David was born on a council estate and went to a comprehensive school where only 21% passed any 5 GCSEs during his time there. His mother left school at 16 and got a job as soon as she could and his father left school at 14 and joined the army as soon as he could.

David was therefore the first in his family to go to university and he then spent the next 16 years before politics running organisations that help disadvantaged young people to get a better education and a good job. This included being Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, which he grew from a team of 3 people to a national charity with 7 offices across the UK serving around 7,000 young people. In 2018, David received an OBE for services to social mobility and education.

David was elected as MP for Wantage and Didcot in December 2019. He decided to enter politics as – although he voted to Leave in the EU referendum – he felt the issues he cared about were being neglected whilst the arguments over Brexit dominated everything. He lives in the Didcot area with his partner, Charlotte.

David is a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Education. He previously served on the Education Select Committee between 2020 and 2021. 

He is currently the Chair of the Community Energy APPG, Chair of the AEAT Pensions APPG, Co-Chair of the Social Mobility APPG and Vice-Chair of the Chalk Streams APPG.

Get Involved

To get involved in David’s work, please email david.johnston.mp@parliament.uk and tell us how you are interested in helping.