He holds a doctorate in archaeology and worked as a tax inspector for the Inland Revenue before becoming a tax adviser at Arthur Andersen and an international business consultant at Ernst & Young. He became a partner in Ernst & Young in 1990, playing a leading role in opening up Central and Eastern Europe for UK business for which he was awarded an OBE in 2000. He has also been a business news presenter for BBC World.
John is a past member of the Board of the Know How Fund, the UK’s technical assistance programme to promote market economies and democracy. He is a trustee of the Industry and Parliament Trust. A former councillor on Oxfordshire County Council, following the 2010 General Election he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young MP, and simultaneously to the Minister for Decentralisation and Cities.