Politician & Activist

James Cleverly

James Spencer Cleverly is a British Conservative politician who served as Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party alongside Ben Elliot from 2019 to 2020.

The Member of Parliament for Braintree since 2015, Cleverly previously served as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2018 to 2019.

  • Full name: James Spencer Cleverly
  • Profession: British politician
  • Born: 4 September 1969 (age 50 years), Lewisham, London
  • Nationality: British
  • Spouse: Susannah Janet Temple Cleverly
  • Office: Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom since 2015
  • Party: Conservative Party
  • Education: Colfe’s School, University of West London
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About James Cleverly

Cleverly was born on 4 September 1969 in Lewisham, London, England. To James Philip and Evelyn Suna Cleverly.

His father is British and worked as a surveyor and his mother worked as a midwife and is from Sierra Leone.

He was privately educated at Riverston School and Colfe’s School, both in Lee, London. Cleverly then trained in the army but this training was cut short due to a leg injury in 1989.

He went on to gain a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University (now the University of West London).

Military service

On 6 October 1991, Cleverly was commissioned into the Royal Artillery, Territorial Army, as a second lieutenant (on probation).

In January 1993, his commission was confirmed and he was made a substantive second lieutenant. He was promoted to lieutenant on 6 October 1993, to captain on 26 May 1998, and to major on 1 November 2003.

Until 2005, he was Battery Commander of 266 (Para) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers). Cleverly was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 1 March 2015.


After graduating, he worked for the publishing company Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU), he was promoted to international sales manager in 2002.

Two years later, Cleverly joined Crimson Publishing as head of sales. He then became head of digital media for Caspian Publishing in 2006.

The following year, he co-founded web publishing company Point and Fire.


Cleverly served as Member of the London Assembly for Bexley and Bromley from 2008 to 2016.

He was first elected at the 2015 general election and was re-elected at the 2017 snap election and 2019 general election with a majority of over 24,000.

He advocated a Brexit vote in the 2016 EU membership referendum, and was appointed Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on 4 April 2019, following the resignation of Chris Heaton-Harris.