Robert Courts

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Robert Courts

Official portrait of Robert Courts.jpg
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Office
In office
16 January 2018 – 15 July 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Foreign SecretaryBoris Johnson
Jeremy Hunt
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byVacant
Member of Parliament
for Witney
Assumed office
20 October 2016
Preceded byDavid Cameron
Majority21,241 (34.8%)
Personal details
Born (1978-10-21) 21 October 1978 (age 40)[1]
Stockport, Greater Manchester, England, UK[2]
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield
WebsiteOfficial website

Robert Alexander Courts MP (born 21 October 1978) is a British politician and barrister serving as Member of Parliament for Witney since 2016. Courts retained his seat in the 2017 general election.

Early career[edit]

Courts was schooled at Berkhamsted School, where he was head of Fry’s House, before reading law at the University of Sheffield.[3][4] Courts was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 2003 and practises as a barrister at 3PB Chambers.[5] He worked in Wellington, New Zealand, at the Crown Law Office (Legal Advisors) for the New Zealand Government in 2009.[5]

Political career[edit]

Courts was elected a Conservative member of West Oxfordshire District Council in 2014.[6]

He was selected as the Conservative Party candidate to replace David Cameron as Member of Parliament in the Witney by-election, 2016.[6] Courts supported the successful 'Leave' campaign in the EU referendum on 23 June 2016.[7] He is a member of the European Research Group, having subscribed in April 2017.[8]

Courts retained the seat for the Conservatives in the 20 October 2016 by election, but with a greatly reduced majority of 5,702, down from 25,155 when David Cameron last contested the seat.[9] He was then sworn in on 24 October.[10] He increased his majority to over 21,000 in the 2017 General Election.

Courts was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in January 2018,[11] but resigned as a PPS on 15 July 2018, in protest of the White Paper on Exiting the European Union and the Chequers Agreement. [12][13][14]


  1. ^ "MyParliament - Biography for Robert Courts".
  2. ^ "Search Results - Birth, Marriage, Death -".
  3. ^ "Whither Witney? The by-election everyone's watching". 23 September 2016. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Robert Courts – 3 Paper Buildings Barristers' Chambers". Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  6. ^ a b Association, Press (22 September 2016). "Robert Courts chosen as Tory candidate for David Cameron's constituency". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  7. ^ Elgot, Jessica (11 October 2016). "Witney byelection: hard Brexit may be key issue in Cameron's former constituency". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Robert Courts - IPSA". IPSA. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Conservatives' Robert Courts wins Witney by-election". The Independent. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Tracy Brabin and Robert Courts sworn in as MPs". BBC News. 24 October 2016. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  11. ^ "List of Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS): January 2018".
  12. ^ "May suffers yet another resignation as Robert Courts quits over her Brexit plan". Sky News. 15 July 2018.
  13. ^ Mikhailova, Anna (15 July 2018). "Theresa May hit by her eighth resignation over Brexit plans in nine days, as ministerial aide quits". The Daily Telegraph.
  14. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (15 July 2018). "Theresa May faces rebellion from Brexit hardliners in customs bill vote". The Guardian.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Cameron
Member of Parliament
for Witney