Sir Edward Leigh was born in 1950, the youngest son of Sir Neville Leigh KCVO, the Clerk to the Privy Council. He was educated at St Philip’s School, the French Lycée, the Oratory School in Berkshire, and Durham University where he read History. where he was president of the Durham Union Society.
He was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1977 and worked as Mrs Thatcher’s Principal Correspondence Secretary before qualifying. He served on the Greater London Council and Richmond Borough Council before being elected in 1983 as MP for Gainsborough, which he has represented ever since, with a majority of over 22,000 at the last general election.
For eight years he was Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and is now Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission and a member of the Speaker’s Panel of Chairs.
He was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Home Office 1989-90 and was Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Trade & Industry 1990-93. Last year he was elected to serve on the new International Trade Select Committee and the Procedure Committee. Previously he has served on the Defence, Agricultural and Social Security Select Committees. His barristers’ chambers are at Goldsmith Buildings. He serves as a Non-Executive Director on the board of a commercial bank. He is a member of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Group.
Sir Edward is married to Mary and they have six children. He lives with his wife and family in the constituency at weekends and during the parliamentary recesses. During the week they live ten minutes’ walk from the Commons.
He was knighted by the Queen in 2013, awarded the Legion d’honneur (Officier) by the French Republic in 2015 and in 2017 was awarded the Stella d'Italia (Commendatore), conferred by the President of the Republic of Italy. At the end of 2018 Her Majesty the Queen was pleased to approve Sir Edward Leigh MP be sworn of Her Majesty’s most Honourable Privy Council.