James was elected as the Conservative MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in May 2010. He was also voted onto the Communities and Local Government Select Committee by his fellow MPs shortly afterwards.
He has his roots in the Black Country - his grandfather worked in the Halesowen Steel works in the 1930's and 1940's, his parents are from the Black Country and his Uncle lives in Rowley Regis.
James was educated at the University of Birmingham where he obtained a degree in English Literature. He then undertook postgraduate research at Oxford University where he also represented the University at cricket (ending up with a first class batting average of 12!). He also has an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.
Before becoming involved in politics in Halesowen and Rowley Regis, he had a successful career as a small businessman specialising in computer software. In 2003 he founded Mind the Gap, an independent campaign to promote civic action and to encourage more grass roots involvement in politics. In 2004 he wrote a pamphlet entitled - Change Starts Small - which explored how to get more local grass roots involvement in politics and argued that the British political system needed fundamental change.
Prior to working hard for the people of Halesowen and Rowley Regis, James was the Chief Executive of Localis, a local government and localist think tank, where the mission was to 'stimulate and challenge the current orthodoxy of the governance of the UK.'
James is married to Anna and they have two young children - Sol and Evie. In his limited spare time he enjoys watching and playing cricket, theatre and music.