Richard lives with his wife Anthea and children near the city centre. He was brought up in Gloucestershire and his father and sister both live in the county. Anthea has worked at St Peter's School, was a longstanding trustee of the Family Haven and is a Travel Specialist. They have three children for whom Gloucester has been home for many years.
As MP and in Parliament
Richard was elected MP for Gloucester in 2010, after 13 years of two Labour MPs, and re-elected three times since.
His main aim is to make Gloucester Britain’s Best Small City and to play a significant role in all aspects of physical and human regeneration here.
Since 2012 Richard has served Prime Ministers David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak since November 2012 as their Trade Envoy: first to Indonesia, then also to ASEAN, Malaysia and the Philippines.
He was also Parliamentary Secretary (PPS) to Ministers in the Foreign and Commonwealth office when William Hague was Foreign Secretary 2010-2014.
Richard has been Chairman of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) since 2018. The WFD is a non-departmental government body (NDGB) mostly funded by the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The WFD works to strengthen democracy in c30 countries. Richard previously a Director of the Great Britain China Centre, another NDGB.
On parliamentary committees
Since 2019 Richard has also been a member of the Joint Cttee on National Security Strategy.
From 2017-2019 he was on the Select Committee for Leaving the EU, having previously (2010 & 2015-2017) been a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee. In the second stint he was also a member of the Joint Select Committee for the Enquiry into BHS and Co-chair of the Joint Select Committee Report into Supported Housing.
Richard currently chairs the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Marine Energy, China and Indonesia.
Conservative Party roles
In 2019 Richard was elected onto the Board of the Conservative Party and in 2022 onto the Executive of the 1922 Committee.
Work on laws
He has been instrumental in changing the law on causing serious injury by driving when uninsured and drunk and on doubling the maximum sentence for the worst stalking offences, together with neighbouring (Cheltenham) MP Alex Chalk.
Richard’s 10 minute rule bill on gambling had ten aims, some of which have been implemented: he continues to campaign on the remainder.
He successfully campaigned with Tracey Crouch MP to extend protection for 16-18 year olds from sexual relationships with all people in a position of trust, including sports coaches and driving instructors.
And he is currently campaigning, following two well supported ten minute rule bills, to create a new law on ‘spiking’.
All of his campaigns on changes to the law are informed by constituents’ experiences.
Before entering Parliament, Richard worked for John Swire & Sons (mostly with Cathay Pacific Airways including as General Mgr in the Philippines), the Foreign and Commonwealth office (including as British Trade Commissioner China) and Barings plc, later Baring Asset Management (Head of International Business).
He had other unpaid roles as a director of The Greater China Fund Inc and Chairman of the International Financial Services Ltd (IFSL) Pensions Group.
Richard was a Cotswold District Council Councillor 2003-7 & Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee there 2006-7.
Community and Charity Work
Richard helped run the British High Commissioner in Nairobi’s Small Aid Projects 1986-9. He was advisor, later director of, the charity Care for Children, the first Anglo-Chinese jv charity that has since taken about half a million children into foster care. He was a member of Gloucester Rotary Club for 15 years & a trustee of the Gloucestershire Community Foundation 2007-2017. He is a Patron of HaVinG, a Gloucester charity to help the homeless, and Discover DeCrypt, the charity established to reimagine the space & use of St Mary de Crypt and bring back to life the Old Crypt Schoolrooms.
Richard plays cricket for Gloucester City Cricket Club and both cricket and tennis for the Lords and Commons teams. Richard enjoys watching Gloucester Rugby and is helping the Tigers (Gloucester City Football Club) come home to Meadow Park.
History is his not so secret passion, and he created the Gloucester History Festival in 2011, ran it for several years and continues to chair the charity (Gloucester History Trust) that runs it.