Gavin Barwell was elected as the new Conservative MP for Croydon Central on 6th May 2010.
He has lived in Croydon virtually his whole life, growing up in Shirley before moving to Monks Hill and then South Croydon.
Following his election, Gavin joined the Science & Technology Select Committee and the Executive of the 1922 Committee. He was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Gove until October 2013 when he was appointed by the Prime Minister to be a Government Whip.
Gavin has won wide praise for his response to the 2011 summer riots (Asian Voice voted him Conservative Backbencher of the Year for 2011) and for his successful campaign to change the law in relation to drug driving (The Sun’s Hero of the Week twice). As well as founding a new pro-immigration campaign group endorsed by Boris Johnson, Gavin was named ‘MP of the Month’ by Total Politics magazine for his Private Members Bill tackling discrimination against those with mental health conditions. Gavin’s Bill became an Act of Parliament in February 2013 and sends a clear signal that all forms of discrimination are wrong.
Gavin continues to fight inequality of all kinds, especially within black and minority ethnic communities and is most passionate about raising standards in our schools and in particular narrowing the educational gap between the well-off and the less well-off.
As well as being the MP for Croydon Central, he is a Governor of the Whitgift Foundation and Chairman of the Governors at his old school, Trinity. Gavin has set up a number of volunteer projects, including a group who regularly meet to help keep parks and open spaces clean, a Job Club to help get people back into work and a group of teenagers who do community work to improve the town and in the process change some people's perceptions of our young people.
Gavin was educated at Trinity School before studying Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge.
After graduating, he joined the Conservative Research Department. Over the next thirteen years, he held a number of positions at Conservative Campaign Headquarters culminating in his appointment in October 2003 as the Party’s Director of Operations, responsible for a multi-million pound budget and over a hundred staff, sitting on the Board of the Party and working closely with Party Leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron. In May 2006, he stood down from this position and between then and his election as an MP he had his own consultancy business.
In May 1998, Gavin was elected to Croydon Council representing the Woodcote & Coulsdon West ward. In May 2006, when the Conservatives took control of the Council, he was appointed Chief Whip of the Conservative Group and he subsequently served as the Cabinet member for resources and customer services and the Cabinet member for community safety and cohesion before standing down from the Council in May 2010.
Gavin was born in 1972. He is married to Karen, a speech and language therapist who used to work at Applegarth School in New Addington before stopping work to bring up their three young boys Jack, Sam and Jamie.
His interests include sport (he’s a big armchair fan and still plays a bit of football and tennis, though not to a very high standard!), reading and travel.