He studied History of Art at university and took a gap year, in which he went inter railing in Europe and spent a month on a Kibbutz.
In addition to his poltical career, Swain is also a published author. His first book, which details how to get ahead in politics, is called "It's The Everything, Stupid".
The Rise of the Nutters
Ben is introduced as a junior Minister of State for Immigration in DoSAC. He is a "nutter", meaning he is supporting the current Chancellor Tom Davis for party leadership in light of the current Prime Ministers planned step down.
He is due to be interviewed on Newsnight regarding immigration figures, which Malcolm Tucker and Jamie McDonald assume will be conducted by a junior anchor, not Jeremy Paxman himself. However it is later revealed by Pat Morrissey and Julius Nicholson that it will indeed by Paxman conducting the interview. In light of this, the two attempt to give Swain a crash course in how to appear competent in the interview. This fails however, with his performance on the program going terribly; he to coherently answer any questions, nervously blinks constantly, and fails to mention the "coalface" plan to have him spend a week in an immigration centre.
Upon discovering that Peter Mannion and the Opposition are planning to go ahead with their own "coalface" plan (suggested by Emma Messinger, who overheard Ollie Reeder talking about it), Malcolm Tucker plans to have Swain announce that he will be doing it before the Opposition announce. However, this plan falls through when they announce it the same night.
When Julius Nicholson and Pat Morrissey move up the Prime Ministers legacy program announcement to the next morning as a result of Malcolm Tucker leaking it to the Opposition, Malcolm resolves to go behind their backs and have Ben announce it himself even earlier that night. He calls Newsnight to book Ben on, and convinces further convinces him to go through with it by stating that otherwise he will force Ollie Reeder to go on instead. However, as Malcolm in on the phone, Julius Nicholson walks into the office, where Ben unassumingly reveals their plan to him. Attempting to cover himself in the face of a (discreetly) enraged Julius, and not wanting to back out of the spot he has secured, Malcolm tells Ben that during the interview he must talk about something else that is neither to dull or exciting. It is later shown that Swain chooses to talk about his book in the interview as a "major announcement", and afterwards mentions that Paxman was not impressed.
Later, after the Prime Minister shockingly resigns, he returns to the offices and talks with Ollie Reeder discreetly about the two backing Tom Davis for the now open party leadership. Ollie openly claims his first loyalty is to Hugh Abbot (who doesnt support Davis), but discreetly voices his full support.
Spinners and Losers
As part of his machinations, Malcolm Tucker gets Nick Hanway to agree to float Ben as a potential alternative to Tom Davis after Clare Ballentine refuses. This is despite Adam Kenyon at the Daily Mail assuring him that they wont be running the story about Davis' depression. Ben is called into Malcolms office and given a pep talk, where he gleefully accepts the notion of standing, believing he could be a younger, more acceptable version of Davis. He shares this info with a surprised Ollie Reeder, who appears to voice his support.
Keeping the prospect of him running on the down low, he tells both Terri Coverley and Robyn Murdoch to only mention that his name has been mentioned to the press, but nothing concrete. Malcolm Tucker then lies Nick Hanway about crushing the Daily Mail story on Tom (which they were never going to run anyway), and tells him that if he attempts to take the credit, he will blame him for floating Ben as a potential competitor. Malcolm then goes to Ben's office in Richmond Terrace and informs him that he is no longer in the picture, and must reaffirm his support for Tom Davis or lose his career.
Stressed and disappointed, he later has an angry outburst at a cleaner in the building when she tries to clean up his food, which she takes as a racial attack. Despite Malcolm Tucker's best efforts, the cleaner ends up reporting the story to The Sun, and the story airs later that morning. The episode ends with Peter Mannion laughing whilst listening to Swain on the radio claiming he has "always been opposed to racism" and wont be resigning because of the incident.