During that time, Paul served on the Conservative front bench as a Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government, Shadow Minister for Childcare, Shadow Minister for Disabled People and Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions. He was also a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, and Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Davis MP when the latter was Party Chairman.
In 2009, he announced that he'd stand down at the forthcoming general election, declaring that the Commons was becoming "a House in which professional politics predominates, entrenching and empowering a taxpayer-dependent political class distinct and separate from those who elect them...for better or worse, this future Commons isn't for me".
Paul is a long-standing contributor to ConservativeHome, and wrote for CentreRight regularly before joining full time during the 2010 General Election campaign.
Before entering Parliament, Paul was Comment Editor of the Daily Telegraph for six years - between 1995 and 2001. He thus saw the collapse of John Major's Government and the plight of William Hague's Opposition as a working journalist.
Before, joining the Daily Telegraph, he was a reporter on the Sunday Telegraph from 1992. Before that, he was briefly a leader writer on the Daily Telegraph - and News Editor of the Catholic Herald from 1991-1992.
Paul has written for the Times, the Spectator, the Independent, the Daily Mail, Standpoint, and the Sunday Express as well as for Telegraph Newspapers, and has broadcast on programmes including Sky News, World at One, Newsnight. His essay "Who do we want our MPs to be?" was published recently by Policy Exchange.
Raised in East Sheen, near Richmond, Surrey, Paul read English Literature at York University. He was Chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students between 1983-84, and was a member of the National Union of Students Executive during the two previous years.
Between 1985 and 1987 he worked as a researcher for Tom King, then Northern Ireland Secretary, and later in the Policy Unit for Westminster City Council. From 1988 until 1990 he was a novice at Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight.
Paul is married to Fiona, and they have one child, Daniel. His special interest is relations with Islam - when he was in Parliament, he had the largest number of Muslim constituents of any Conservative MP.