Justin Paul Tomlinson was born in Blackburn in 1976 before moving to Kidderminster where he spent his childhood. He attended Harry Cheshire High School, a state comprehensive that was consistently bottom of the league tables and has since been amalgamated. Justin sadly lost his father when he was aged 12; an event that he says inspired him to work hard and strive to make a difference.
He left Kidderminster to attend Oxford Brookes University where he obtained a degree in Business. After graduating, Justin moved to Swindon where he became a nightclub manager at Eros before becoming a local businessman, owning and running TB Marketing based in Stratton.
During this time, Justin also served as a local Councillor for 10 years, representing the Abbey Meads ward, before standing down to become the MP. During the 10 years Justin was a Councillor he had a 100% attendance record and never claimed a penny in expenses.
Whilst on Swindon Borough Council, Justin served 4 years in Cabinet as the Lead Member for Culture, Leisure & Recreation. During this time he chaired a number of key projects:
- The new £10m central library, delivered on time and on budget.
- Set up successful Sports Forum, involving 60+ sports groups.
- Invested in a variety of new leisure facilities across the town's leisure centres.
Justin first ran for Parliament in 2005, where he cut the sitting Labour MPs majority from 8,100 to 2,500 – one of the biggest swings in the Country. He followed this trend in 2010, again securing one of the biggest swings in the country (10.1%) to overturn Labour’s majority, securing himself a 7,060 majority and becoming the MP for North Swindon – the first local resident to win the seat.
As a result of his election to Parliament, Justin sold his business and stood down as a local Councillor in order to fully concentrate on his role as MP. During his first term Justin was voted the 3rd most helpful MP out of 650 in terms of dealing with local issues and residents’ casework, gained one of the highest voting and speaking records in Parliament and served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Vaizey, when he was the Minister for the Digital Economy. He was also appointed by the Conservative Party as a Small Business Ambassador.
He also made it a priority to support local charities and organisations, raising over £150,000 so far. These include:
- Swindon Stroke Support Group
- Swindon Computer Museum
- Swindon BATS
- Stratton Advice Group
- Clivey Project
- New College Job Club
- Swindon Supermarine FC
- The Open Centre
- Stratton Churchway Bowls Club
- Swindon Cats Protection
- Swindon Animal Asia
- Chippenham Close Community Centre
- Britannia Majorettes
- The Olive Tree Cafe
- Swindon British Heart Foundation
- Prospect Hospice
- Swindon Disability Access Group
- Swindon Disability Netball
- Swindon Down Syndrome Group
- Uplands Education Trust
- Swindon Bliss
At the 2015 General Election, Justin was re-elected as the MP for North Swindon with an increased majority of 11,786 – gaining 26,295 votes in comparison to Labours record low of 14,509 votes.
Following this victory, Justin commented “being re-elected as the MP for North Swindon is the proudest moment of my life. I am overwhelmed at the amount of support I have received from my fellow local residents and I will continue to commit myself completely to their service and represent them to the best of my ability.”
Following the General Election, Justin was invited by then Prime Minister David Cameron to become a part of the Conservative majority Government and serve as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People. This new role took him to the Department for Work and Pensions where he worked alongside Iain Duncan Smith followed by Stephen Crabb. During his 14 months as the Minister, Justin made a significant contribution, his top achievements including:
- Helping 365,000 more Disabled People to find work
- Opened up the apprenticeship programme to provide more opportunities to people with learning disabilities
- Set up a task force to put pressure on entertainment venues to prioritise disability access
- Launched the idea of ‘Reverse Jobs Fair’ as part of the Disability Confident campaign, helping disabled people to make contact with employers
In July 2016, Justin re-joined the backbenches and was immediately asked to become co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport, a role which he accepted immediately and co-chairs alongside Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Away from politics, Justin is a huge sports fan, particularly football and cricket. He regularly watches Swindon Supermarine and Swindon Town, and occasionally plays for the Parliamentary football team. He is also a fan of video games and has been involved in supporting the UK Gaming industry, championing its contribution to the UK economy.