James SunderlandMember of Parliament for Bracknell
James Sunderland held Bracknell for the Conservatives at the 2019 general election after his predecessor Dr Phillip Lee crossed the floor to join the Liberal Democrats. He has a very comfortable majority of 19,829. He was born in nearby Runnymede and raised in West Surrey. After finishing school in 1993, Sunderland joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned in the army. He served for almost 17 years, stepping down shortly before his election to parliament. He was also a commander of the Army Engagement Group, which seeks to inform the public about the army’s role. He claims to have a passion for international trade and wants to see foreign investment in Bracknell. He has also spoken about the need to support public services in the area. Sunderland has said his proudest political moment was his selection as the Conservative candidate for Bracknell, where he has hoped to be a “very active” local MP. Sunderland said his priorities include providing constituents with support during the coronavirus pandemic and championing local causes. He said: “My priority has been to establish credibility, build new relationships, support, lead multiple APPGs and push through the Desecration of War Memorials Bill.”
Can you identify any historical figure(s), or mentor, who inspired your entry into politics?
Margaret Thatcher. Locally, Sir Gerald Howarth, Canon Peter Bruinvels and my father were influential to me personally in taking the plunge.
Which MP from a different party do you most admire or enjoy working with?
Too early to be definitive but Chris Elmore, Chris Bryant, Liz Twist, Dan Jarvis, Nia Griffith, Matt Rodda, Tan Dhesi and John Healey have been particularly welcoming. As Jo Cox said, “More unites than divides us.”
Which Parliamentary dining room/bar do you prefer? Anywhere else in Westminster?
Members Dining Room and Strangers’ Bar for better beer on draught.
Official parliamentary photograph taken by Chris McAndrew, 2017, licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0