Damian Collins

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Damian Collins
Chairman of the
Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee
Assumed office
19 October 2016
Preceded by Jesse Norman
Parliamentary Private Secretary to
the Foreign Secretary
In office
22 July 2014 – 23 June 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Keith Simpson
Succeeded by Chris Pincher
Member of Parliament
for Folkestone and Hythe
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Michael Howard
Majority 13,797 (25.1%)
Personal details
Born (1974-02-04) 4 February 1974 (age 43)
Northampton, Northamptonshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Sarah Richardson
Children 1s, 1d
Alma mater St Benet's Hall, Oxford
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]

Damian Noel Thomas Collins[2] (born 4 February 1974, Northampton) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Folkestone and Hythe in the 2010 general election. He was re-elected in 2015.

On 10 September 2012, Collins was made PPS to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers.[3]


Collins was educated at St Mary's Roman Catholic High School, a voluntary aided Roman Catholic comprehensive school in Herefordshire, and Belmont Abbey School, a co-educational independent school in the same county, followed by St Benet's Hall, at the University of Oxford, from 1993 to 1996, from which he graduated in modern history. He was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association in Hilary Term 1995.

Early career[edit]

Between 1999 and 2008, Collins worked for the M&C Saatchi advertising agency. In 2005, whilst still at M&C Saatchi, he set up Influence Communications within the group which specialised in issues based marketing campaigns. Before joining M&C Saatchi he worked in the Conservative Research Department. In 2008 he joined Lexington Communications, where he was Senior Counsel, before leaving to fight the 2010 general election.[4]

Political career[edit]

In 2002 he was the political officer of the centre-right think tank, the Bow Group and a contributor to its 2006 publication Conservative Revival (Politico's Publishing, 2006). In the September 2007 edition of Esquire magazine, he was featured along with six other Conservative parliamentary candidates, as one of the new faces of the party.

In the 2005 general election he came second when standing in Northampton North.[5] In May 2006 Collins was included on the "A-list" of Conservative parliamentary candidates, created following the election of David Cameron as leader of the party.[6]

On 13 July 2006 he was selected as prospective parliamentary candidate for the Folkestone and Hythe constituency.[7] He was the successor as Conservative candidate for this seat to Michael Howard, a former Home Secretary and latterly leader of Conservative party, who stepped down in 2010.

In November 2007 he was included on The Observer's Future 500 list as one of the 50 people to watch in British public life. He was also listed in Insight Public Affairs profiles of the 'Next Generation' of MPs to watch[8] and was interviewed by Sky News for its meet the new MPs series.[9]

In Parliament[edit]

Damian Collins made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 27 May 2010 in the debate on energy and the environment in the Queens's Speech debate. He spoke about his support for a new nuclear power station at Dungeness in his constituency.[10]

In July 2010 he was elected as a member of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

Collins was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[11]


It was revealed Collins claimed £4,440.90 over three months in rent for a house in London, despite declaring that he already owned a home in the capital. In his defence he claimed the property belonged to his wife and was "too small to provide accommodation for my young family, and even if that was not the case, as a new Member of Parliament I wouldn't be able to claim any accommodation allowance against the mortgage on the property."[12]

Minimum Wage Controversy[edit]

In September 2012 he came under fire for suggesting that jobless youths should work for less than minimum wage and for suggesting that they should busk to raise money for fares to find work.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Damian and his wife Sarah have two children, a daughter Claudia (born 2007) and a son Hugo (born 2009).


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Howard
Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe