Stephen Phillips (politician)

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Stephen Phillips
QC
Member of Parliament
for Sleaford and North Hykeham
In office
6 May 2010 – 4 November 2016
Preceded by Douglas Hogg
Succeeded by Caroline Johnson
Personal details
Born Stephen James Phillips
(1970-03-09) 9 March 1970 (age 47)
Chiswick, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative (until 2016)
Spouse(s) Fiona née Goldsby (m. 1998; div. 2013)
Residence Hampstead, London Borough of Camden[1]
Alma mater Oriel College, Oxford

Stephen James Phillips QC (born 9 March 1970) is a British Conservative Party politician, barrister and recorder (part-time Crown Court judge). He represented the constituency of Sleaford and North Hykeham as its Member of Parliament (MP) from 2010 until his resignation. On 4 November 2016, he announced that he was standing down with immediate effect, owing to his irreconcilable policy differences with the government.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Stephen Phillips was born in London on 9 March 1970, the son of Stewart Charles Phillips, a civil servant, and his wife Janice Frances née Woodhall.[4] He attended St. Mary's and Hardye's School prior to attending Canford School, Dorset, for A Levels, before going up to Oriel College, Oxford, from 1988 to 1992, where he graduated with a BA degree (proceeding MA [Oxon]) in Jurisprudence (Law) in 1991; he pursued postgraduate studies at Oxford University, receiving a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) in 1992.[4]

After studying to become a barrister at the Inns of Court School of Law, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1993. He took silk (QC), and since 2009 has also served as a recorder. He was chairman of the governing body of Frank Barnes School, one of the few sign-bilingual schools for deaf people in Britain.[4]

Phillips served a short commission in the British Army, as a Welsh Guards officer.[5] In 2008 he contested a by-election for Hampstead Town ward (where he lives) on Camden London Borough Council, that had been triggered by the resignation of the Conservative incumbent, but lost to the Liberal Democrats.[1][6]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Phillips entered the House of Commons in 2010 as Member of Parliament for Sleaford and North Hykeham, being its second parliamentary representative since the constituency was created, following Douglas Hogg.

Phillips sat on the European Scrutiny Committee, the Public Accounts Committee[7] and the Committee for the Defamation Bill.[8] He showed "his anger and disappointment" with Lin Homer, head of HMRC, who he said had allowed HSBC to get away "scot free" with large-scale tax avoidance.[9] He attracted criticism from some for spending around 1,700 hours annually working as a barrister whilst serving as an MP. Phillips described his own parliamentary attendance record as "excellent", asserting that his outside work "doesn’t affect the way in which I perform as an MP", and accused his critics of "envy" over his yearly £750,000 earnings from his legal work.[10]

In November 2016 he resigned as a Conservative MP, saying that he had "irreconcilable policy differences" with the government of Theresa May. Phillips had previously said that he believed the government was becoming more right-wing, and that its attempts to begin negotiations to leave the EU without consulting Parliament were "divisive and plain wrong".[2] Formally, he was appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead in North Yorkshire.[11]

Personal life[edit]

From 1998 to 2013, Phillips was married to Fiona née Goldsby, a barrister and QC; they are divorced.[12] Together they have three children. He divides his time between London and his home in Lincolnshire.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Camden News: Anya Reeve - Larraine Revah - Linda Chung - Stephen Phillips - Hampstead Town by-election". thecnj.com. 
  2. ^ a b "Tory MP Stephen Phillips resigns". BBC News. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Khomami, Nadia; Weaver, Matthew (4 November 2016). "Tory MP resigns over government approach to Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d 'Phillips, Stephen James', Who's Who 2015, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc., 2015; online ed., Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online ed., October 2014(subscription required)
  5. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Stephen Phillips QC selected for Sleaford and North Hykeham". blogs.com. 
  6. ^ webmanager@camden.gov.uk. "Hampstead Town by election results 25 September 2008". camden.gov.uk. 
  7. ^ John Grace (13 January 2016). "Lin Homer, Dame Disaster, puts in a classic display before MPs". Guardian newspapers. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "Stephen Phillips". Parliament UK. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Rajeev Syal (13 January 2016). "HMRC admits to winding up inquiry into HSBC tax evasion claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Dominiczak, Peter (13 December 2013). "£750,000 second job shows I am a success, says Stephen Phillips MP". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Manor of Northstead: Stephen Phillips - News stories - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "PHILLIPS, Stephen James". Who's Who 2017. Oxford University Press. November 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Douglas Hogg
Crowned Portcullis.svg
Member of Parliament
for Sleaford and North Hykeham

20102016
Succeeded by
Caroline Johnson