The Arthur Bliss
Peter's website :: this was created while he was still
an MP :: Peter did not stand for re-election - He is now Chair of the Big
Lottery Fund.. The material below comes from his earlier
Peter Michael Ainsworth was born in 1956. He was educated at Ludgrove, Bradfield College, and Lincoln College, Oxford (MA English Literature and Language). On leaving university in 1979 he became research assistant to Sir Jack Stewart-Clark, MEP for Sussex East.
In 1981 he joined stockbrokers Laing & Cruickshank and in 1986 SG Warburg Securities where he became a director of Corporate Finance in 1989. He served as a member of the governing council of the Bow Group in 1984-86. From 1986 to 1994 he was a councillor in the London Borough of Wandsworth, serving as Chairman of the Conservative Group 1990-1992.
He was elected Member of Parliament for East Surrey in April 1992, May 1997 and again in June 2001. He was a member of the Select Committee on the Environment 1993-4; has been a member of the Public Service Committee and was joint Secretary of the All Party Conservation Group. Between 1994-1996 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ministers in the Treasury and Department of National Heritage. In July 1996 he was appointed an Assistant Government Whip. He became Opposition Deputy Chief Whip in 1997 and from June 1998 until September 2001 he was Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Following Iain Duncan Smith's election as Leader of the Conservative Party he was promoted to Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from which he stepped down in June 2002. In January 2003 he was appointed to the Environmental Audit Committee and in July 2003 he was appointed Chairman.
Peter returned to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2005 under David Cameron, and stepped down in January 2009. He is a Director of Plantlife International which works to preserve wild plants in their natural habitat (www.plantlife.org.uk), and a Vice-President of Wildlife and Countryside Link which brings together environmental voluntary organisations in the UK to develop and promote policies. In 2005, in recognition of his work on the environment, Peter was awarded the Public Affairs News 'Politician of the Year' award.