John Whittingdale MP, Chair
John Whittingdale has been MP for the seat of Maldon since 1992.In 1994 he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Eric Forth as Education Minister. After the Labour election victory in 1997 John went into the Whips office before becoming Parliamentary Private Secretary to new leader William Hague MP. John became Shadow Trade & Industry Secretary in September 2001 under Ian Duncan Smith, before taking on the role of Shadow Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport. In November 2003 John moved to become Shadow Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food before returning to DCMS between 2004-5.
John has served on the House of Commons Select Committee for Health, Information, and Trade & Industry. He has been Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee since 2005.
Pete Wishart MP, Vice Chair
Pete Wishart has served as the Member of Parliament for the Perth and North Perthshire seat since 2001, and currently holds a majority of 4,379 over the Conservatives.
Born in Dunfermline in 1962, Pete was educated at Queen Anne High School and Moray House College, Edinburgh. Pete lives in Perth and has one son. His hobbies include walking in the Perthshire hills.
Pete was the SNP Chief Whip at Westminster from 2001-2007 and is currently the Westminster Spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport and the Constitution.
Pete was, for 15 years, a member of the internationally successful Scottish group Runrig, and is also a member of the All-Party band MP4.
Lord Razzall, Treasurer
Lord Razzall was born in 1943 into a political family; his father Humphrey Razzall was a Liberal candidate in the 1945 general election. However, at University his passions were law and cricket, where he played a number of games for Oxford against county sides. After Oxford he taught at Northwestern University in Chicago for a while before returning to London.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1969 and worked for Frere Cholmeley (later Frere Cholmeley Bischoff), becoming a partner in 1973.
In 1974 he moved into politics, contesting Mortlake Ward in Richmond, winning and holding the seat for the next 24 years. In 1986 he became joint Treasurer of the Liberal Party and then the Treasurer of the newly merged Liberal Democrats, from 1988 to 2002.
Lord Razzall was awarded the CBE in 1993 and made a Life Peer in 1997; he had roles in the organisation of the election campaigns in 1992 and 1997, and in the 2001 and 2005 General Elections he was the Chair of the Campaigns & Communications Committee. Until 2010 he was the spokesperson in the Lords for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
Jim Dowd MP, Vice Chair
Jim Dowd has been Labour MP for Lewisham West since 1992. He was a Whip for a time in Opposition, and later an assistant Spokesman for Northern Ireland.
He was appointed to the position of Government Whip following the 1997 General Election. In 2001 he joined the Labour Party Departmental Committee for Culture, Media and Sport.
He has been Treasurer for the All-Party Parliamentary IP Group since 2005.
Mike Weatherley MP, Secretary
Mike Weatherley was born in Clevedon, Somerset, in 1957. He attended Kent College, Canterbury, and then South Bank University, London, where he was awarded a BA (Hons) in Business Studies.
In 2000, Mike was made Financial Controller of the Pete Waterman Group and in 2007 became Vice President (Europe) for the Motion Picture Licensing Company. He has used his extensive knowledge of creative industries in Parliament to support local talent and to campaign for the greater use of Brighton & Hove as a filming location. He regularly attends rock and heavy metal concerts – as far away as Brazil – and is well known for his ‘House of Rock’ show on Radio Reverb.
Mike stood as a Parliamentary Candidate in Barking in 2001 and then in Brighton Pavilion in 2005. In the interim, he served as a Councillor in Crawley from 2005-6, before being selected as Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade in 2006. He was elected in May 2010 with a majority of 1,868
Mike is a qualified ski instructor and football referee (and former centre-forward of the Martha Gunners!). He supports Brighton & Hove Albion and may frequently be seen attending matches. Mike is divorced and has three children: Mark, Chris and Becky.