David Ruffley’s involvement with the Conservatives started while he was still at grammar school.
The son of a local government officer, he joined the Young Conservatives, aged 17, in 1979 while at Bolton School. Then at Queen’s College Cambridge he was an officer of the university’s Conservative Association for a year.
He graduated with first class honours in 1983 and went on to get a BA in Law in 1985, before joining a leading City of London commercial practice.
From 1991 to 1992 he was a Conservative party political advisor to the Secretary of State for Education, then special adviser to the Home Secretary for a year until he became a special advisor at the Treasury.
In 1996 he became strategic consultant at Conservative Central Office until his election as Bury St Edmunds’ MP in May 1997.
Only 12 days after becoming MP, having backed anti-speeding campaigns, he was caught doing 55mph in a 30mph limit in Barton Road, Bury, for which he was later fined £550.
However, David’s Treasury experience meant that in December 1998 he was appointed to sit on the influential Treasury Select Committee, of which he is still a member.
He was assistant chief whip May 2004 until March 2005 when he became a whip until December 2005 when he became shadow minister for welfare reform until July 2007. He was then shadow minister for home affairs to May 2010.
In 2004, the website Fax Your MP placed him joint first in a list of regional MPs for responding to constituents’ inquiries.
But in 2009, The Daily Telegraph’s MP’s expenses expose revealed his claims included £2,175 for a 46in television, £2,017 for a bed and £102.50 for anti-moth sachets, rubber gloves and fabric softener.
Public reaction to MP’s expenses is said to have contributed to his suffering depression, in spite of his having increased his majority at the May 2010 election. In June 2010 he ended up on the track in front of a train at Victoria Station.
Even his Labour election rival Kevin Hind wished him well and said: “David is an extremely popular and hard-working MP – even if those of us in the Labour Party disagree with his politics.”
He returned to the house with an attack on EU spending in October 2010.
Things went wrong again for him in March 2014 when he was cautioned for assault on his partner, which was later made public by a national newspaper. He announced he would stand down at the 2015 election, after 18 years as an MP, on Monday July 28, 2014.
For our story on his decision to stand down click here