Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury and Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Constitutional Reform)

John Penrose MP


John Penrose was appointed Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Constitutional Reform) in the Cabinet Office in May 2015. He is the Member of Parliament for Weston-super-Mare.


John was educated at a Church of England primary school before earning a state scholarship to Ipswich School. John went on to study law at Downing College, Cambridge and later gained a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University in New York.

Political career

After becoming MP for Weston Super-Mare in 2005, John became a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee until 2009 when he became Shadow Business Minister until 2010. During this time John was also a member of the Regulatory Reform Select Committee.

From 2010 to 2012 John was Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, covering the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In 2012 John became a member of the Public Administration Select Committee, a position he occupied until 2014. John was appointed Government Whip (Junior Lord of the Treasury) in February 2014 and Assistant Whip from October 2013 to February 2014.

Career outside politics

John began his career in risk management at J P Morgan. Later he worked for McKinsey, the management consultancy before taking up the role of Commercial Director in the Academic Books Division at Thomson Publishing. He then became Managing Director of Longman school books in UK and Africa (part of Pearson PLC).

John later became Chairman of Logotron Ltd, a small independent company creating educational software for schools. He helped to found Credit Market Analysis (CMA), publishing credit derivative price data for financial firms. CMA is now part of Standard & Poor’s.

Personal life

John is married with 2 children.

Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

Whips are MPs or Lords appointed by each party to help organise their party’s contribution to parliamentary business. They are responsible for making sure the maximum number of their party members vote, and vote the way their party wants.

Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Constitutional Reform)

The minister is responsible for constitutional reform and works closely with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Leader of the House of Commons. The minister is responsible for:

  • elections and electoral registration
  • Parliamentary constituency boundaries
  • oversight of the devolution settlement
  • constitutional policy, including Crown affairs
  • political parties and referendums policy
  • democratic engagement

Previous roles in government

  1. Assistant Whip

    • 2013 to 2014
  2. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Tourism and Heritage

    • 2010 to 2012


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  1. The Queen to award prestigious Regius Professorships to 12 universities

    • Press release
  2. Vision for electoral registration: speech by John Penrose

    • Speech
  3. International Democracy Day sparks search for the UK’s most democratic schools

    • News story
  4. Sir Eric Pickles to examine electoral fraud

    • Press release
  5. Individual Electoral Registration hits major milestone

    • News story
  6. Individual Electoral Registration: ending the transition

    • Statement to Parliament
  7. Details of ministerial appointments announced

    • News story
  8. Stonehenge visitor centre to rise again

    • News story
  9. Olympics tickets go on sale

    • News story
  10. ‘And in the end...’: the Abbey Road zebra crossing is listed

    • News story