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Damian Noel Thomas Collins[2] (born 4 February 1974, Northampton) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Folkestone and Hythe at the 2010 general election.

Damian Collins
Official portrait of Damian Collins crop 2.jpg
Chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Assumed office
19 October 2016
Preceded byJesse Norman
Member of Parliament
for Folkestone and Hythe
In office
7 May 2010 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byMichael Howard
Majority15,411 (26.2%)
Personal details
Born (1974-02-04) 4 February 1974 (age 45)
Northampton, Northamptonshire, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Sarah Richardson
Alma materSt Benet's Hall, Oxford

On 10 September 2012, Collins was made PPS to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers.[3]


Collins was educated at St. Mary's [R.C.] High School, a state voluntary aided comprehensive school in the village of Lugwardine in Herefordshire, followed by Belmont Abbey School, a former boarding independent school in Hereford, where he studied for his A Levels. He then went up to St Benet's Hall at the University of Oxford, from which he graduated in Modern History in 1996. The previous year, he became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association.[4]

Early careerEdit

Between 1999–2008, Collins worked for the M&C Saatchi advertising agency. In 2005, whilst still working at M&C Saatchi, he set up Influence Communications within the group which specialised in issues based marketing campaigns. Before joining M&C Saatchi, he worked in the Conservative Research Department. In 2008, he joined Lexington Communications, where he was Senior Counsel, before leaving to stand at the 2010 general election.[5]

Political careerEdit

In 2002, he was the political officer of the think tank, the Bow Group and a contributor to its 2006 publication Conservative Revival (Politico's Publishing, 2006). In the September 2007 edition of Esquire magazine, he was featured along with six other Conservative parliamentary candidates, as one of the new faces of the party.[citation needed]

At the 2005 general election, he stood in Northampton North; where he finished in second place to sitting Labour MP Sally Keeble who was re-elected with a majority of 3,960 votes over Collins.[6] In May 2006, Collins was included on the "A-list" of Conservative parliamentary candidates, created following the election of David Cameron as Leader of the Conservative Party.[7]

On 13 July 2006, he was selected as prospective parliamentary candidate for the Folkestone and Hythe constituency.[8] He was the successor as Conservative candidate for this seat to Michael Howard, a former Home Secretary and Leader of Conservative Party, who stepped down from Parliament in 2010.

In ParliamentEdit

Collins made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 27 May 2010 in the debate on Energy and the Environment in the Queens's Speech debate. He spoke about his support for a new nuclear power station at Dungeness in his constituency.[9]

In July 2010, he was elected as a member of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, of which he was later made Chair.[10]

Collins was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[11]

In 2010, it was reported that Collins claimed £4,440.90 over three months in rent for a house in London, despite declaring that he already owned a home in the capital. In his defence, he said the property belonged to his wife and was "too small to provide accommodation for my young family, and even if that was not the case, as a new Member of Parliament I wouldn't be able to claim any accommodation allowance against the mortgage on the property."[12]

In September 2012, he came under criticism for suggesting that jobless youths should work for less than minimum wage and for suggesting that they should busk to raise money for fares to find work.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Collins and his wife Sarah have two children, a daughter, Claudia (born 2007), and a son, Hugo (born 2009).[14]


Collins is the author of Charmed Life: The Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon[15] first published in hardback in June 2016 by William Collins and republished in paperback in February 2017. Philip Sassoon was himself elected as MP for Hythe in 1912.


  1. ^ Lee, Ceridwen (27 August 2015). "Fall in number of Catholic MPs in the House of Commons ahead of landmark debate on assisted dying". The Tablet.
  2. ^ "Damian Noel Thomas Collins". Who's Who.
  3. ^ Walker, Stephen (12 September 2012). "NIO roles for Damian Collins and Alec Shelbrooke". BBC News – via
  4. ^ "Damian Collins - Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe". Conservative Party. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Election 2005 | Results | Northampton North". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  7. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Who is on the A-list?". ConservativeHome.
  8. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Damian Collins selected for Folkestone & Hythe". ConservativeHome.
  9. ^ "Damian Collins MP, Folkestone and Hythe". TheyWorkForYou.
  10. ^ "The most dangerous aspect of Trump's 'fake news' drive, according to an MP taking on the phenomenon". The Independent. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Brady, Brian (5 December 2010). "MPs who own London homes still claim rent". The Independent.
  13. ^ Mulholland, Hélène (20 September 2012). "Tory MP tells jobless youth to work for less than minimum wage". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "Damian Collins Conservative Candidate". Folkestone & Hythe. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Charmed Life by Damian Collins - Paperback | HarperCollins". HarperCollins UK. Retrieved 8 February 2018.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Howard
Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe
Succeeded by
Election in progress