Public Affairs: Lobbying Target - Andrew Mitchell, shadow international development secretary

The MP for Sutton Coldfield is a traditional Tory with a strong belief in Thatcherite free market principles.

Ten-second biography

First elected as MP for Gedling in 1987, Mitchell lost his seat in the 1997 Labour landslide but bounced back in 2001. After the 2005 general election, he was promoted to the shadow cabinet in his current role.

What's his background?

The son of ex-Conservative MP David Mitchell, he graduated from Cambridge University and served in the Army before joining merchant bank Lazard.

Where does he sit politically?

Mitchell has long promoted Thatcherite Conservatism and was an early advocate of rail privatisation. In 2005, he backed David Davis for the Tory leadership.

Is he one to watch?

The Daily Telegraph leader writer Alex Singleton has described him as 'one of the sharpest minds on the Tory frontbench', but leftish Tories are not convinced. He has not escaped the expenses row unscathed - he paid thousands of pounds in office expenses to his local Conservative association.

Something I might not have known

Mitchell holds several directorships with former employer Lazard.

- To find out more about Mitchell, go to

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