Julian has been the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon since 2010. Prior to entering Parliament he built and ran an executive search firm in London and Singapore. He grew up in Stirling in Scotland, and has served on the Scottish Affairs Committee. Julian read History and English at the University of Birmingham and was previously educated at a local comprehensive. He received a sixth form bursary to Millfield School, Somerset.
Julian was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland following Boris Johnson’s election as Prime Minister in July 2019. On behalf of the UK Government, he led the recent negotiations that restored devolved Government to Northern Ireland following a three year impasse without this key institution of the Good Friday Agreement. The talks included negotiation of a £2bn financial package to support the Northern Ireland executive. He was awarded Spectator magazine’s Minister of the Year in 2020 following the deal.
During his time as Secretary of State, Julian delivered same sex marriage and abortion legislation finally bringing Northern Ireland’s social laws into line with the rest of the UK. He regulated for a wide ranging compensation scheme for victims of the Troubles and took through the Commons a landmark Bill for victims of child abuse who had waited decades for recognition.
From 2017-2019 Julian was Government Chief Whip. Usually a low profile role, the combination of a hung parliament and Brexit placed it in sharp focus. Julian led efforts to hold the Conservative party together during the most divisive period in the party’s history. Prior to becoming Government Chief Whip, Julian held various roles in the Whips office including Deputy Chief Whip and Vice Chamberlain – the Minister who regularly updates the Sovereign on parliamentary affairs.