Queen's Birthday Honours: CBE for Bishop's Stortford resident, tourism chief, broadcaster, political pundit and former MP Nick de Bois
Bishop's Stortford broadcaster and political pundit Nick de Bois has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
The 63-year-old – full name Geoffrey Nicholas de Bois – is best known to Indie readers as a talkRADIO host and political author, but he has been recognised in the Platinum Jubilee list for his services to British tourism.
Nick has been chairman of the VisitEngland advisory board and a member of the British Tourist Authority board since 2020 and spent much of last year leading a review commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
The de Bois Review examined and assessed how national tourism is structured and funded to see if there is a more efficient and effective model for supporting the industry.
Nick, who has lived in Stortford with his wife Helen for 16 years, said he was still waiting for a Government response to the report but "between March and September of last year, this was pretty full-on".
The CBE was a shock and Nick said: "This is a huge honour which I was both delighted and surprised to receive notice of, more so as it comes on the day we mark the Queen's jubilee.
"It is a privilege to work with England's tourism industry as VisitEngland chair and with the hundreds of thousands of outstanding businesses across the sector.
"These last two years have been unprecedented, with the industry continuing to be confronted by many challenges. My focus is to continue to work with our stakeholders, supporting the sector to recover and rebuild and to make the strongest possible case for tourism, one of our greatest industries.
"I'm acutely aware that pre-pandemic over three million people worked in tourism-related businesses, of which 1.5 million are employed as a direct result of expenditure by tourists. VisitEngland will work hard to deliver the Tourism Recovery Plan and this summer will be crucial for both domestic tourism and international visitors. We're working tirelessly to help the sector make the most of this opportunity."
Nick's business background is as founder and managing director of Rapiergroup, an international events and exhibitions management agency set up in 1989.
In 2010 he was elected Conservative MP for Enfield North, unseating Labour's Joan Ryan having lost to her in the 2005 and 2001 General Elections. She regained the seat in 2015 and beat him again in 2017.
In 2016 he was appointed chairman of the Government's first UK Events Industry Board to boost tourism.
He resigned in 2018 to join the Department for Exiting the European Union as chief of staff and special advisor to the then Secretary of State Dominic Raab, who is now Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor.
In 2019, Nick was short-listed to be the Conservative candidate for the Hertford and Stortford seat in the December General Election, but was beaten to the nomination by Julie Marson.
Since then he has become a familiar voice and face on talkRADIO and talkTV, and used Covid-19 lockdown to pen his first novel, Fatal Ambition. Previously, he wrote Confessions of a Recovering MP about his time in Parliament and Boris Johnson said: "Nick de Bois is a superb campaigner and knows politics inside out. This book is a must-read!"