Hugo Swire was born in November, 1959. After leaving the University of St Andrews, he served in the Armed Forces before working in independent television and financial public relations. Hugo worked for Sotheby’s, London for nine years, five as a Director. Previously he worked for the National Gallery for four years as their first Head of Development.
Hugo Swire was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for East Devon in June 2001. He has subsequently been re-elected three times, most recently at the 2015 General Election with an increased majority of 12,261.
Hugo became Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to Rt Hon Theresa May MP, the then Chairman of the Conservative Party (2003), then an Opposition Whip (2003) and was appointed Shadow Minister for the Arts in 2004. He served in David Cameron’s first Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from 2005.
In addition, whilst in opposition, Hugo was Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council, Chairman of the All Party United Arab Emirates Group and Treasurer of the All Party Oman Group. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee between 2002 and 2005 and served on the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art from 2001 to May 2010, latterly as Chairman. His outside business interests whilst in opposition included: Non-Executive Chairman of Photo Me International PLC and Non-Executive Director of Symphony Environmental PLC.
Following the May 2010 General Election, he was first appointed Minister of State for Northern Ireland in the Coalition Government. In September 2012, he was appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where his responsibilities included the Commonwealth, North America, Latin America (including: Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba), The Falklands, Asia Pacific, South Asia (excluding Pakistan), public diplomacy, Olympics legacy and the GREAT campaign, economic and commercial diplomacy (including Islamic finance and science and innovation) and drugs and international crime.
Hugo retired to the backbenches in July 2016 and became the Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council (http://cmec.org.uk/) in September 2016.
He was appointed a Privy Councillor in 2011 and Knighted in August 2016 for political and public service.
Hugo has raised millions of pounds for different charities as an auctioneer. He is married to Sasha, has two daughters and lives in Devon and London.
He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Patron of Kennaway House in Sidmouth, Vice President of the WESC Foundation - The Specialist Care Centre for Visual Impairment, Trustee of the Jurassic Coast Trust, Patron of Devon Link Up and also Trustee for the Fund for Refugees.