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James Morris (British politician)

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James Morris

Official portrait of James Morris MP crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Halesowen and Rowley Regis
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded bySylvia Heal
Majority12,074 (28.5%)
Personal details
Born (1967-02-04) 4 February 1967 (age 53)
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham (BA)

Wadham College, Oxford (MPhil)

Cranfield School of Management (MBA)

James George Morris[1] (born 4 February 1967[2]) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in West Midlands, England at the 2010 general election.[3] He has served on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee since his election.

Early life and career

Morris was born on 4 February 1967 in Nottingham and grew up in Nottinghamshire. He has roots in the Black Country: his grandfather worked in the Halesowen Steel works in the 1930s and 1940s, his parents are from the Black Country and his uncle lives in Rowley Regis.[4]

Morris was privately educated at Nottingham High School,[5] an independent school for boys in his home city of Nottingham, followed by the University of Birmingham, where he obtained a degree in English Literature[citation needed]. He then undertook Postgraduate research at Wadham College, Oxford[citation needed]. He later studied at Cranfield School of Management.[4]

Before becoming involved in politics in Halesowen and Rowley Regis, Morris had a successful career as a small businessman specialising in computer software.[citation needed] In 2003 he founded Mind the Gap, an independent campaign to promote civic action and to encourage more grass roots involvement in politics. In 2004 he wrote a pamphlet entitled - Change Starts Small - which explored how to get more local grass roots involvement in politics and argued that the British political system needed fundamental change.[6] Morris is married to Anna and they have two children.[4]

Prior to the 2010 Election, Morris was the Chief Executive of Localis, a local government and localist think tank, where the mission was to 'stimulate and challenge the current orthodoxy of the governance of the UK.' During his time at the think tank, Localis released a number of reports, including The Million Vote Mandate, Can Localism Deliver?, and For Good Measure, all of which he edited.[7]

Parliamentary career

Morris was selected as the seat's Conservative candidate after previous candidate Nigel Hastilow stepped down in November 2007 following Hastilow's remarks claiming that warnings of "rivers of blood" speech by Enoch Powell in 1968 had proved correct.[8]

Morris served on the Communities and Local Government Committee between 2010 and 2014. He is a member of a number of APPGs, including Youth Affairs, United Nations and Mental Health.[9] In March 2011, the Sunday Mercury confirmed that Morris had the best attendance record of all 57 West Midlands MPs – attending 96% of votes.[10] In the local area, Morris has been a supporter of the successful campaign to Save Rowley Hospital which secured and maintained in-patient facilities at the hospital. He has also raised questions over the future for Halesowen Abbey in Parliament.[11]

Morris generally voted against gay rights and against allowing marriage between two people of the same sex.[12]

Morris was PPS to Esther McVey but resigned his position in January 2015 in order to vote for a change in the law that would require planning permission to demolish or change the use of local pubs.[13]

Morris was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum,[14] but since then has consistently voted for the UK to leave.


  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8738.
  2. ^ "Who's Who". 5 December 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Historic Tory win in Halesowen and Rowley Regis (From Halesowen News)". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Nottingham High School: Politics Review - Autumn Term 2012 Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Publisher: Nottingham High School. Published: 2012. Retrieved: 14 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Watson, Nick (7 November 2007). "Enoch Powell's ghost". BBC News.
  9. ^ "Register of All-Party Groups". House of Commons of the United Kingdom. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "MP and Trust voice concerns over future of Halesowen Abbey (From Dudley News)". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  12. ^ "How James Morris Voted on Social Issues". They Work For You. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP resigns Govt post over pub issue". Halesowen News. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  14. ^ 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.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sylvia Heal
Member of Parliament for Halesowen & Rowley Regis