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 2019 with a majority of 10,403 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.
Ben also helped secure funding to upgrade Exeter’s vital flood defences and improve the resilience of the railway line at Cowley Bridge and elsewhere against the threat posed by climate change.
He has worked tirelessly on Exeter’s behalf, taking up thousands of individual constituents’ concerns or problems.
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.
More recently, Ben has served as a member of the Commons Health Select Committee and is currently a member of the Commons Transport Committee.
Ben speaks German and Italian. He is a member of Usdaw and GMB unions.
Ben can be seen regularly cycling around Exeter doing his constituency work. He has consistently had among 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 husband, Neal. They have been together since 1995 and celebrated their marriage in 2006.