Philip Hollobone

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Philip Hollobone
Official portrait of Mr Philip Hollobone crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Kettering
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Phil Sawford
Majority 10,562 (21.4%)
Personal details
Born (1964-11-07) 7 November 1964 (age 53)
Bromley, Kent, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Donna
Children 2
Residence Barton Seagrave, UK
Alma mater Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Territorial Army
Years of service 1989–1997
Rank Corporal Army-GBR-OR-04.svg

Philip Thomas Hollobone MP (born 7 November 1964) is a British Conservative Party politician and former investment banker. He has been the Member of Parliament for the Kettering constituency (since the 2005 general election).[1]

Early life[edit]

Hollobone was born on the 7 November 1964 in Bromley, Kent. He was privately educated at Dulwich College, London - where he was a contemporary of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. He went on to study at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford where he was awarded a BA degree in Modern History and Economics.[1] He was a prominent member of the Oxford University branch of the Monday Club - a 'hard right' pressure group that was later disassociated from the Conservative Party over its policies, such as the voluntary repatriation of ethnic minorities.[2] [3]

In 1984, he worked as a voluntary teacher in Honduras with a Baptist mission.[1] He worked for various companies as an industry research analyst and investment banker between 1987 and 2003[4] [5] and was in the Territorial Army between 1987 and 1995.[1]

Political career[edit]

His elected political career began in the London Borough of Bromley, where he served as a councillor for the Martins Hill & Town ward between 1990 and 1994, when he did not stand again and the Liberal Democrat candidate won his former seat. He unsuccessfully contested Lewisham East at the 1997 General Election where he was defeated by the sitting Labour MP Bridget Prentice by 12,127 votes. In 1998 he sought re-election to the London Borough of Bromley in his former ward, but was defeated by the Liberal Democrats.[6] [7]

He was later selected as the Conservative candidate for the marginal Northamptonshire constituency of Kettering for the 2001 General Election, losing to incumbent Labour MP Phil Sawford by 665 votes. Following his defeat, Hollobone moved to Kettering and secured election in 2003 onto Kettering Borough Council - first representing the rural ward of Buccleuch before representing the suburban ward of Piper's Hill from 2007. He also became Vice Chairman of the Kettering Conservative Constituency Association in 2002. He was re-elected as a councillor in 2011, but did not re-stand in 2015.[6] [8]

Hollobone secured election to the House of Commons at the third attempt, during the 2005 General Election, defeating Phil Sawford by 3,301 votes. He made his maiden speech on 24 May 2005.[9]

Some of his subsequent speeches were not well received. In 2006 he was one of 3 new MPs specifically mentioned in a Times article about manipulating the performance figures for the Theyworkforyou website.[10] The article claimed new MPs boosted “their ratings on the internet by saying very little, very often.”[10] Whilst Hollobone’s frequent “speeches” might give the appearance of “Churchill or Gladstone,” many were interventions of only 2 or 3 sentences.[10] In response, Hollobone said that as a new MP he tried to speak as often as possible on behalf of constituents and take part in many different debates.[10]

Hollobone was rated as the Conservatives' most rebellious MP in 2010.[11] He argues that his job is to "represent constituents in Westminster, it's not to represent Westminster in the constituency".[12]

He has attempted to reintroduce national service.[13] His private member's bill on Capital Punishment received its first reading in the House of Commons on 24 June 2013, but was withdrawn, and so did not receive a second reading.[14] Similarly, his Young Offenders (Parental Responsibility) Bill, Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion from the United Kingdom) Bill, Fishing Grounds and Territorial Waters (Repatriation) Bill, Asylum Seekers (Return to Nearest Safe Country) Bill, BBC Licence Fee (Civil Debt) Bill and Equality and Diversity (Reform) Bill, all due for second reading on 28 February 2014, were all withdrawn. His European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) Bill failed to progress to a vote.[15]

He was re-elected at the 2010 general election, 2015 general election and 2017 general election.

In March 2018 he joined three other Conservative backbench MPs in "talking out" a bill by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, which aimed to reverse moves to privatise the NHS. By filibustering for three and a half hours, Caroline Lucas was left with just 17 minutes to present her bill, which was subsequently shelved without a vote.[16][17]

In February 2018, following the announcement that Northamptonshire County Council had brought in a "section 114" notice, putting it in special measures following a crises in its finances, Hollobone was one of seven local MPs who released a statement arguing that the problems with the authority were down to mismanagement from the Conservative councillors who led it rather than funding cuts from the Conservative Government. They further argued that government commissioners should take over the running of the Council.[18]

In Parliament, he serves on the Panel of Chairs, for which he receives an annual payment of £15,000 (in addition to his MP salary of £77,379)[19]. He has previously been a member of the Transport Committee and the Backbench Business Committee.[20]

Political views[edit]

Hollobone is regarded as being on the right wing of the Conservative Party, and is a member of the socially conservative Cornerstone Group. He has advocated the privatisation of both the NHS and the BBC and policies such as bringing back capital punishment and military conscription.[21] [22]

In 2013 Hollobone was one of four MPs who camped outside Parliament in a move to facilitate parliamentary debate on what they called an “Alternative Queen’s Speech” – an attempt to show what a future Conservative government might deliver.[22] Some 42 policies were listed including reintroduction of the death penalty and conscription, privatising the BBC, banning the burka in public places and preparation to leave the European Union.[22]

Criticism of the European Union[edit]

Hollobone was a supporter of the Better Off Out campaign, which campaigned for Britain's withdrawal from the EU.[23] The Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party did not field a candidate against Hollobone in the 2010 general election and subsequently campaigned for his re-election as a result of his Eurosceptic views.[24][25] Hollobone continued to deny speculation that he would be the most likely MP to follow Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless in defecting to UKIP and remained a Conservative MP, although UKIP did not field a candidate against him again in the 2017 general election.[26]


In April 2009, Hollobone was revealed to be the thriftiest Member of Parliament in terms of expenses: the average MP claimed £144,176 whereas Hollobone's expenses bill amounted to £47,737.[27] In response to a written question by Hollobone, the expenses claimed for public duties by former Prime Ministers after they had left office was revealed to the public.[28] However, in November 2017 Hollobone was revealed to be the MP who had benefited from the largest sum of expenses that he was not entitled to, but had not been forced to pay the money back. The unjustified claim of £17,000 was written off because the expenses watchdog admitted that it should have picked up on the error earlier.[29]


In February 2010, Hollobone caused controversy when he [30] described the wearing of burqas as like "going round wearing a paper bag over your head" and expressed his "huge sympathy" with those calling for a ban on the garments.[31] He went on to say that he would refuse to speak with constituents wearing burkas if they came to see him, although he could not cite any examples of where this had happened in the past and he was told he would face legal action if he was to do so.[32] [33] On 30 June 2010, Hollobone introduced the Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill, which would regulate the use of certain facial coverings, including the burka, in public. However, his bill did not progress further towards adoption.[34] [35]

In March 2015, Hollobone was criticised for being one of just 4 MPs who voted against a Bill to increase the powers of the House of Lords to penalise peers who had broken the law and expel the worst offenders. This followed the scandal relating to the disgraced former peer Lord Hanningfield, but Hollobone argued the act could be used to discriminate against older male peers.[36]

In January 2016, Hollobone was one of 72 MPs who voted down an amendment in Parliament on rental homes being “fit for human habitation” who were themselves landlords who derived an income from a property.[37]

Personal life[edit]

He married Donna Cooksey in St John's church, Cranford in June 2001.[1] They had a son in June 2004 and a daughter in 2006 and lived in Barton Seagrave.[1] They separated in 2012 and divorced in 2013. Hollobone has played occasionally for Kettering Rugby Football Club in the past and [1] served as a special constable with British Transport Police for six years until asked to resign in 2015 due to new rules about police officers taking part in politics.[38][39]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Philip Hollobone Member of Parliament for Kettering". Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Elliott, Francis; Baldwin, Tom (23 January 2010). "David Cameron's Oxford crew will bring shared history to shape future". Times Online. London: The Times. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (19 October 2001). "Duncan Smith orders Monday Club to suspend Tory links". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Passmore, Valerie, ed. (2009). Dod's Parliamentary Companion 2012. London: Dods. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-905702-89-6. 
  5. ^ "The top six rebel MPs". The Guardian. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  6. ^ a b London Borough of Bromley
  7. ^ "Bromley Council Election Results 1964-2010" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  8. ^ "Kettering Council Election Results 1973-2011" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  9. ^ "Publications and Records > Commons Publications > Commons Hansard > Bound Volume Hansard - Debate". United Kingdom Parliament. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d "The MPs who can't stop talking". Times Newspapers. 27 February 2006. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Philip Hollobone continues to top the league table of backbench rebels". Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "Rebel MP Philip Hollobone MP on voting record". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "National Service Bill 2013-14 — UK Parliament". Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Capital Punishment Bill 2013-14 — UK Parliament". Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) Bill 2013-14 — UK Parliament". Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  16. ^ Bloom, Dan (11 March 2016). "Tory MPs talk for so long they derail law against privatisation in the NHS". Mirror Online. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  17. ^ NHS Reinstatement Bill: Tory MPs filibuster debate by talking about deporting foreigners for hours. The Independent. Published 11 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Northamptonshire MPs call for county council takeover". BBC News. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  19. ^ "IPSA record". IPSA. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  20. ^ "Philip Hollobone MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  21. ^ NHS Reinstatement Bill: Tory MPs filibuster debate by talking about deporting foreigners for hours. The Independent. Published 11 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  22. ^ a b c Robert Watts (20 June 2013). "Conservative MPs launch attempt to bring back death penalty, privatise the BBC and ban burka". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  23. ^ "Better Off Out". Better Off Out Campaign. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  24. ^ "UKIP says Cameron win would be 'end of this country'". BBC News. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  25. ^ "UKIP will actively campaign for the election of five Conservative candidates and one Labour candidate". ConservativeHome. 
  26. ^ Silk, Huw (22 November 2014). "Kettering MP Philip Hollobone again insists he is not defecting to UKIP". Northamptonshire Telegraph. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "Every expense spared: the cheapest MP in the House". London: The Independent. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Tory MP claimed £17,000 expenses he was not entitled to". The Telegraph. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  30. ^ "Kettering MP is criticised for his comments". Northants Evening Telegraph. Johnston Press. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  31. ^ "Wearing a burka like putting on paper bag, says MP". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  32. ^ "Birmingham Metropolitan College defends ban on students wearing veils". Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  33. ^ "Niqab-ban Tory MP told he is breaking the law". The Guardian. 25 July 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  34. ^ "MP proposes law to ban wearing burkas and balaclavas". BBC News. 30 June 2010. 
  35. ^ "Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill". Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  36. ^ "MPs who talk fearful drivel and fight pointless battles". Independent. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  37. ^ "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  38. ^ "MPs asked to leave Special Constabulary", Police Oracle, 13 January 2015
  39. ^ "Philip Hollobone MP, Kettering - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Phil Sawford
Member of Parliament for Kettering