I was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire (August 1976) but spent ten years of my childhood in Ghana, when my mother, a nurse, moved after she separated from my father and brought three of us up on her own.
I was educated at a state school in Ghana and returned to the UK after my O-Levels and attended Freman College, a comprehensive in Hertfordshire. I was fortunate to attend good schools with great teachers, and earned a place at Somerville College, Oxford University, where I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Somerville college was very supportive of me as a student and I am still involved with the college as a member of the Development Board, helping raise bursaries for under-privileged students.1
On leaving university I gained a place on the graduate scheme at Goldman Sachs, where I worked on deals advising large companies on mergers and acquisitions and capital raising. After 5 years, I left the City to use my experience to help build and develop a number of small businesses in the training, recruitment and internet sectors and was voted CBI Entrepreneur of the Future in 2005.
Outside business, I cut my political teeth initially at the Oxford Union, where I was elected President and in Kilburn, where I stood unsuccessfully for the Camden council in 2006. In 2007, I was elected Chairman of the Bow Group Think Tank and edited an anthology of essays on the Future of the Conservative Party ('From the Ashes...' published by Politico's Publishing Ltd).
Having served as School Governor of an inner London school and on the Board of a housing association, I then decided to take the plunge into politics, motivated by the positive role education has played in my own life and how that could be made possible for all.
I am married to Nicky, a New Zealander brought up in Hong Kong and Purley, Surrey. I am an arm chair fan of most sports and was a track and field athlete at school. In 2008 I ran the London Marathon to raise money for the Down Syndrome Association, although now I can only manage the odd charity fun run! I am a long-suffering fan of Arsenal and a keen follower of Formula One.