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Meet South Cambs MP Anthony Browne: Shot at by the Americans and credited on Oliver Stone film

Anthony Browne brings an eclectic mix of experiences to the role of MP for South Cambridgshire.

Half-Norwegian, he grew up on a village farm in Fowlmere, studied at the University of Cambridge, became a notable national journalist, headed up a prominent think tank, was an advisor to Boris Johnson and went on to be CEO of the British Bankers’ Association.

Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell. (26899482)
Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell. (26899482)

These experiences have shaped a Conservative politician equally at home with supporting farmers to investing in technology start-ups.

Born on January 19, 1967 in Mill Road Maternity Hospital in Cambridge, he attended the primary school in Fowlmere, before getting a bursary to go to Perse School, then attending Hills Road Sixth Form College.

He read maths at the University of Cambridge, getting a scholarship, then went on to be business reporter and economics correspondent at the BBC, reporting on national TV and radio news, including on the Today programme.

He held roles including economics correspondent, health editor and environment editor of the Observer.

And he was economics correspondent, health editor and environment editor of the Observer, breaking the story that 1999 was the hottest year of the millennium.

Mr Browne was in New York on September 11, 2001, and covered the story of the terrorist attacks. His Guardian podcast was used in the Oliver Stone film World Trade Center, starring Nicholas Cage, and he is named in the credits.

He also held roles as environment editor, Europe correspondent and chief political correspondent at The Times. He covered the Iraq war for The Times, and was inadvertently shot at by American troops.

Mr Browne wrote for CityAM and was a founding columnist for the website ConservativeHome, arguing in 2011 against a referendum on EU membership, saying it would entail “a hideous set of complex negotiations”.

He went on to run the Policy Exchange think tank, developing policies for David Cameron ahead of the 2010 General Election.

Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell. (26899494)
Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell. (26899494)

Boris Johnson, who became London mayor in 2008, recruited him to his team for his first term of office, putting him in charge of economic and business policy in London.

He sat on the board of the London Development Agency and wrote Mr Johnson’s successful 2012 election manifesto.

Mr Browne then became Morgan Stanley’s head of government relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, before leaving in 2012 to become CEO of the British Bankers’ Association. In this role, he helped lead the banking industry through the reforms in the wake of the financial crisis, implementing reforms in the wake of the LIBOR crisis, negotiating a deadline to the scandal of PPI miss-selling and helping to establish the Banking Standards Board.

Mr Browne was also responsible for establishing the banking industry’s first consumer panel to drive it to focus on the needs of customers, before leading Brexit negotiations for the banks with the government and EU after the 2016 referendum.

He stepped down as CEO in April 2017, as the BBA merged with other organisations into UK Finance.

Mr Browne also co-founded the HomeOwners Alliance, a consumer group that helps homeowners, and has successfully pushed for reforms on stamp duty and the leasehold system.

He has helped run and invested in technology start-ups, and chaired the government’s Regulatory Policy Committee.

Married with children, in his spare time he enjoys running in the woods at Fowlmere. His parents live in Foxton.

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