Chris is Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer winning a total of 9 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze. He was also Director of Paralympic Integration, responsible for the organisation of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Chris is a passionate advocate for the potential of technology and the benefits of diversity and inclusion. He campaigns for more accessible environments for disabled people and has conducted an independent review for the Government that made recommendations on opening up public appointments to disabled people.
In Parliament Chris sits on the influential Science and Technology Select Committee but has previously been a member of specialist House of Lords Select Committees dealing with:
- Democracy and Digital Technologies
- Artificial Intelligence
- Digital Skills
- Social Mobility
- Financial Exclusion
Through his Private Members Bill Chris has worked to end the injustice of unpaid internships.
Chris is also Deputy Chair of Channel 4 and Diversity Adviser to the Civil Service.
As a boy Chris was a promising sportsman; on school teams for most sports and academically gifted with a distinct ambition to get to Cambridge University, by no means a normal next step from the Kidderminster Comprehensive he attended. At the age of 14 and completely unexpectedly Chris went blind overnight. His extraordinary courage and determination took him back into the pool, and just four years later to straight A’s for his A-levels and a place at Cambridge. At the end of his first year at Cambridge he won a record-breaking six gold medals at the Barcelona Paralympics.
In total Chris won nine gold medals, including the record six gold medals at a single Paralympics. He gained a string of World and European titles, broke 35 world records and was awarded an MBE for services to British sport at the age of 20. He was member of the Great Britain swimming team for seventeen years and captain for five.
After retiring from competitive swimming Chris worked as a journalist before qualifying and working as a commercial lawyer specialising in employment and pensions. He also took non-Executive Director roles at the Disability Rights Commission and UK Sport and was an Ambassador for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid.
In 2009 Chris was appointed Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012. In this role, Chris drew on political skills, strategic know-how and his incredible determination to deliver the most successful Paralympics ever. It worked. London 2012 was the first games to have all sponsors signed to both Olympics and Paralympics, the first games to sell out all the stadia for every session and, incredibly, the first games to achieve worldwide television audiences in the hundreds of millions.
In recognition of Chris’s talents and contribution to the country he was invited by the Prime Minister to enter the House of Lords. Chris relishes this political role and his experiences navigating the ancient corridors of power with his guide dog, Nancy, offer numerous entertaining anecdotes.