitor General for England and Wales
In office
10 September 2021 – 16 September 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byLucy Frazer
Succeeded byAlex Chalk
In office
26 July 2019 – 2 March 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byLucy Frazer
Succeeded byLucy Frazer
Attorney General for England and Wales
Advocate General for Northern Ireland
In Office
2 March 2021 – 10 September 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded bySuella Braverman
Succeeded bySuella Braverman
Minister of State for Transport
In office
23 May 2019 – 24 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byJesse Norman
Succeeded byChris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism
In office
9 January 2018 – 23 May 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byJohn Glen
Succeeded byRebecca Pow
Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
In office
17 July 2016 – 9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThérèse Coffey
Succeeded byChris Heaton-Harris
Member of Parliament
for Northampton North
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded bySally Keeble
Majority5,507 (13.9%)
Personal details
Born
Michael Tyrone Ellis

(1967-10-13) 13 October 1967 (age 54)
Northampton, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of Buckingham
City Law School
WebsiteOfficial website

Michael Tyrone Ellis[1] QC MP (born 13 October 1967) is a British politician and barrister serving as Minister for the Cabinet Office since 2022 and Paymaster General since 2021. A member of the Conservative Party, he previously served as Solicitor General for England and Wales from 2019 to 2021. Ellis has also served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Northampton North since 2010.

Ellis served in the May Government as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from 2016 to 2018, as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 2018 to 2019, and briefly as Minister of State for Transport in 2019. When Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, he was appointed Solicitor General and, in September 2019, he was appointed to the Privy Council.[2] He also served as Attorney General for England and Wales from March to September 2021 after Suella Braverman was designated as a Minister on Leave. On 15 September 2021, Ellis was appointed Paymaster General in Johnson's second cabinet reshuffle.[3] Ellis was promoted to Minister for the Cabinet Office on 8 February 2022, whilst also retaining his role as Paymaster General.

Early life and career

Michael Ellis was born in Northampton on 13 October 1967 to a British Jewish family.[4] He was privately educated at two independent schools: Spratton Hall School, a preparatory school in the village of Spratton and at Wellingborough School, in the town of Wellingborough. He went on to study at the independent University of Buckingham, where he obtained a 2:1 LL.B. degree in 1993, and won the Aylesbury Vale District Council Chairman's Prize for the Best Performance in Public Law that year.[5] At university, he was also a student editor of the Denning Law Journal.[5] Whilst at university, Ellis undertook an exchange programme in the United States at the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia.[5] After attending the Inns of Court School of Law in London, he was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1993.[6] His legal practice as a barrister was based in Northampton, and his chamber's head office was in London.[7]

Political career

Ellis stood unsuccessfully as the Conservative candidate in the Park ward of Northampton Borough Council in 1995.[8] However, he was elected in 1997 as a Conservative Councillor on Northamptonshire County Council, representing the Northampton Park (now Parklands) Ward, winning the seat from his Labour Party rival by just 44 votes. He served until the next election in May 2001, when he did not stand again.[9] At the time of his election he was the youngest County Councillor in Northamptonshire, at the age of 29.[10]

Ellis became the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Northampton North in December 2006. This followed a public vote in an open primary, which was a relatively unusual selection mechanism at the time.[11][12][13][14] Ellis was elected to Parliament in the 6 May 2010 general election gaining the seat with a majority of 1,936 and 34.1% of the vote, defeating the sitting Labour MP, Sally Keeble.[15]

In November 2010, Ellis established an All Party Group on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which he chaired for the following three years.[16] In this role, Ellis was responsible for organising a gift of a stained glass window of the Queen's coat of arms for the Queen from both Houses of Parliament.[17] Ellis was also responsible for organising the planting of a Red Windsor apple tree on Speaker's Green at the Houses of Parliament as part of the Woodland Trust's Jubilee Woods project.[18]

In July 2010, he was first elected onto the Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee) and worked on the Draft Communications Data Bill during the 2012–13 Parliamentary session.[19] Ellis was interviewed about this Bill with Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, on the Daily Politics programme on 11 December 2012.[20] In February 2011, Ellis was first elected onto the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.[21][22] Writing in The Independent newspaper, Ian Burrell described Ellis as asking questions in one case with "all the gravitas of a prosecuting counsel".[23]

On 25 September 2012, Ellis was appointed Parliamentary Adviser[clarification needed] to Lord Feldman of Elstree, the Conservative Party co-chairman.[citation needed]

On 11 September 2013, Ellis introduced the Medical Innovation (No.2) Bill, a private members bill to the House of Commons.[24][25] The bill was designed to allow doctors more scope to innovate when treating cancer patients, but was criticised by a range of medical and legal bodies, patient groups and charities.[26][27] The bill was withdrawn after its first reading,[28] following an indication from the government that they would support it.[29] Although the Conservative MP Dan Poulter MP, who was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, suggested in July 2014 that the Government was keen to support it, it failed to progress through the House of Commons after the Liberal Democrats declined to support it.[30]

In March 2014, the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne announced in the House of Commons during the Budget Speech that a campaign Ellis had been conducting to secure extra funds to reduce potholes had succeeded and that a £200 million fund was being created to be distributed nationwide.[31] In June 2014, it was announced that £3.3 million of this fund would be allocated to Northamptonshire by the Department for Transport, with various repairs in Northampton.[32][33]

In July 2014, Ellis was successful in calling for the Parliamentary authorities to officially mark the assassination of a former member of Parliament for Northampton, Spencer Perceval, who had become Prime Minister, and who was shot and killed in the House of Commons in 1812. The Parliamentary authorities agreed to install a brass plaque in St Stephen's Hall commemorating the notable assassination and Ellis called this a "fitting tribute" to the former prime minister and historic Northampton figure.[34]

In October 2014, the Northampton Chronicle & Echo newspaper reported that Ellis had been canvassing in Northampton when he came across a medical emergency and performed Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a constituent.[35]

Ellis was re-elected at the 2015 general election. He beat Sally Keeble by 3,245 votes (42%) to secure his seat in the House of Commons.[36]

In May 2016, it emerged that Ellis was one of a number of Conservative MPs being investigated by police in the 2015 general election party spending investigation, for allegedly spending more than the legal limit on constituency election campaign expenses.[37] However, in May 2017, the Crown Prosecution Service said that while there was evidence of inaccurate spending returns, it did not "meet the test" for further action.[38]

In July 2016, Ellis was made an Assistant Whip (HM Treasury) and became Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.[39]

Ellis was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[40] He later supported Theresa May's Brexit deal,[41] and voted against ruling out a no-deal Brexit.[42]

Ellis was re-elected again at the 2017 general election. However, his majority was reduced to 807 votes.

In July 2017, Ellis was called as a witness in the trial of Adam Simmonds, the former Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, who faced charges of leaking information relating to fraud allegations against Peter Bone, the Conservative MP for Wellingborough. Ellis admitted a "hazy recollection" of "discussing a criminal investigation into Peter Bone and the damage it might do to the Conservative Party with Adam Simmonds over coffee". Neither Simmonds or Bone were ultimately found guilty of the separate charges brought against them.[43]

In February 2018, following the announcement that Northamptonshire County Council had brought in a "section 114" notice, putting it in special measures following a crises in its finances, Ellis was one of seven local MPs who released a statement arguing that the problems with the authority were down to mismanagement from the Conservative councillors who led it rather than funding cuts from the Conservative Government. They further argued that government commissioners should take over the running of the council.[44]

As Arts Minister in April 2019, Ellis placed an export bar on a 500-year-old drawing by Lucas van Leyden worth £11.4 million in a bid to keep the work of art in the United Kingdom.[45] He also placed an export bar on a 17th-century baroque cabinet by Roman maker Giacomo Herman[46] and a unique 18th-century harpsichord by Joseph Mahoon.[47]

In the House of Commons he has sat on the Statutory Instruments (Select and Joint Committees) and the Home Affairs Committee.[39] He is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel group, and has participated in delegations to raise concerns about an agreement relating to Iran's nuclear capabilities.[48]

When Suella Braverman was designated as a Minister on Leave in 2021, Ellis was appointed Attorney General[49] and designated as also attending Cabinet.[50]

On 8 February 2022, Ellis was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office in addition to his role as Paymaster General.[51]

References

  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8744.
  2. ^ "Valerie Vaz is made an advisor to the Queen".
  3. ^ "Ministerial appointments: September 2021". GOV.UK. 16 September 2021.
  4. ^ Jessica Elgot (14 May 2010). "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Conservatives – Northampton Conservatives – Michael Ellis MP". Northampton Conservatives. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Michael Ellis". Clarendonchambers.com. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Welcome to Clarendon Chambers". Clarendon Chambers. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Northampton Borough Council Election Results 1973-2011" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Northamptonshire County Council Election Results 1973-2009" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  10. ^ "About Michael". Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Michael Ellis – The people's choice". Northampton North Conservatives. 8 August 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Tories pick Spelthorne candidate in primary". BBC News. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  13. ^ "GP wins Tory 'open primary' race". BBC News. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  14. ^ "We're the progressives – Osborne". BBC News. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Election 2010 | Constituency | Northampton North". BBC News. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  16. ^ "House of Commons – Register of All Party Groups". UK Parliament. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  17. ^ McGurran, Deborah (9 January 2012). "Stained glass window to mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee". BBC News. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Jubilee Woods". Woodland Trust. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill". UK Parliament. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Communications Data Bill: Jimmy Wales and Michael Ellis". BBC News. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Home Affairs Committee Membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  22. ^ "Home Affairs Committee hears evidence from Russell Brand as part of drugs policy enquiry". UK Parliament. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  23. ^ "MPs question Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger's patriotism over Edward Snowden leaks". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  24. ^ "Medical Innovation (No.2) Bill 2013–14". UK Parliament. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  25. ^ "Medical Innovation Bill [HL] 2012–13". UK Parliament. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  26. ^ "Attacking critics is no way to fix the Saatchi bill". The Guardian. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Lord Maurice Saatchi Blames Lack of Cancer Cure on Legal 'Deterrent'". Huffington Post UK. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  28. ^ Michael Ellis. "Medical Innovation (No. 2) Bill 2013–14". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  29. ^ "Twitter / Michael Ellis". Twitter. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  30. ^ "Medical Treatments: Innovation". Houses of Parliament.
  31. ^ "Northampton North MP praised as Chancellor announces £200 million of funding to repair potholes". Northampton Chronicle and Echo. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Northamptonshire to receive an extra £3.3 million to fix potholes". Northampton Chronicle and Echo. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  33. ^ "Potholes in dozens of roads in Northampton to be fixed as part of £3.3 million repair work". Northampton Chronicle and Echo. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  34. ^ "Spencer Perceval: Plaque for assassinated prime minister". BBC News. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  35. ^ "Family thank Northampton MP for giving CPR to grandfather". Northampton Chronicle and Echo. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  36. ^ "GENERAL ELECTION 2015: Conservative Michael Ellis says he was 'humbled' by result that saw him retain seat in Northampton North". Northamptonshire Telegraph. Johnson Publishing. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  37. ^ "Election Expenses Exposed". Channel 4 News. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  38. ^ "No charges over 2015 Conservative battle bus cases". BBC News. BBC. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  39. ^ a b "Michael Ellis". Parliament UK. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  40. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  41. ^ "Where every Tory MP stands on Brexit: the full list". Blogs.spectator.co.uk. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  42. ^ Jacob Jarvis (14 March 2019). "How did your MP vote on the no deal Brexit motion?". Evening Standard. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  43. ^ "ADAM SIMMONDS TRIAL: Northampton MP reveals discussions with commissioner over investigation". Northampton Chronicle and Echo. 5 July 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  44. ^ "Northamptonshire MPs call for county council takeover". BBC News. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  45. ^ "£11 million drawing at risk of export". GOV.UK. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  46. ^ "Arts Minister steps in to save rare £3 million Baroque Cabinet for the nation". GOV.UK. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  47. ^ "Unique 18th century harpsichord at risk of export". GOV.UK. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  48. ^ "April 2014". cfoi.co.uk.
  49. ^ "Ministerial appointments: 2 March 2021". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  50. ^ "Ministers - GOV.UK". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  51. ^ M, Muvija; James, William (8 February 2022). "UK lawmaker Ellis to be minister for cabinet office - PM's office". Reuters. Retrieved 31 March 2022.