Stephen was elected as the first Conservative Member of Parliament for Loughborough since 1945 in the General Election in May 1979. Between May 1979 and June 1983 he was the youngest Member of the House of Commons.
In June 1987, he was appointed an Assistant Government Whip and became a Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury in December 1988. From May 1990 to April 1992, he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health. In April 1992, he was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury. He was then Secretary of State for National Heritage from July 1994 until July 1995 and Secretary of State for Health from July 1995 – March 1997.
From 2006-07 he was Co-Chair of the Public Service Improvement Group, established by David Cameron to review policy in education, health, social care and housing. In June 2010 Stephen was elected as the Chair of the Health Select Committee. In 2015, he stood down as MP for Charnwood.
In November 2015 he became Chair of the NHS Confederation. He is also Chairman of Laing Buisson Ltd, a healthcare market intelligence company, and of its sister company Public Policy Projects Ltd which provides public policy advice.
With Clare Whelan he will be supporting Cratus’ work on health and social care.