John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He has been the MP for Wokingham since 1987.
John was an Oxfordshire County Councillor in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s he was Chief Policy Advisor to Margaret Thatcher. He urged her to begin a great privatisation programme, and then took privatisation around the world as one of its first advocates before being elected to Parliament for Wokingham. He was soon made a minister, joining the front bench in 1989 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Trade and Industry. He supervised the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in the early 1990s and became Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities after the 1992 General Election.
Shortly afterwards, John joined the Cabinet and served as Secretary of State for Wales from 1993 to 1995. In opposition he acted as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1997-1999), Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1999-2000) and Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation (2004-2005). In the 1990s he campaigned widely to keep the pound, and wrote several books and articles explaining why the Euro would be wrong for the UK. (Our Currency, our country; Just Say No).
John subsequently served as Chairman of the Economic Policy Review (2005-2010) undertaken by the Opposition. A copy of the report is available here. He has been Chairman of the Conservative Economic Affairs Committee since 2010. John stood for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1995 and again in 1997.
John was a fellow of All Souls from 1972 to 1987 , again from 2003 to 2005, and since 2007. He is currently a Visiting Professor for Middlesex University Business School and has published a number of books including ‘Superpower Struggles‘, on the European Union, China and the United States, ‘Just Say No‘ on why the UK should reject further European integration, and ‘Singing the Blues‘, his personal history of the Conservative Party throughout the last thirty years. His most recent publications are ‘I Want to Make a Difference, But I Don’t Like Politics‘, which examines the reason for the decline in membership of political parties and those voting in local and General Elections, and After the Credit Crunch: No More Boom and Bust, which considers the reasons behind the global recession and why Britain has been hit especially hard.
John is a frequent commentator in the media and is a keen cricketer and water sports enthusiast, and supports a number of different charities. He is an Ambassador for the Variety Club of Great Britain.