Phillip Oppenheim

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The Honourable Phillip Arthur Charles Lawrence Oppenheim (born 20 March 1956) is a British businessman and former politician.

Early life[edit]

Oppenheim was born in Lambeth in South London, in 1956. He is the son of former Conservative government minister Sally Oppenheim.


Oppenheim was educated at Harrow School ( situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London) and Oriel College, Oxford.

Life and career[edit]

Before entering Parliament, Oppenheim was a businessman, founding an information technology company which was sold to Reed Elsevier.

Oppenheim was unexpectedly elected with the largest swing in the 1983 election as the Conservative Member of Parliament for the one time safe-Labour coal mining seat, Amber Valley. He represented it from 1983 until electoral defeat in the 1997 general election by Labour's Judy Mallaber.

During his time in Parliament, Oppenheim served in various ministerial posts in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major and was also the parliamentary aide to Kenneth Clarke, the former Chancellor. While in parliament, he was known for strong free-market and socially liberal views, including supporting animal welfare issues and opposing the sport of fox hunting. As a Treasury minister, he toughened restrictions on imports of endangered species and introduced tax breaks on less-polluting fuels, including LPG. As a trade minister, he resisted efforts by the fur lobby to loosen restrictions on imports of trapped fur. He was also in favour of an elected House of Lords. An expert on trade policy, Oppenheim wrote two award-winning books (The New Masters in 1990 and Trade Wars in 1992) attacking US and European protectionism against both Japan and Third World countries. He has blamed this policy for contributing to poverty in the developing world.

After leaving Parliament in 1997, Oppenheim became a columnist for The Sunday Times and other newspapers. He has criticised new Labour's spin culture, along with what he saw as the corrupt sale of peerages, and the Conservative Party for its rightward drift.

Oppenheim lectures as a motivational speaker. He is managing director of the Cubana bar and restaurant.[1]

He started,[2] an online HR resource. He is also director of Waterloo Quarter, a business alliance to redevelop Waterloo. He trades directly with Cuba, importing rum and coffee. He directs the annual Carnival de Cuba, held in London. He entered the British blogosphere launching the Party Political Animal[3] blog, which he co-edits with the Tory Radio editor Jonathan Sheppard.[4]

Phillip Oppenheim is also managing director of Alma de Cuba coffee,[5] a Cuban coffee brand owned by The Cuba Mountain Coffee Company.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Amber Valley
Succeeded by
Judy Mallaber
Political offices
New creation Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
1996 – 1997
Title next held by
Angela Eagle