Ben Elliot

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Ben Elliot
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office
24 July 2019 – 5 September 2022
Serving with James Cleverly (2019–2020)
Amanda Milling (2020–2021)
Oliver Dowden (2021–2022)
Andrew Stephenson (2022)
LeaderBoris Johnson
Preceded byBrandon Lewis
Succeeded byJake Berry
Personal details
Benjamin William Elliot

(1975-08-11) 11 August 1975 (age 48)
Dorset, England
Political partyConservative
Mary-Clare Winwood
(m. 2011)
EducationEton College
Alma materUniversity of Bristol (BSc)

Sir Benjamin William Elliot[1] (born 11 August 1975) is a British businessman and fund-raiser for the Conservative Party who served as Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party from July 2019 alongside James Cleverly (2019–2020), Amanda Milling (2020–2021), Oliver Dowden (2021–2022), and Andrew Stephenson (2022) before resigning on 5 September 2022. In 2018, Elliot was appointed by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for the Environment, as the UK government's first Food Surplus and Waste Champion. Elliot is the co-founder of the Quintessentially Group, a global luxury concierge service, and the co-founder of Hawthorn Advisors, a communications consultancy based in London.[2][3] He is a nephew of Queen Camilla.

Early life[edit]

Elliot was born and raised in Dorset, England. He is the son of Simon Elliot, a Dorset landowner, and Annabel Elliot (née Shand), an interior designer and antiques dealer.[4] He has two sisters. His mother is the sister of Queen Camilla[5] and Mark Shand.[6] His paternal grandparents were Air Chief Marshal Sir William Elliot and Rosemary Chancellor, daughter of Sir John Chancellor.[7] His maternal grandparents were Major Bruce Shand and the Hon. Rosalind Cubitt.[8] Elliot was educated at Eton College and the University of Bristol, graduating with a BSc in Politics and Economics.[9]


Elliot is the co-founder of Quintessentially Group, a luxury lifestyle group with a 24-hour global concierge service, which he started in London in December 2000.[10] The company has boasted about how it serves wealthy Russian clients, which includes opening an office in Russia and creating a "dedicated Russian team".[11] After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the company deleted its webpage that boasted about serving Russian elite clients.[12]

He is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, The New York Times and Country Life amongst other publications.[13][14] Elliot was included in the Evening Standard's Progress 1000 list, named as one of 'London's most influential people 2016 - Business Brains'.[15] He was the executive producer of the award-winning documentary Fire in Babylon.[16]

Elliot was asked to act as treasurer for the Conservative Party's 2016 London mayoral campaign and was responsible for all campaign fundraising efforts.[17] Elliot acts as a trustee for the Eranda Rothschild Foundation[18] and has been Chairman of the Philanthropy Board of the Royal Albert Hall[19][20] since 2015. In December 2016, he was appointed as a trustee to the board of the Victoria and Albert Museum by Prime Minister Theresa May. The four-year term officially commenced on 1 January 2017.[21] Following October 2017's relaunch of the Centre for Policy Studies, Elliot was asked by Lord Saatchi to join his board as honorary treasurer.[22]

In December 2018, Elliot was appointed by Michael Gove, the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, as the government's first Food Surplus and Waste Champion. Following Elliot's appointment, Gove commented: "Food waste is an economic, environmental and moral scandal. We must end it. That's why I am delighted Ben Elliot is taking up this position and know he will bring the enthusiasm and skills this important role needs. His first task will be to help ensure our £15 million food waste fund redistributes surplus food that would otherwise be wasted to those most in need."[23]

In July 2019, Elliot was appointed by incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the co-chairman of the Conservative Party, working alongside fellow co-chairman James Cleverly.[24] Cleverly was demoted to become a joint Foreign Office and Department for International Development minister in the 2020 cabinet reshuffle and was replaced as Chairman by Amanda Milling. Milling was succeeded by Oliver Dowden in the 2021 cabinet reshuffle. Dowden resigned in June 2022.

Elliot is a founding trustee of the Quintessentially Foundation charity,[25] which has raised in excess of £13 million for charitable causes since 2008.[26][27][23]

In 2021, BBC News described Elliot as the "Tories' chief fundraiser".[28] He raised nearly £2 million from donors with links to the Vladimir Putin regime in Russia.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Elliot married Mary-Clare Winwood, US-born daughter of the musician Steve Winwood, in Gloucestershire in 2011.[4] They have two sons and live in West London.[4] Elliot is a member of 5 Hertford Street, a private members' club in Mayfair, London.[29] His son Arthur was a page of honour to his great aunt, Queen Camilla, at her coronation on 6 May 2023.[30]


Elliot was appointed a Knight Bachelor on 9 June 2023 as part of the 2022 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours.[31][32]


  1. ^ "Boris Johnson's resignation honours list in full". The Independent. 9 June 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Our People". Hawthorn Advisors. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  3. ^ Owen, Jonathan (10 August 2021). "Hawthorn Advisors distances itself from co-founder amid lobbying row". PR Week. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "My perfect weekend: Ben Elliot". The Telegraph. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  5. ^ Addley, Esther (8 August 2001). "Mr society". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  6. ^ Cumming, Ed (19 October 2017). "Travels to my Elephant: charity aims to raise £1m to protect Asian elephants with rally across Rajasthan". The Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  7. ^ 'ELLIOT, Air Chief Marshal Sir William', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 2012 accessed 4 Oct 2013
  8. ^ Colacello, Bob (December 2005). "Charles and Camilla, Together at Last". Vanity Fair | The Complete Archive. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  9. ^ "StartUp Summer: Ben Elliot". UCL. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Board of Directors". Quintessentially. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  11. ^ a b Pickard, Jim; Kinder, Tabby; Thomas, Daniel (3 March 2022). "Johnson under pressure to sack Tory fundraiser over Russia links". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  12. ^ Stone, Jon (3 March 2022). "Tory party chairman's company deletes webpage about Russia 'elite' connections". The Independent. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Ben Elliot". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 15 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Posts published by Ben Elliot". The New York Times. 4 April 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  15. ^ "The Progress 1000: London's most influential people 2016 - Business Brains". Evening Standard. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  16. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (8 February 2011). "Revolver sets Fire in Babylon". Cineuropa. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  17. ^ Edwardes, Charlotte (25 April 2016). "Everything you need to know about Zac Goldsmith". Tatler. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  19. ^ "YouGov - Board of Directors". YouGov.
  20. ^ "Royal Albert Hall". Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  21. ^ "Prime Minister appoints four new trustees to the Board of the Victoria & Albert Museum". GOV.UK. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Ben Elliot". The Centre for Policy Studies. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Gove appoints Food Waste Champion". GOV.UK (Press release). 31 December 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  24. ^ White, Nadine (26 July 2019). "These New Conservative Party Ministers Have Just Been Revealed". HuffPost UK.
  25. ^ "Quintessentially Foundation". Register of Charities. Charity Commission. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  26. ^ "Quintessentially Foundation". CharityStars.
  27. ^ Fletcher, Daisy (23 February 2018). "Entrepreneur Ben Elliot explains why he'll take 400-mile cycle challenge to help feed hungry children". Evening Standard. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Ben Elliot: Conservative Party money man with A-list connections". BBC News. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  29. ^ Williams, Christopher (8 September 2019). "Ben Elliot, friend to the rich and influential, aims to make his mark in politics". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  30. ^ "A new photograph of The King and The Queen Consort". The Royal Family. 4 April 2023. Archived from the original on 5 April 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  31. ^ "Resignation Honours 2023" (PDF). GOV.UK. 9 June 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  32. ^ "No. 64120". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 July 2023. p. 14502.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Conservative Party
With: James Cleverly (2019–2020)
Amanda Milling (2020–2021)
Oliver Dowden (2021–2022)
Succeeded by