Stephen was born and raised in the St Austell area, his grandfather was a clay miner and his great grandfather was a fisherman.
Stephen studied International Politics at Aberystwyth and at Masters' level at the London School of Economics.
A party member since 1992, Stephen became Cornwall's youngest-ever Councillor in 1998 aged 21. After university, he worked in the financial services industry in the City and served as a Councillor in the London Borough of Haringey.
In 2007, Stephen was selected as the Lib Dem candidate for St Austell & Newquay and he was elected in 2010 ensuring forty years of continuous Liberal Democrat representation of the area.
Stephen's policy interests include housing, international affairs and the environment.
Record Of Delivery
Stephen has campaigned with local residents in Newquay to curb the excesses of the night-time economy and has campaigned against overdevelopment of St Austell and for a rebalancing of the local economy to provide better paid year-round jobs.
In the summer of 2012 Stephen made national headlines with his campaign against the proposed ‘Pasty Tax’, which resulted in a Government u-turn over plans to charge VAT on baked goods, saving Cornwall as much as £100 million a year in projected lost sales.
Stephen lobbied hard on the Bill Committee of the Mobile Homes Act 2012 to secure powers to protect residents from unscrupulous park owners; many of the local 1500 park home residents had contacted Stephen with concerns over their treatment by park home owners.
Following heavy flooding that damaged hundreds of homes across the constituency in November 2010, Stephen successfully campaigned for affordable flood insurance to be included in the Water Bill for those at high risk and secured investment for local flood defences.
In 2011, Stephen also secured funding to refurbish St Austell’s aging train station and, this year, successfully led calls for the installation of Wi-Fi on the Paddington to Penzance mainline service to boost tourism and business as well as fighting to protect the air link from Newquay to London.
In September 2012 Stephen was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Ed Davey MP, the Department of Energy & Climate Change.
In May 2010 Stephen was appointed to the UK Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
From May 2010 to September 2012, Stephen served as a Liberal Democrat Assistant Party Whip, sat on the Communities & Local Government Select Committee and was Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing.