Karl was born in Birkenhead in 1968, lived on the Wirral with his two brothers, Mother, a nurse, and Father, a pipe fitter and welder. He was also influenced by his wider family including both sets of Grandparents, especially his maternal Grandfather who was a plasterer. Karl was educated at local schools: Woodfall Lane, Birkenhead School for Boys, Neston High School and then later at Willink School in Berkshire. He read geography at St David’s University College in Lampeter, where he was the Student Union President and captained the Welsh Universities’ Football Team.
Karl worked as an electoral agent and researcher at Conservative Party Central Office in the early 1990s, and in addition to working for Transport for London and the Strategic Rail Authority; he also worked with various Lord Mayors of London in the late 1990s. He later took an MBA at Kingston University Business School and then worked as a Management Consultant for a number of clients and agencies. In 1999 he received the Freedom of the City of London. He has been a Parish Councillor, a school governor and a Magistrate since 1999.
He moved to Lincolnshire after being selected to fight the Parliamentary constituency of Lincoln and reduced the Labour majority in the 2005 General Election. Five years later a further vote swing of nearly 6 per cent saw him elected as Lincoln’s Conservative Member of Parliament.
By “Putting Lincoln First”, he has always been a strong advocate for the City and notable successes have been in seeking resolutions to the City’s many transport issues. Since 2010, he has been able to secure funding for the East-West Link Road in the centre of Lincoln, the Eastern Bypass, dualling sections of the Western Bypass and a wide range of bottleneck and pinchpoint improvements. Karl has also helped secure more Direct Trains to London, improved cross-country train services and Level Crossing Footbridges in the City Centre.
The Cathedral City of Lincoln is situated in one of the largest Counties in the United Kingdom and Karl has been a vocal supporter of traditional Conservative values in the House of Commons. In 2012 he was elected by his Conservative Backbench colleagues to the Executive of the influential 1922 Committee and then after the 2015 General Election, he was re-elected to the same position.
In 2012 Karl was also elected onto the Transport Select Committee, which is charged by the House of Commons to examine and scrutinise the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Transport and its associated public bodies. Karl remained a Member of the Transport Select Committee until June 2017, having been re-elected to it after the 2015 General Election.
As a prominent Leave Campaigner he was again elected by his colleagues as a member of the Exiting the European Select Committee (known colloquially as the ‘Brexit Committee’) in 2016, and he led the successful political campaign across Greater Lincolnshire during the EU Referendum. Also, during the 2015 - May 2017 Parliament Karl was a leading advocate in the House of Commons in tackling the educational underperformance of boys and the gender education gap, and also for ensuring there are curbs on false whiplash car injury claims.
Karl is married to Cordelia, with two sons and his interests outside of politics include football, rugby, cricket, snowboarding and motorsports. He and Cordelia are mini-rugby coaches on Sunday mornings at Lincoln Rugby Club.
Karl was not returned to Parliament at the General Election in June 2017.
In January 2019, Karl was selected again as Lincoln Conservative's Parliamentary Candidate.