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Jeremy Lefroy

Jeremy Lefroy was MP for Stafford from 2010 to 2019, when he championed vital local services and helped secure investment for job creation within Stafford Borough.

Jeremy’s work as MP included campaigning for investment in local hospitals, showing businesses that “Stafford is a good place to invest” and developing close links with Staffordshire University to help provide the best possible opportunities for young people. He also set up a debating competition for secondary schools in Stafford Borough, encouraging them to develop reasoning skills in preparation for university.

He now chairs the Staffordshire Enterprise Board and aims to continue to support enterprise and employment in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Nationally, he has campaigned for better support for unpaid carers and families, as well as for investment in mental health services.

Jeremy’s own university education saw him study Classics at Cambridge. He later qualified as a Chartered Accountant and, after graduating, became a foreman at the Ford Motor Company plant in Bridgend. He then joined a trading company in London and soon moved to Tanzania, Africa, with his family, where he worked in the coffee industry from 1989 to 2000.

During this time, Jeremy championed employment opportunities for Tanzanians. He established an IT and practical life skills course for young people leaving full-time education, to increase employment opportunities. He also later established Equity for Africa, which has since grown into one of the largest equipment leasing companies in the country – helping to create and sustain thousands of jobs for low-income farmers and entrepreneurs.

Jeremy was a member of the International Development Committee as an MP and his commitment to overseas development continues to this day. Having contracted malaria several times himself and seen its devastating effects in underdeveloped countries, he is a keen supporter of the fight against tropical diseases. As an MP he chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases and now continues as Vice Chair of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Upon his return to the UK in 2000, Jeremy and his family settled into his wife’s home village of Keele. He co-founded a business sourcing and processing coffee and organic cocoa from smallholder farmers in East and West Africa and continues to encourage links between the UK and Africa, including being instrumental in helping Staffordshire University to build contacts there.

Within three years of settling in Staffordshire, he was elected as a councillor for Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and then later, in 2010, became the MP for Stafford.

The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Jeremy for championing local causes and helping tackle challenges such as deprivation and pressures on family life. The award also acknowledges his contribution to the work and development of Staffordshire University.

Photo of Jeremy Lefroy

Jeremy Lefroy was bestowed the award in 2020

I am very surprised and honoured to receive this award from Staffordshire University. I hope to continue providing my support to the people of Staffordshire and Stoke – young and old – in any way I can.

Jeremy Lefroy