Julian Smith

Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon

Julian was first elected as MP for Skipton & Ripon in 2010. Julian currently sits in Cabinet as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, being appointed to the role in July 2019 by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. He was previously Government Chief Whip, a role he held for nearly 2 years between November 2017 and July 2019.

Since joining parliament, he has focused on rural issues, education, business and international development concerns. He has campaigned hard for a fairer funding formula for rural schools and for improvements in the way the Trans-Pennine route is configured. He has also been closely involved in bringing the Tour de France Grand Depart to the UK.

In May 2015 Julian joined the Government as a Minister in the Whips’ Office and in July 2016 he was promoted to the position of Government Whip and Vice Chamberlain of HM Household. Following the 2017 General Election, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as Government Deputy Chief Whip. In November 2017 the Prime Minister appointed him Government Chief Whip.

Prior to becoming an MP, he had a successful career as an entrepreneur. In 1999, he set up Arq International, a leader in its field of executive recruiting, based in London and Singapore and working across Europe, Asia and the United States.

He grew up in Stirling in Scotland, and he read History and English at the University of Birmingham. He was previously educated at a local comprehensive and he received a sixth form bursary to Millfield School, Somerset.