Jesse is has been MP for Hereford & South Herefordshire since 2010 and Minister for Industry & Energy since July 2016. He is re-standing for the seat in the general election on 8th June.
Jesse won the seat of Hereford and South Herefordshire from the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 2,481 in 2010, increasing this in 2015 to 16,890. During the 2010-15 Parliament Jesse was a member of the Treasury Select Committee, and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership. In June 2015 he was elected Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee by fellow MPs, before assuming his current post.
Jesse graduated in classics at Oxford University, and has an MPhil and PhD in philosophy from University College London. Among other things, he ran an educational project giving away medical and other textbooks in Eastern Europe from 1989-1991, before joining BZW/Barclays, working mainly on Eastern Europe and other emerging markets. He left BZW as a Director in 1997 in order to teach and do research in philosophy at UCL, and later at Birkbeck College. He joined the Conservative Research Department in 2004, and was Executive Director of Policy Exchange in 2005-6.
A lifelong volunteer, Jesse has personally raised more than half a million pounds for charity. He has also been a school governor of an inner city comprehensive and was a Director of the Roundhouse arts and urban regeneration project, which has helped many thousands of disadvantaged young people. He was an Honorary Fellow of UCL (2005-10), and is now a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, a director of the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, and a Governor of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. He has been married to Kate since 1992, and they have three children.
He was appointed by Theresa May as Minister for Industry and Energy at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in July 2016.
In Herefordshire, as MP from 2010 Jesse played a key role in winning the new Enterprise Zone at Rotherwas, and in securing £15 million of new investment in rural broadband. He has helped improve safety and save millions of pounds on private contractors' costs at Hereford Hospital, and ran a wider campaign which has so far saved the taxpayer over £1.5 billion on the Private Finance Initiative. He has been closely involved in supporting the new phoenix club Hereford FC and keeping football at Edgar Street.
Jesse has been an active member of the campaign for fairer funding for schools, and has worked alongside the core team from the outset on the project to build a new university in Herefordshire.
Over the years Jesse has been a trustee of the Kindle Centre in South Wye in Hereford, where he led a project to create a new community theatre space, and Patron of the St Martin's Church roof appeal and of the Friends of St Mary's, Ross-on-Wye. He is currently Vice President of Westfields Football Club and Patron of Herefordshire Riding for the Disabled, the Friends of No 1 Ledbury Road, Herefordshire MIND, the Yeleni Trust and the Music Pool, as well as supporting dozens of local voluntary and charitable organisations.
Jesse’s books and pamphlets include The Achievement of Michael Oakeshott (ed.),After Euclid, Compassionate Conservatism, Compassionate Economics and The Big Society. His book Edmund Burke: Politician, Philosopher, Prophet (2013) was widely acclaimed, and listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Political Book Awards and the George Orwell Prize. He has columns in the Hereford Times and the Ross Gazette, and writes regularly in the national press.
In 2013 Jesse was asked to join the Policy Board at 10 Downing Street, but left after the vote on Syria. He was awarded Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year 2012, The House Backbencher of the Year 2012, and Dod's Rebel of the Year 2013.