Philip Hollobone

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Philip Hollobone
Member of Parliament
for Kettering
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Phil Sawford
Majority 9,094 (19.2%)
Personal details
Born (1964-11-07) 7 November 1964 (age 52)
Bromley, Kent, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Donna
Children 2
Residence Barton Seagrave, UK
Alma mater Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
Religion Church of England
Website Kettering Conservatives
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Territorial Army
Years of service 1989–1997
Rank Corporal Army-GBR-OR-04.svg

Philip Thomas Hollobone (born 7 November 1964) is a British Conservative Party politician who is both a Member of Parliament for the Kettering constituency (since the 2005 general election) and a member of Kettering Borough Council for the Piper's Hill ward (since 3 May 2007).[1]

Early life[edit]

Hollobone was educated at Dulwich College, London (where he was a contemporary of Nigel Farage), and 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.[2]

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 between 1987 and 2003[3] and was in the Territorial Army for eight years.[1]

Political career[edit]

His elected political career began in the London Borough of Bromley, where he served as a councillor between 1990 and 1994, before unsuccessfully contesting 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, but was defeated by the Liberal Democrats.[4] In 1999, he served a one-year term as Chairman of the Bromley and Chislehurst Conservative Association.[citation needed]

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 just 665 votes. From this election onwards, Hollobone made Kettering his political base, securing election in 2003 onto Kettering Borough Council (first representing the rural ward of Buccleuch before representing the suburban ward of Piper's Hill) as well as serving as Vice Chairman of the Kettering Conservative Constituency Association since 2002.[citation needed]

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.[5]

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.[6] The article claimed new MPs boosted “their ratings on the internet by saying very little, very often.”[6] Whilst Hollobone’s frequent “speeches” might give the appearance of “Churchill or Gladstone,” many were interventions of only 2 or 3 sentences.[6] On just one day in February 2006, he made six speeches, one of which, on the Ascension Islands simply noted that a former mayoress of Kettering came from St Helena.[6] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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. Baroness Thatcher received £535,000 in expenses over 5 years, Sir John Major received £490,000 and Tony Blair received £273,000.[8]

Hollobone is a supporter of the Better Off Out campaign, which is in favour of Britain's withdrawal from the EU.[9] 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.[10][11] Hollobone has denied speculation that he would be the most likely MP to follow Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless in defecting to UKIP.[12]

Hollobone is rated as the Conservatives' most rebellious MP.[13] He argues that his job is to "represent constituents in Westminster, it's not to represent Westminster in the constituency".[14]

He has attempted to reintroduce national service.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

In March 2016 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. [18]

"Alternative Queen's speech"[edit]

In February 2010, Hollobone[19] 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.[20]

On 30 June 2010, Hollobone introduced the Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill after coming seventeenth out of twenty in the Private Members' Bill ballot, which would regulate the use of certain facial coverings, including the burka, in public.[21] The bill was on the Order Paper to be read a second time on 3 December 2010.[22] Hollobone refuses to speak with constituents wearing burkas.[23]

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.[24] 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.[24]

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 also played occasionally for Kettering Rugby Football Club.[1] He also 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.[25][26]


  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. ^ Passmore, Valerie, ed. (2009). Dod's Parliamentary Companion 2012. London: Dods. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-905702-89-6. 
  4. ^ London Borough of Bromley
  5. ^ "Publications and Records > Commons Publications > Commons Hansard > Bound Volume Hansard - Debate". United Kingdom Parliament. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "The MPs who can't stop talking". Times Newspapers. 27 February 2006. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Every expense spared: the cheapest MP in the House". London: The Independent. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Better Off Out". Better Off Out Campaign. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "UKIP says Cameron win would be 'end of this country'". BBC News. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "UKIP will actively campaign for the election of five Conservative candidates and one Labour candidate". ConservativeHome. 
  12. ^ Silk, Huw (22 Nov 2014). "Kettering MP Philip Hollobone again insists he is not defecting to UKIP". Northamptonshire Telegraph. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Rebel MP Philip Hollobone MP on voting record". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Progress chart for Capital Punishment Bill.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Kettering MP is criticised for his comments". Northants Evening Telegraph. Johnston Press. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  20. ^ "Wearing a burka like putting on paper bag, says MP". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  21. ^ "MP proposes law to ban wearing burkas and balaclavas". BBC News. 30 June 2010. 
  22. ^ "Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill". Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b Robert Watts (20 Jun 2013). "Conservative MPs launch attempt to bring back death penalty, privatise the BBC and ban burka". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 Jun 2013. 
  25. ^ "MPs asked to leave Special Constabulary", Police Oracle, 13 January 2015
  26. ^

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

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