Bob is the Member of Parliament for Coventry North East. He has represented Coventry North East since 1992 and has held a number of ministerial positions throughout his time in parliament.
Prior to being elected to parliament, Bob worked for Jaguar Cars in Coventry. During his time at Jaguar Bob became active politically as a trade unionist holding positions such as Shop Steward and Sheet Metal Workers Union Branch President. Between 1984 and 1992, Bob was a Coventry City Councillor during in which time he became Deputy Leader of the Council and Chairman of the Finance Committee.
In 1992, Bob was elected as the Member of Parliament for Coventry North East. He was initial appointed as an opposition whip, then a Government Whip from 1997-2001. Between 2001 and 2003 he held positions in the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Home Office before being appointed Government Deputy Chief Whip in 2003. He became a member of the Privy Council in February 2005.
In June 2007 Bob moved to the Ministry of Defence becoming the Minister of State for the Armed Forces. In June 2009, Bob was appointed to the Cabinet replacing John Hutton as the Secretary of State for Defence. From May 2010 to September 2010 Bob held the position of Shadow Defence Secretary.
He has since stepped down from the Shadow Cabinet, to spend more time focusing on constituency issues although Bob retains a keen interest in foreign affairs and was elected to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in November 2010.