Michael Ellis MP was born in Northampton at the Barratt Maternity Home in 1967 and he has lived and worked in Northampton his whole life. Michael graduated from University with a Bachelor of Law degree, obtaining a First Class in British Constitutional Law and winning the Regional Government Award for the highest scoring in that subject.
Michael was subsequently Called to the Bar at the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1993 and was thereafter a practising Barrister in the criminal law field for 17 years in the Northampton area. Almost all of his defence representation was for clients on Legal Aid who were unable to afford private legal representation. Michael ceased legal practice when he was elected to Parliament in May 2010.
Michael has been involved in politics for many years. In 1997, he became the then-youngest County Councillor in Northamptonshire, representing the Parklands ward in the Northampton North constituency. He held this office until 2001.
In December 2006 Michael was selected by the general public in an Open Primary to be the Conservative Candidate standing for Parliament to represent Northampton North.
In the General Election of May 2010 Michael defeated the sitting Labour candidate and was Elected to the House of Commons as Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Northampton North.
In February 2011, Michael became a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons, one of the most high-profile committees of the House, which deals with issues such as policing and immigration, and he played a leading part for over four years in the major enquiries the Committee conducted, including into Police conduct and surveillance, and national security issues.
Michael was appointed Parliamentary Advisor to the Chairman of the Conservative Party Rt Hon Lord Feldman of Elstree in September 2012.
At Parliament, Michael established the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and became its Chairman. He proposed the gift, from both Houses of Parliament, to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, of a stained glass window for Her Majesty The Queen. He personally raised nearly £100,000 from Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum towards this project and no public funds needed to be spent on it.
In May 2015, Michael was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP. Michael supported Mrs May in this role, acting in an advisory role and as a conduit between her and other Members of Parliament.
Following Theresa May’s rise to the position of Prime Minister in July 2016, Michael was appointed a Government Minister and the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, a role which saw Michael helping to arrange the Government business in the Commons, as well as scrutinising all Government legislation before it came before the House of Commons. As well as supporting the Leader, Michael took debates on behalf of a number of Government departments, taking questions on issues ranging from Brexit to the amount of funding Scotland receives from the UK Government.
In January 2018 Michael was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and has now been the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism for over a year. Michael’s ministerial portfolio includes responsibility for the Arts, (including theatre, dance, art exhibitions, opera, ballet), Libraries, national museums (including the British Museum, the Tate, the V&A, Science Museum etc) and for listed buildings, historic royal palaces, as well as cultural diplomacy and cultural property and the tourism sector. Tourism alone is worth over 10% of GDP in the country, and is forecast to be worth around £257 billion to the country by 2025.
Michael has travelled throughout the UK in this role with well over 30 regional visits in the last year, as well as working to support tourism throughout the country.