About Simon

Personal Life

Simon is married to his wife Elizabeth and lives with their six children in east Brighton.

Having been born in Sussex in 1964, Simon has lived locally for nearly all of his life, giving him a real love of the area.

Prior to his career in politics, Simon started, and jointly owned, a local leisure business called C-Side, as well as a local radio station, which today is Juice FM. He was also involved in campaigning for City status for Brighton & Hove.

Simon has been a lifelong supporter of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and still finds time to watch them occasionally, whilst also supporting local football teams Whitehawk FC, Saltdean FC and Peacehaven and Telscombe Cliffs FC.


Simon's Experience

Simon was first elected to represent the people of Kemptown in 1992 as a Councillor on East Sussex County Council.

Following this, he was a representative for Ovingdean, Rottingdean and Saltdean on both Brighton Borough and Brighton and Hove City Councils, and has been a School Governor at a number of schools during the past 20 years.

Simon stood down as a Cabinet member on East Sussex County Council in 2009 to concentrate on winning back the parliamentary seat in Brighton Kemptown, and was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Brighton Kemptown in 2010.

Simon was honoured to have been appointed to the Government Whips office in 2015. This allowed him to be at the centre of Government and have daily contact with Ministers which was extremely helpful in raising local issues with them.

He was delighted to receive a phone call from the Prime Minister in July last year and was honoured and humbled to have been asked to take up a Ministerial position as Economic Secretary to the Treasury.   

Campaigning in Brighton Kemptown

During his time as the Member of Parliament for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, Simon campaigned on a number of important local issues including funding for the local hospital, protection of sensitive green sites from both unauthorised traveller encampments and inappropriate housing development, and a number of LGBT issues.

One of Simon's main campaigns was for the £420 million redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital, which was successful in May 2014. Following this he campaigned for an additional £60 million to enable the redevelopment to provide even better facilities for patients and staff, which was also successful.

Simon also worked tirelessly to protect sensitive green spaces from inappropiate development, such as the Meadow Vale site between Rottingdean and Woodingdean. In early 2015 the local Council listened to Simon, and the voices of thousands of concerned local residents that signed his petition, and rejected the planning application for this site.

With unauthorised traveller encampments causing a yearly game of "cat-and-mouse" across the city, Simon started a petition calling on the City Council to use the powers available to them to take proper action on unauthorised encampments.Thousands of local residents signed his petition, which he presented to Parliament in early 2015.

Other campaigns Simon ran include protecting HIV prevention funding and saving the Saltdean Lido from being turned into flats, and he worked hard to bring about the 2013 Marriage Equality Act.