Robert lives in Harlow, and was first elected Member of Parliament in 2010. He was re-elected in the 2015 General Election. He was promoted to Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and attended the Cabinet as a Minister without portfolio from May 2015 to July 2016. In July 2016, Robert was appointed as Minister of State for Higher Education, Skills, Apprenticeships and Careers in the Department of Education by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May.
Robert is looking forward to the prospect of carrying his passion for apprenticeships and vocational training over to the Department. His responsibilities will now include:
- Careers education and guidance in schools
- Apprenticeships (including arrangements for the introduction of the apprenticeships levy)
- Funding for post-16 provision (including financial support for young people and adult learners)
- Further education colleges, sixth-form colleges and local patterns of provision (including area reviews and city deals)
Over the last five years, Robert Halfon has run a number of high-profile campaigns, including Petrol Promise, which called on the Government to lower fuel duty and cut petrol and diesel costs for hard-pressed motorists.
By the end of the last Parliament, he had successfully convinced George Osborne to scrap or delay every planned fuel duty increase since this Government came to power and the Chancellor thanked him in one of his Budgets for his work on this issue.
Before his newly appointed role as Minister of State for Higher Education, Skills, Apprenticeships and Careers in the Department of Education, Robert worked initiatively to increase and improve apprenticeship opportunities in the UK. He was the first MP to employ a Parliamentary apprentice, which in 2012 gained him the label as “the best campaigning MP in Parliament today” by Conservative Home.
In 2013 was also named “Campaigning MP of the Year” at the Spectator Magazine Awards.
Robert also works hard within the community, supporting local charities and businesses, and holds regular MP Advice Surgeries to help residents.
Away from work, Robert is a huge curry fan, a supporter of Chelsea FC and an avid watch collector.
Although he was brought up in North London, his relative owned the John Walton Clothes Shop which was in Harlow Town Centre for many years, and opened by Arthur Askey in the 1950s.