Andrew Cooper, Baron Cooper of Windrush
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Andrew Timothy Cooper, Baron Cooper of Windrush (born 9 June 1963) is a British Conservative politician.
Lord Cooper of Windrush is co-founder of the research and strategy consultancy Populus Ltd. He took a leave of absence from Populus to serve from March 2011 to October 2013 as Director of Strategy in the Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, where he was architect of then Prime Minister David Cameron's policy on same-sex marriage.
The Mail on Sunday described him as Cameron's "gay marriage guru". When his Downing Street appointment was announced, New Labour strategist Philip Gould (Lord Gould of Brookwood) wrote of Cooper that "he is without doubt the best political pollster of his generation, and one of the few who knows how to fuse polling and strategy". The commentator Matthew D'Ancona in the Daily Telegraph (19 February 2011) wrote that Cooper's "great gift to the Conservative Party has not been liberal ideology, but a pitiless empiricism".
Before leaving to found Populus, he worked for the Conservative Party from 1995 to 1999, first as Deputy Director of the Conservative Research Department, overseeing the party's private opinion polling and then, after the 1997 landslide election defeat, Director of Strategy to then party leader William Hague. He wrote and presented a modernising strategy for Conservative recovery ('Kitchen Table Conservatives') in 1998. Described by Financial Times political commentator Janan Ganesh as "the first moderniser", Lord Cooper has been a continuous voice for modernisation, writing numerous papers, articles, presentations and book chapters (including 'A party in a foreign land' in Blue Tomorrow, edited by Nicholas Boles, Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey, in 2001). He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Conservative modernising organisations Bright Blue and Renewal. He was created Baron Cooper of Windrush, of Chipping Norton in the County of Oxfordshire, on 17 September 2014.
Lord Cooper was a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) from 1981 to 1990. He worked for the SDP in its policy department from 1986-1988 and then, declining to join the new party merged out of the old Liberal Party and a big chunk of the SDP, he went to work for the SDP leader David Owen as Parliamentary researcher and policy adviser. In the run-up to the 1992 election he was among the group of young former SDP members, led by his close university friend Daniel Finkelstein, to back John Major and the Conservative Party.
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