Rob was born and brought up in south Oxfordshire before moving to Reading in 1984 as a student attending Reading University. He is married to Jane and they have four children who attend local schools. Rob and his family live here in Reading East.
Rob made his name as an entrepreneur, successfully building several small businesses and creating employment. Before being elected as Member of Parliament for Reading East in 2005, Rob also served as a Reading Borough councillor.
He served on the Education Select Committee until 2007 when he was appointed Shadow Minister for Higher Education. Following David Cameron’s reshuffle in January 2009, he became a whip with responsibility for transport and health. Rob was re-elected in May 2010 with a substantially increased majority.
Following the coalition Government agreement, Rob was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport until moving across with Jeremy Hunt to the Department for Health in September 2012. From October 2013 to July 2014 Rob was PPS to George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the Treasury.
In September 2014 Rob became Minister for Civil Society.
Rob wrote a critically acclaimed book on the formation of the Coalition government entitled 5 Days to Power: The Journey to Coalition Britain which was published in 2010. His second book 'The Eye of the Storm: the view from the centre of the political scandal' which was published on 22 July 2014.
Rob has played a leading role in securing a number of major investments in the Reading East area including the redevelopment of Reading Station and securing government backing for a direct rail link between Reading and Heathrow Airport.
He has led two successful bids for new schools in the area, including the landmark new University Technical College (UTC), which will equip local young people and raise the quality of life for people in East Reading.
In particular, he is campaigning for a third Thames bridge crossing to reduce the chronic traffic problems affecting local residents and businesses. He will also continue fighting to ensure that Reading’s needs are met by the planned extension of Crossrail.
Rob was re-selected in 2012 to be the Conservative Parliamentary candidate in the 2015 General Election.