Phillip Lee (politician)

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Phillip Lee
MP
Official portrait of Dr Phillip Lee crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Youth Justice, Victims, Female Offenders & Offender Health
In office
17 July 2016 – 12 June 2018 [1]
Lord ChancellorElizabeth Truss
David Lidington
David Gauke
Preceded byDominic Raab
Succeeded byEdward Argar
Member of Parliament
for Bracknell
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byAndrew MacKay
Majority16,016 (28.7%)
Personal details
BornPhillip James Lee
(1970-09-28) 28 September 1970 (age 48)[2]
Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England[3]
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Catherine Day
Alma materKing's College London
Keble College, Oxford
Imperial College London
ProfessionPhysician
Websitephillip-lee.com

Phillip James Lee (born 28 September 1970) is a British Conservative politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bracknell since winning the seat at the 2010 general election.

He served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State responsible for Youth Justice, Victims, Female Offenders & Offender Health at the Ministry of Justice.[4] He resigned from government in July 2018 to stop Brexit.

Early life and career[edit]

Phillip Lee was born and raised in Buckinghamshire, England, and went to his local grammar school, Sir William Borlase's Grammar School. Lee studied Human Biology and Biological Anthropology at King's College London and Keble College, Oxford, where his research interests included the psychodynamics of anti-Semitism; the psychology of the child sex offender; the influence of the pre-natal environment on adult disease; and infertility clinic outcomes.

He went on to study medicine at Imperial College London[3] and qualified as a doctor in 1999. He has worked in hospitals across the Thames Valley, including Wexham Park Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Wycombe General Hospital, St Mark's (Maidenhead) and Heatherwood Hospital as well as at St Mary's Hospital, London. Lee qualified as a general practitioner (GP) in 2004 and continues to practise locally part-time.[5]

Political career[edit]

Constituents supporting Lee's resignation stand at the 2018 People's Vote march

Lee's political career began in local politics. He joined the Conservatives in Beaconsfield in 1992, becoming a member of its executive board in 1997 and its deputy chairman in 2005. Lee ran successfully for the local council in 2001. In the 2005 general election, he campaigned as the party's candidate for what was the safe Labour seat of Blaenau Gwent in South Wales. After being appointed a priority national candidate on the party's first A-List in 2006,[6] Lee was elected in an open primary in 2009 to be the candidate to represent the local seat of Bracknell in Berkshire at the 2010 general election. The seven-person short-list also included prominent Conservative commentator Iain Dale, and Rory Stewart.[5][7] At the 2010 general election, Lee retained the seat for his party with a majority of 15,704 votes.[8]

Lee's parliamentary interests include:

Energy. He serves as a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and has been at the forefront of questioning UK energy companies' price hikes.[9] Lee has called for energy efficiency to be the primary target of the UK Government's policy and supports increasing energy security with more nuclear power and an interconnector with Norway. He has drawn attention to the limited potential of free markets in the energy sector and called for cooperative ways of retailing and distributing electricity and gas.[10]

  • Health. Lee warned in 2011 that the National Health Service as currently configured would not meet future demand for healthcare and has campaigned for healthcare services in the United Kingdom and funding to be reconfigured.[11] His 2012 publication "The Royal Thames Valley Hospital – a Vision of a Sustainable Healthcare Plan" is a comprehensive proposal for improving clinical outcomes while building capacity to meet future healthcare demand across the Thames Valley.[12] The Home Secretary, Theresa May, who is also a Thames Valley MP, gave the plan her support at a public meeting in January 2013.[13] Lee sparked controversy in 2013 when he called for individuals, not the state, to bear responsibility for their lifestyle choices,[14] and again in 2014 when he called for migrants to be screened for blood-borne viruses, including Hepatitis B and HIV, to protect public health in the United Kingdom.[15] He proposed introducing individual healthcare statements in a Ten Minute Rule Bill in 2012.[16] In 2014, Lee stood for election as Chairman of the Health Select Committee, coming a close second.
At the Social Market Foundation fringe meeting at the 2017 Conservative party conference, he referred to pensions, health and social care as a Ponzi scheme which was about to collapse.[17]
  • Foreign affairs. Lee has served as Vice Chair of the Conservative Middle East Council since 2010. He has argued for a comprehensive approach to foreign policy, pointing out that energy policy should be an important element in foreign and defence policies.[18] In 2012, he warned of rising threats from China's domestic vulnerabilities.[19] He regularly participates in the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's exchange programme with members of the German Bundestag and has called for a closer relationship with Germany.[20] He voted against military action in Syria in 2013 as he believed there needed to be a more thought-through strategy towards Syria and the wider region before the United Kingdom involved itself.[21] In July 2014, he argued for a strong response to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Europe's border and for Britain's role in the world to be redefined saying, "I fear that because of our level of debt and of dependence, and our complete absence of any vision or leadership, we are being less of a country than we should be and most certainly less of a country than the globe desperately needs.".[18]
  • Science, technology and space. Lee is Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee. Lee was also a member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in the 2010–2015 Parliament. He has long campaigned for a British space port and supported Reaction Engines' breakthrough in aerospace technology with its SABRE. His 2011 Adjournment debate on microgravity spurred £60m state investment into the European Space Agency's ELIPS programme.[22] This funding played a significant part in the European Space Agency's decision to grant Timothy Peake a place in space. Lee was a Member of the Administration Committee from July 2010 to December 2012 and sits on the Parliamentary Medical Panel. He has driven improvements to mental health services for parliamentarians. Lee served as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Environment Group (2010–2013).

Lee's voting record is loyal and he has rarely rebelled against the Conservative whip and has not voted against anything in the Conservative's manifesto.[23] However, he did not support the UK Government's High Speed 2 project which he said is of the past and not of the future, profligate and not a priority for infrastructure investment.[24] Neither did he support the UK Government's proposals for House of Lords reform or military action in Syria in 2013.[21] Lee abstained over Same-sex marriage legislation, noting that Parliament's role should be limited to legislating for equal civil union while calling on the Church to find a way to recognise same-sex relationships.[25][26]

In his constituency of Bracknell, Lee has campaigned for better services and facilities. He called for improved health service outcomes and in 2012 launched a plan to achieve this which would consolidate acute healthcare in a new, regional centre of excellence and deliver a greater proportion of care in the community – including through the recently opened Bracknell Urgent Care Centre.[12] He has lobbied for better transport links into, and across, the region and South West Trains is now increasing passenger rail capacity from Bracknell.[27] Lee supports expanding London Heathrow Airport and has endorsed the Heathrow Hub proposal to extend capacity[28] alongside the extension of Crossrail to Reading. Lee lobbied BT Group to improve the delivery of superfast broadband and coverage across the constituency is now almost 90%.[29]

Lee has spoken on the importance of MPs being "in touch". In his constituency, he reports annually to all constituents, holds quarterly public 'Question and Answer' open meetings as well as issues monthly e-newsletters.

Lee was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[30] He resigned as a minister on 12 June 2018. In a widely reported resignation statement, he said that his reason was so he could "better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is currently being delivered". He went on to warn that the current approach to Brexit would damage businesses in his constituency, and that he could not support the government's opposition to the submission of the final deal to a parliamentary vote "because doing so breaches such fundamental principles of human rights and Parliamentary sovereignty".[1] He also supports the People's Vote campaign for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Lee is a keen sportsman. He has played competitive football, and followed Queens Park Rangers F.C. since the age of six. He attended the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan, the 2004 UEFA European Championships in Portugal and the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He has played competitive rugby union for Marlow Rugby Union Football Club and was a member of Oxford University RFC and has also played cricket for the 'Old Grumblers'. Lee plays for the Conservative Party's Parliamentary football team and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Boxing.

Lee combines his medical background and interest in international development as a Member of Colalife's Virtual Advisory Board. The organisation uses Coca-Cola's distribution networks to get essential medication to mothers and newborn babies to tackle the biggest cause of infant mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa – dehydration because of diarrhoea.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Minister Phillip Lee quits over Brexit". BBC. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Phillip Lee MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b "LEE, Phillip James". Who's Who. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  4. ^ Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice
  5. ^ a b "Dr Phillip Lee – Caring for Bracknell Constituency : Biography". Bracknell Conservative Association. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  6. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Where are the original A-Listers now? The 27 who are still looking for a seat". Conservativehome.blogs.com. 23 April 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  7. ^ Fort, Hugh (12 October 2009). "Tory hopefuls stress links to Bracknell Forest". Bracknell Forest Standard. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Phillip Lee wins Bracknell General Election 2010". The Wokingham Times. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  9. ^ Morris, Nigel (29 October 2013). "All in it together? Big Six energy chiefs feel heat from MPs". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Only full-scale reform of our energy market will prevent endless price rises". The Guardian. 26 October 2013. Comment is free. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  11. ^ Lee, Phillip (11 June 2014). "Daily Telegraph: The NHS is collapsing under the weight of demand". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Bracknell News: MP plans hospital vision meeting". Bracknell News. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  13. ^ "BBC News: Theresa May MP supports calls for new M4 hospital". bbc.co.uk/news. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  14. ^ Hope, Christopher (26 November 2012). "Spending on medicines must be cut because Britons cannot put up with aches and pains like their wartime forebears says Tory MP". The Daily Telegraph. London. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  15. ^ "HIV positive immigrants should be banned from entering UK, Tory MPs say". HuffPost. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  16. ^ "House of Commons: Summary Agenda Wednesday 22 February 2012". publications.parliament.uk. UK Parliament. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Tax-funded NHS a Ponzi scheme, says minister Phillip Lee". BBC News. 2 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  18. ^ a b "They Work For You: Backbench Business — Summer Adjournment". theyworkforyou.com/. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  19. ^ "ConservativeHome: Dr Philip Lee MP: China may be big – but it has big, big problems". conservativehome.com/. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  20. ^ "ConservativeHome: Dr Phillip Lee MP: When it comes to Germany, yesterday should be no guide for tomorrow". conservativehome.com/. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  21. ^ a b "The Telegraph: If we must fight in Syria, we must have a plan". telegraph.co.uk/. London. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  22. ^ "They Work For You: Microgravity Research". theyworkforyou.com/. 13 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  23. ^ "They Work For You: Voting Summary". theyworkforyou.com/. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  24. ^ "They Work For You: High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill". theyworkforyou.com/. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  25. ^ "Voting Record – Phillip Lee MP, Bracknell". publicwhip.org. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  26. ^ Lowther, Ed (5 March 2013). "Yes but, no but... MPs who vote both ways". BBC News. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  27. ^ "MP Dr Phillip Lee campaigns for better train services to and from Bracknell". getreading.co.uk/. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  28. ^ "They Work For You: Thames Valley, Berkshire". theyworkforyou.com/. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  29. ^ "Dr Phillip Lee hears broadband concerns". Get Reading. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Wheeler, Brian (11 September 2018). "The Brexit factions reshaping UK politics". BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2018. Sarah Wollaston, has joined the People's Vote campaign along with Phillip Lee and Guto Bebb

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Andrew MacKay
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
2010–present
Incumbent