Julia Lopez MP has represented the constituency of Hornchurch & Upminster in parliament since June 2017 and currently serves as joint Minister of State in the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology. Her portfolio covers media, tourism and the creative industries (DCMS), and data, telecoms and digital infrastructure (DSIT). She is also the Ministerial Champion for the Thames Estuary. Julia is a married mum to two young children.
At the 2019 General Election she was re-elected with an increased vote share of 65 per cent and majority of 23 308, making Hornchurch & Upminster the strongest Conservative seat in London. She was promoted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to her first ministerial post as Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office in February 2020, having served on the International Trade Committee in the 2017-2019 parliament as a backbencher.
In Mr Johnson's September 2021 reshuffle, she was promoted to Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. She was responsible for government policy on telecoms and digital infrastructure; data; cyber security and digital identity; and media and the creative industries. Julia was reappointed to this role in September 2022 by Prime Minister Liz Truss, and by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in October 2022. When Prime Minister Sunak created the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Julia was appointed to the Minister of State role in that ministry alongside her existing role within the Department for Culture, Media & Sport.
Julia was born in Harlow and grew up in Stansted, Essex, as the youngest of three girls. Her mum was a primary school teacher and her dad a business consultant whose career involved managing a dairy in Chadwell Heath, running SMEs and turning around family businesses. She was educated at her local state primary and secondary schools before securing a place at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, to read Social and Political Sciences.
After university, Julia moved to East London and entered elected politics for the first time in 2014 as a councillor in Tower Hamlets in order to fight corruption, electoral fraud and maladministration in the borough. During this time she sat on the strategic planning committee, deciding large-scale developments in urban regeneration areas across the East End and in Canary Wharf, and led investigations on free schools and reform of youth services after widespread allegations of misconduct.
Julia’s career has involved leading the office of a Central London MP, where she worked with financial and professional services firms in the City of London and ran campaigns to support the creative industries. She has co-authored two books on the financial crash and its aftermath, and was writing her own book, London in the Noughties, on the capital’s development in the new millennium before her election to parliament. Julia worked with the International Office of the Conservative Party to strengthen international trade, democratic systems and party alliances in developing nations and across Europe in the run-up to the Brexit referendum. She was also a trustee of education charity, Inspire Malawi, which builds schools and trains teachers in rural communities in Malawi.
Julia got married in September 2017 to her British-Australian husband, who was born in El Salvador, and they had a baby girl in October 2019 and a baby boy in May 2023.
She is patron of the Havering Association for People with Disabilities (H.A.D.), a fantastic local charity that supports people with disabilities and their carers, and is a Fellow of the Westminster Abbey Institute which works to revitalise moral and spiritual values in public life.
In the Constituency
In her time as Hornchurch & Upminster’s MP, Julia has sought to increase the constituency’s profile in Westminster and showcase its potential to Ministers in order to secure additional government investment.
This has led to tangible outcomes including -
- £17 million secured for a new health centre in Hornchurch
- Up to £50 million made available to Transport for London from the Department for Transport to improve the Gallows Corner junction; junction upgrades to the M25; and investment from the Lower Thames Crossing to enhance local green spaces.
- Extra cash secured for the Met to increase officer numbers and tackle serious violence.
- New nursery places, capital investment and special needs money for our schools and sixth form college.
Julia and her team have also has set up a range of community events and groups to benefit residents and local businesses including the Older People’s Fair, Trade Hub for companies looking to export, Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair and the Upminster shopkeepers’ group. She has campaigned to keep open police stations and Post Offices, and to secure step-free access to our stations.
Julia was elected as a member of the International Trade Select Committee in September 2017 where she spent two years contributing to preparations for Brexit and scrutinising our strategy to become an independent international trading nation.
Julia helped bring in tougher powers to fight knife crime and terrorism and took a range of local issues to national level such as the campaign to improve access to medicines for children with cancer and cystic fibrosis, and the lifting of the borrowing cap to help councils deliver a wider range of affordable accommodation for local people.
Julia was Secretary to the All-Party Group on Disabilities and has campaigned for adaptable, lifetime homes and a more accessible transport system. Julia graduated from the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, after spending time with the Royal Air Force to understand the challenges facing our military.
2019 - Present
After her re-election in December 2019 as Hornchurch & Upminster's MP, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promoted Julia to the role of Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office in the February 2020 reshuffle, where she worked under Michael Gove in his capacity as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Her primary focus in that role was to enhance digital capability and data use across government to provide better services to citizens and improve decision-making and transparency within departments. She appointed a new digital leadership team and secured funding for the One Login for Government project, which aims to provide citizens and businesses with a single online account through which to access government support and services. She worked closely with Lord Agnew on a new procurement regime for the UK, and contributed to preparations for the end of the EU-UK transition period, sponsoring the UK-EU Future Relationship Bill. She also had responsibility for the Government Communications Service, the new Government Skills & Curriculum Unit and Civil Service HR, through which she contributed to efforts to reform and modernise the Civil Service.
In the September 2021 reshuffle, the Prime Minister promoted Julia to Minister of State in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport under Secretary of State, Nadine Dorries. She led for the government on telecoms and digital infrastructure; data; cyber security and digital identity; and media and the creative industries.
In the Conservative leadership contest of summer 2022, she ran the campaign of fellow Essex MP, Kemi Badenoch.
In September 2022, Julia was reappointed to her role as Minister for Media, Data & Digital Infrastructure under Prime Minister Liz Truss, and in October 2022 under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. When Mr Sunak created the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Julia took on the Minister of State role in both DSIT and DCMS.
She has led on four pieces of primary legislation for the government - the Telecommunications Security Act; Product Security & Telecoms Infrastructure Act (to improve cyber resilience and speed up gigabit broadband roll-out); the Data Bill (one of our first post-Brexit reforms); and the Media Bill (to help public service broadcasters thrive in the coming decades). She also leads the nationwide rollout of gigabit broadband for the government.