In 2015 Alex Chalk was elected with 46.1% of the vote, receiving 24,790 votes. In 2017 he was re-elected with an increased vote share, polling nearly two thousand additional votes.
Cheltenham is Alex Chalk’s home town. He lives in Charlton Park with his wife and two children, who go to local schools. Alex was brought up locally in Foxcote, just by the Kilkeney pub - a well-known landmark to many Cheltonians! His parents still live nearby.
Alex is not a career politician. Before his election he had fourteen years' experience as a barrister specialising in counter-terrorism, homicide and serious fraud cases. He appeared in many high profile cases which were widely reported in the media.
Since being elected in 2015 Alex has earned a cross party reputation as an independent-minded and thoughtful MP. Considered as "up-and-coming" and a “rising star” of the 2015 intake, he is regularly described as one of Parliament’s “nice guys”.
Alex serves on the influential Justice Select Committee. He is a Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pro Bono and Public Legal Education; Vice-Chair of the APPG on Cycling; Vice-Chair of the APPG on Bees; and a member of the APPG for Highways Maintenance.
In 2018 Alex was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Department of Education. Prior to his appointment Alex chaired the f40 education fair funding group, representing the 40 local education authorities worst impacted by the decade-old arbitrary education funding formula. This campaign led to the Government introducing a new national funding formula for schools which has seen millions of pounds of additional cash earmarked for Cheltenham’s schools.
As a result of his work, he was singled out for praise by the then Education Secretary Justine Greening. She said: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him (Alex Chalk) for all he has done in his local community and, of course, with the f40 group to help to improve the formula and to make sure that what was, as he says, an incredibly complex piece of work ended up in the right place.”
His Private Member’s Bill to double the maximum sentence for stalking, following the case of a local GP who suffered at the hands of a Gloucester stalker, received cross party support and was accepted by the Government, becoming law in 2017.
His involvement in further campaigns to address the issue of online radicalisation has seen the Government agree to toughen terror sentencing and increase protection for our police and security services.
In 2018 Alex led a Parliamentary inquiry, together with the Children’s Society and Young Minds charities, into the impact of social media and cyber bullying on young people’s mental health. The findings, derived from the evidence of over 1,000 young people, are still receiving national and international attention. They have led to significant progress in this area, and Alex’s contribution has been recognised at the highest levels of Government.
In November 2017 he led a Parliamentary debate on protecting the UK’s bees. That month the Government banned the damaging neonicotinoid pesticides which have such a damaging impact on their colonies.
Alex is a familiar sight cycling around Cheltenham. Thanks to his campaigning, the town has won a series of major investments. These include:
- £22million to develop Cheltenham as a national cyber centre; a vision first set out by Alex in 2013
- £500million to address the notorious A417 Air Balloon bottleneck
- £40million for Gloucestershire’s hospitals, including a £multi-million investment in Cheltenham General Hospital
- A brand new £20million+ school - currently under consultation
- £10million facelift, at Cheltenham Spa station with more parking, improved disabled and pedestrian access, and faster and more frequent trains, including sub-2 hour journeys to London.
- £3million to kick-start the stalled Portland St/North Place housing development
- An extra £1million to help Gloucestershire’s homeless
- £1million for SW Air Ambulance
Alex is a historian by background. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford where he read Modern History. Thereafter he attended City University, London where he received a Graduate Diploma in Law with Distinction. He was briefly a speechwriter for William Hague, then serving as Leader of the Opposition.