Nigel – Early Years
Nigel stayed in his birthplace of Swansea to attend Dynevor School and then University College, where he received a BA (Hons) in Politics. He owned a convenience store in Swansea, which his grandfather set up in the 1930s. The Evans family continued to run the store until 2012.
Nigel joined the Conservative Party in 1974, aged 17. He was a councillor on West Glamorgan County Council 1985-1991.He fought elections in Swansea West (1987) and Pontypridd (1989) before contesting Ribble Valley (1991).
Nigel in Parliament
Nigel lost that year – but won the seat back in 1992 with a majority of 6,542. In 1997 he increased his majority to 6,640 and nearly doubled it to 11,238 in 2001. His majority increased again in 2005 to 14,171. There was a significant boundary change to the Ribble Valley constituency in the 2010 General Election but Nigel increased his majority once more to 14,769.
Nigel was a member of the all party groups dealing with music, tourism, manufacturing, drugs misuse and space group. His interests also cover small businesses, defence, agriculture, telecommunications and IT. He has served on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, the Trade and Industry Select Committee, the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and the International Development Select Committee.
Nigel in Government
Nigel worked as PPS (Parliamentary Private Secretary) to the Rt Hon David Hunt MP while he was Employment Secretary and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1993-1995. He was then PPS to Tony Baldry MP, the Ministry of State for Agriculture, from 1995-1996 until he became PPS to the Rt Hon William Hague MP, Secretary of State for Wales, in 1997.
Nigel in Opposition
In June 1997, after the election and the Conservative leadership contest (in which he supported William Hague) Nigel was appointed front bench spokesman for Welsh Affairs and joined the Constitutional Affairs team. In May 1999, William Hague appointed Nigel Evans as Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party. He also led the Party’s Information Technology for the Future group. In November 2000, Nigel was charged with leading the Conservative Party’s General Election campaign in Wales.
In September 2001 Iain Duncan-Smith appointed Nigel Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, and in October 2003, Nigel was appointed to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. In November 2004, he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party, with specific responsibility for overseeing Conservatives Abroad and mobilising the Conservative vote overseas.
In December 2005, Nigel returned to the backbenches to concentrate on his work in Parliament. He joined the Council of Europe and the Western European Union as an appointee of the Prime Minister. Nigel served for three years on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee until July 2009 and then on the International Development Select Committee until June 2010.
Nigel is a former Chairman of the sub committee on agriculture of the Council of Europe and former Vice Chairman of the Technology and Aerospace Committee of the Western European Union. He is a former Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Egypt and Identity Fraud. He is a former Chairman of Conservative Friends of India.
On 8th June 2010, Nigel was elected as one of three Deputy Speakers of the House of Commons. It was the first time elections had been held for the roles and Nigel topped the poll. He served as First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means until September 2013, when he returned to the back benches.