Neil O'Brien

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Neil O'Brien

Official portrait of Neil O'Brien crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Harborough
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded bySir Edward Garnier
Majority12,429 (21.6%)
Personal details
Born (1978-11-06) 6 November 1978 (age 40)[1]
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

Neil John O'Brien,[2] OBE (born 6 November 1978), is the Member of Parliament for Harborough.[3]

He was previously Special Adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May on the Economy and Industrial Strategy.[4] Between November 2012 and July 2016 he served as a Special Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.[5]

O'Brien is a former director of the think tanks Open Europe and Policy Exchange.

Early life[edit]

O'Brien grew up in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He was educated at All Saints High School, Huddersfield and Greenhead College before taking a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, at Christ Church, Oxford.[6]


Between 2000 and 2003 he worked for the 'No' campaign against joining the euro. He led the "Vote 2004" group which campaigned for a referendum on the EU's proposed Constitution.[7] Between 2005–2008,[citation needed] he was Director of Open Europe, a think tank working for free market reform in Europe.[6] He was appointed director of the centre-right Policy Exchange in August 2008, succeeding Anthony Browne and Nicholas Boles in this role.

In March 2010, O'Brien co-authored with Ross Clark a wide-ranging book called The Renewal of Government.[8] It was praised by Michael Gove, then Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, and later Secretary of State for Education, who said that it "lays down with admirable clarity and form a set of radical policies ... which in the field of education I think are peerless".[9]

O'Brien was ranked number 14 in Total Politics’ poll of the top 50 political influencers in Britain,[10] named in The Daily Telegraph as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential people on the Right",[11] in the Sunday Times as one of the "New Political Elite"[12] and as one of the Evening Standard's "Power 1000 of London’s New Influentials".[13]

He was elected MP for Harborough in 2017 with a majority of 12,429.


  1. ^ "Members' Names Data Platform query". UK Parliament. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ "No. 61961". The London Gazette. 19 June 2017. p. 11783.
  3. ^ Dimmer, Sam (9 June 2017). "Neil O'Brien is the new MP for Harborough". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  4. ^ Frayne, James (4 August 2016). "What businesses can expect from Theresa May's self-consciously pragmatic Conservatism". City AM. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  5. ^ Watt, Nicholas (30 November 2012). "George Osborne hires thinktank boss to attract new voters". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ BBC News Online (18 February 2004). "Screen stars back EU vote demands". Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Publications". Policy Exchange. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  9. ^ "PolicyExchangeUK's Channel". YouTube. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  10. ^ [1] Archived 5 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Dale, Iain; Brivati, Brian (3 October 2010). "Top 100most influential Right-wingers: 100-76". London, UK: Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  12. ^ "World News and Opinion". The Times. UK. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  13. ^ "The One Thousand – Politics". Evening Standard. London, UK. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2011.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Edward Garnier
Member of Parliament for Harborough