ANDREW MITCHELL was educated at Rugby and Jesus College, Cambridge. He was an officer in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, serving with the United Nations military forces in Cyprus. Prior to entering Parliament, he worked for Lazard in London. As the MP for Gedling from 1987 to 1997, he served in John Major's government, including in the Whips' Office during the notorious Maastricht debates. Re-elected to the House of Commons for Royal Sutton Coldfield in 2001, he served as Secretary of State for International Development from 2010 to 2012 and as Chief Whip in 2012. He is an active member of the House of Commons and a fierce defender of his constituents. He is also a fellow at Cambridge University, a visiting fellow at Harvard University and an honorary professor at the University of Birmingham. He lives in London and the Midlands with his wife, Sharon, with whom he has two daughters, Hannah and Rosie.
"A cracking good read - full of mischief and shrewd observation. Mitchell lifts the lid on so many layers of the British Establishment, and what he reveals will often make you laugh and occasionally make you want to weep. A human and political must-read." - Gyles Brandreth "For once, here is an enjoyable departure from the standard political memoir: entertaining anecdotes combined with robust commentary on Westminster life. For a political outsider, there was much to be learned here - I particularly appreciated the sober and insightful account of Andrew's work both in and out of the Department for International Development, a revelation in many senses." - Penelope Lively "This is a story of an English boy drenched at birth in the attitudes and pieties of his parents, class and time and the slow peeling away of what he had lovingly thought of as timeless verities as he shimmied up the pole to find that most assumed 'truths' last as long as fashions in hats. With a wry self-awareness and sense of the ludicrous, this is a thoroughly refreshing personal and political memoir." - Bob Geldof "Andrew Mitchell's memoirs are that very rare thing - a genuine political page-turner. He is witty, self-aware and alive to both the repeated ridiculousness and critical importance of politics. He gives us an inside tour through Establishment institutions with an amused eye, provides an expert's guide to the huge significance of international development work and also examines his own soul at a time of deep trial. For anyone who really wants to understand politics and politicians, this is the book to read." - Michael Gove "This is not your usual self-serving political autobiography. A pacy read, mixing light and shade, and light and heavy, it is unsparing - on the author as well on others. The story of his role in Boris Johnson's rise also confirms me in my view that Boris Johnson should be nowhere near Downing Street." - Alastair Campbell "Honest and insightful, Beyond a Fringe taught me loads I didn't know about how the other side works. A brilliant read." - Jess Phillips 'One of the several merits of this highly engaging memoir is the light it shines, often entertainingly and sometimes shockingly, on how ghastly that establishment can be.' - Andrew Rawnsley, the Guardian