A former electronics engineer and college lecturer, Sir Mark began his political career as a Salford City Councillor in 1987, before being elected as a Member of the European Parliament for Central Lancashire in 1994.
Sir Mark became MP for Preston at the November 2000 by-election and has been re-elected at every General Election since. He has been on several influential parliamentary committees including the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, International Development Select Committee and the European Scrutiny Select Committee. He currently serves on the International Trade Select Committee, Mr Speaker's Panel of Chairs and is currently the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary British-Norwegian Group.
Sir Mark was awarded a Knighthood for services to Parliamentary and Political Service in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018.