Iain was elected Member of Parliament for Chingford in 1992, and he was re-elected in 1997 as Member of Parliament for the re-drawn constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green. Iain was promoted to William Hague’s Shadow Cabinet in 1997, serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security and in 1999 as the Shadow Defence Secretary.
In 2001, Iain was elected Leader of the Conservative Party. After stepping down in 2003, he set up the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent think tank committed to tackling poverty and social breakdown. Iain worked tirelessly as Chairman of the CSJ until the 2010 General Election, when he was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He served in this position until March 2016. Iain remains the Member of Parliament for Chingford and Woodford Green.