Mark grew up in Ardrossan, a small town on the Ayrshire coast, raised by his mother after his Merchant Navy father died a month before he was born. Mark’s mother worked shifts at the local ICI factory to support them, giving him an early understanding of the importance of self-reliance and managing finances.
Mark attended his local primary school before benefiting from the assisted places scheme with a place at a nearby independent secondary. He graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1994 with an honours degree in economic and social history, and retains a strong interest in economics.
Mark has spent his working career in the retail sector. He joined Marks & Spencer as a graduate trainee in 1994 and has since worked in marketing for two of the biggest names in the UK supermarket sector, helping to deliver low prices and value-for-money for customers across the country. In 2007, he was the recipient of the IGD/Unilever Social Innovation Marketing award.
His main political priorities are UK energy security, changing the planning system to empower local communities and limit inappropriate development and ensuring a vibrant future for the defence industry within the UK. He is a former member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.
Mark has served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Charles Hendry MP, former Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Mark Prisk MP, former Minister of State for Housing, and Alan Duncan, Minister of State for International Development.