Born in Crewe, Cheshire, Maynard was left with cerebral palsy when he was strangled by the umbilical cord at birth, and he was also left with a speech defect. At the age of 22 he developed epilepsy, meaning he needs to be teetotal to avoid having seizures. He attended a special needs school between the ages of three and five before transferring to mainstream education. He attended St. Ambrose College, in Altrincham, and obtained a first class history degree at University College, Oxford. Maynard was a reader at his local church and was also a governor at his local Catholic primary school. He has said, "I would far rather be seen as the individual I am, that I have the responsibility to do the best I can for myself and not rely on other people to do it for me."
Maynard worked as an adviser to Liam Fox and as a speechwriter for William Hague, and stood as the Conservative candidate for Twickenham in the 2005 general election, finishing second with 32.4% of the vote.
Maynard was selected for Blackpool North and Cleveleys in December 2006, having been on the Conservative's "A-List". He moved to Blackpool before being elected and has remained living in the constituency since. Maynard was elected to the House of Commons in the 2010 general election with a majority of 2,150. He is the second person who has cerebral palsy to become a British MP; Conservative Terry Dicks was the first.
Maynard, who identifies as a Catholic, voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in 2013.
In February 2011, Maynard told The Times about the abuse he suffered from Labour MPs, who had mocked his disability during a Commons debate on the abolition of the Child Trust Fund on 26 October 2010. "They were pulling faces at me", he said, "really exaggerated gesticulations — really exaggerated faces". "Only they know for certain whether they were taking the mick out of my disability", he said, "but it felt like it". Maynard did not want the issue to investigated further.
Other MPs, however, confirmed the incident had taken place. Then Scottish Labour member Tom Harris, who was not present in the chamber during the incident, when interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, said that "if anyone did know about" Maynard's disability "and still made fun of him that is absolutely appalling and unforgivable". Rosie Winterton, the Labour chief whip, and her deputy Alan Campbell were reported to have spoken to MPs about the incident shortly afterwards. The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported a Labour Party source as describing the MPs as behaving in a "disgusting" way like a "pack of hyenas".
A few days after Maynard's Times interview, John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, issued a written statement warning MPs that such abuse was unacceptable. It was reported he had known about the incident for more than three months before speaking to Maynard.
Maynard has been an active campaigner on keeping fuel prices low. Although he has voted in favour of many budgets which called for a rise in fuel (duty?). He regularly pressed the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to freeze the level of fuel duty on petrol. Contrary to this, he voted on 12 November 2012 in favour of increasing taxes on fuel by 3% as of January 2013.
A donation, not thought to break parliamentary rules was made to Maynard's constituency party before his appointment as an advisor to then Energy secretary Amber Rudd following the 2015 general election. He declared a £5,000 donation to his constituency party in the register of members' interests from Addison Projects in March 2015. Addison PLC is an engineering company based in his constituency near to an intended drill site of the Cuadrilla company.
In October 2015, in place of a normal debate in the Commons, it emerged that Maynard was a member of a committee of MPs to vote and debate on proposals to allow drilling for shale gas (or fracking) under protected areas, such as national parks, to the disapproval of the Labour opposition and anti-fracking activists.
He has long been an advocate for disabilities, with active links to the RAD Scope and Trailblazers. In May 2016, Paul Maynard played an active role in improving accessibility of apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities. Engaging with a task force he produced a list of recommendations to be reviewed by the BIS and DWP for future consideration.
In July 2016, new Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Maynard to replace Claire Perry as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport. He has responsibility for major rail projects, rail safety and security, passenger services, transport funding, accessibility, and rail fares and ticketing. During this period, he has faced criticism due to unresolved industrial action, and consequent major service disruption, on the Southern (Govia Thameslink Railway) line.