Lord Wharton is a senior advisor in the firm’s European Public Policy Practice. Previously, James was a member of Parliament for the constituency of Stockton South from 2010 to 2017.
In 2013, James took the first successful Private Members Bill legislating for a referendum on the UK’s EU membership through the House of Commons. The bill was then defeated in the House of Lords. Under David Cameron, James served as the Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse in the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2015 to 2016. Here, he took the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act through Parliament and coordinated the government’s local growth, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Enterprise Zones programmes. During this period, James also oversaw onshore minerals and renewables planning and flooding recovery for the department.
In 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May moved James to be Minister for Africa at the Department for International Development. Here, he oversaw the government’s £5 billion aid programme in Africa and had responsibility for global funds.
A qualified solicitor, James retains a keen interest in politics and Parliament. He has a unique insight into key aspects of the Brexit and legislative processes, as well as an in-depth understanding of the parliamentary Conservative Party.