Oliver Colvile

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Oliver Colvile
Member of Parliament
for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport
In office
6 May 2010 – 3 May 2017
Preceded by Linda Gilroy
Succeeded by Luke Pollard
Personal details
Born (1959-08-26) 26 August 1959 (age 59)[1]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Relations Charles Colvile
Profession Politician
Website www.olivercolvile.org

Oliver Newton Colvile[2] (born 26 August 1959) is a British politician. He is a former Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport.[3]


Colvile's father served as an officer in the Royal Navy for over thirty years, his grandfather was the First Lieutenant of Plymouth's Naval barracks, whilst his uncle was a Royal Marines officer who served at Stonehouse. Colvile says his interest in politics took hold whilst at Stowe School when he became fascinated by how an idea could become law or a policy to protect civil liberties, to enhance people's freedom and for the enjoyment of life. He joined the Conservative Party's staff at the age of 21, working for Ministers and backbench MPs. He later devised community campaigns which saw the Conservatives return to Parliament a number of its candidates in marginal seats.[4] Colvile has lived for the past 10 years at The Millfields (formerly the Royal Naval Hospital), Plymouth.[5]

Political career[edit]

Colvile unsuccessfully contested the Plymouth Sutton constituency in the 2001 and 2005 general elections, both times losing to the sitting Labour MP Linda Gilroy. Colvile won its successor seat, Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, at the 2010 General Election with a majority of 1149 and 34.3% of the votes cast, ousting Gilroy with a swing of 6.9% calculated after allowing for significant boundary changes.[3] He held the seat at the 2015 General Election with a reduced majority of 523. Colvile was named by Conservative Home as one of a minority of loyal Conservative backbench MPs not to have voted against the government in any significant rebellions.[6]

Colvile lost his seat at the seat at the 2017 General Election to Luke Pollard of the Labour Party.

Parliamentary and government roles

Electoral Commission and police investigation[edit]

In March 2017, the Electoral Commission fined the Conservative Party £70,000.[8] During the 2015 general election coaches of activists were transported to marginal constituencies including Plymouth Sutton & Devonport to campaign alongside or in close proximity to local campaigners. The tour party stopped off at the Jury's Inn in Exeter Street, Plymouth, where it used 29 rooms. The inclusion in the Party national return of what in the commission's view should have been reported as candidate spending meant that there was a realistic prospect that this enabled its candidates to gain a financial advantage over opponents. Oliver Colville was investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police over whether he breached election spending rules. Devon and Cornwall Police subsequently confirmed that a file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on whether Mr Colville should be prosecuted for electoral fraud in relation to the 2015 general election.[9]

Japan Tobacco[edit]

Colvile was criticised when it was revealed in October 2011 that he received hospitality equivalent (on the market) to £694.80 from Japan Tobacco, owners of the Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut brands, paying for a visit to see Test match cricket at The Oval that summer, coming shortly after he voted in favour of relaxing the smoking ban.[10] Colvile was again criticised in July 2013 when it was revealed he received two free tickets (worth £1,260) to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, again from Japan Tobacco.[11]

European Union[edit]

Colville was in favour of Britain remaining in the European Union during the 2016 referendum campaign.[12]

Overseas trip[edit]

In March 2013 Mr Colvile, who was then vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on the Armed Forces made an all-expenses-paid trip to Saudi Arabia as a delegate of the UK Defence Forum that he received from the Saudi Arabian government.[13]

Other interests[edit]

Following a spell at an agency advising on business development, since 1996 Oliver Colvile has run a communications business specialising in handling community consultation for major regeneration projects. He is a member of the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors, and is also a former director of the Enterprise Forum.[4] Colvile is a keen cricketer and a member of the Addis Army, which supports the England national side:[14]


  1. ^ "Oliver Colvile MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8740.
  3. ^ a b "Election 2010-Constituency:Plymouth Sutton & Devonport". Election 2010. BBC. 6 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Oliver Colvile". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Oliver Colvile Official Website". Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  6. ^ Barrett, Matthew. "The 24 Conservative MPs who are still on the backbenches and have never rebelled". Conservative Home. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  7. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013–14". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Electoral Commission – Conservative Party fined £70,000 following investigation into election campaign expenses". www.electoralcommission.org.uk.
  9. ^ "Prosecutors deciding whether to charge Devon MP over election expenses". 18 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Plymouth MP defends £700 cricket trip paid for by tobacco firm". 18 October 2011.
  11. ^ "MP took free tickets from big tobacco". 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  12. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Plymouth MP defends all-expenses-paid trip to Saudi Arabia". 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  14. ^ "Addis Army England Cricket Supporters". Retrieved 7 May 2010.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Linda Gilroy
Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
Succeeded by
Luke Pollard