Ben Bradshaw has been MP for Exeter since 1997 when he won the seat from the Conservatives. Previously, Labour had only held Exeter once before between 1966 and 1970.
Ben has held Exeter in all the subsequent elections, winning in 2015 with a majority of 7,183 over the Conservatives.
Before that he began his working life in Exeter as a reporter on the local newspaper, the Express and Echo. He later moved to BBC Radio Devon in Exeter as a reporter before being posted by the BBC to Berlin as their correspondent there in 1989.
There he reported on the momentous events of the Berlin Wall coming down, the collapse of Communism in East Germany and the subsequent re-unification of Germany.
When he was selected by Exeter Labour Party as their parliamentary candidate in 1996 Ben was working on BBC Radio 4’s World At One, PM and World This Weekend programmes.
Ben won a number of national and international awards for his journalism.
In his time as Exeter’s MP Ben has been instrumental in getting the Meteorological Office to move here from Bracknell, bringing secure well paid jobs to Exeter and many business and educational spin-offs. He also helped ensure one of two new medical schools in England was established in Exeter and he helped secure the investment to build Exeter’s five new high schools in place of the dilapidated schools that preceded them.
He has worked tirelessly on Exeter’s behalf, taking up thousands of individual constituents’ concerns or problems.
More recently, in spite of the current economic climate, Ben has helped secure funding to upgrade Exeter’s flood defences and improve the resilience of the railway line at Cowley Bridge and elsewhere.
Between 2001 and 2010 Ben served as a Minister in a number of departments including Health, the Foreign Office, Environment Food and Rural Affairs and, from 2009 to 2010, as Secretary of State in the Cabinet for Culture Media and Sport.
Ben speaks German and Italian, is a member of Usdaw, the NUJ and GMB.
Ben can be seen regularly cycling round Exeter doing his constituency work. He has consistently had the lowest expenses of any Devon and Cornwall MP and has always gone standard class on the train to London.
When he has any spare time he likes walking and wild swimming in Devon and catching up with friends, family and his partner, Neal. They have been together for 20 years and celebrated their Civil Partnership in 2006.