About Oliver

Oliver Letwin is the Member of Parliament for West Dorset and the Minister for Government Policy in David Cameron's coalition government.

Oliver was born in 1956 and is married with two children. He was educated at Cambridge University, Princeton University and London Business School. In a varied career, Oliver has been a research fellow at Cambridge University, a civil servant and a bank director.

Oliver has been involved in policy formation and policy thinking for the last 25 years. His interest in thinking about government and political theory stems from his childhood. His father was an academic economist and his mother a political philosopher. Before becoming a cabinet minister, he held a series of positions in the Shadow Cabinet, as Shadow Chief Secretary, Shadow Home Secretary, Shadow Chancellor, Shadow Environment Secretary and Chairman of the Conservative Policy Review.

Oliver is a passionate champion of progressive social reform, a cause which he advocated strongly as Shadow Home Secretary in his speeches on the ‘neighbourly society’. He is committed to localism, having campaigned from the Conservative Front Bench for the Sustainable Communities Act, which began a serious move towards giving local communities and local governments more of the power held by central government.

Within the constituency, Oliver campaigns on a range of issues of interest to his constituents. As West Dorset’s MP, Oliver deals with hundreds of letters and emails from constituents every week, in addition to holding regular advice surgeries. Oliver spends as much time as possible working with local schools, businesses and voluntary organisations.

Oliver has been involved with numerous charities, including the Social Mobility Foundation, of which he is a former Trustee and Chairman. In the constituency, he has helped to foster community pubs and community shops, job clubs, community libraries, community hospital transport and a large number of other Big Society initiatives. He has played an active role in promoting rural broadband, Dorset local broadcasting and local infrastructure projects.

Oliver’s interests outside of politics include mountain-walking, skiing, philosophy and cooking. He has written many books, pamphlets and articles, including
Ethics, Emotion and the Unity of the Self;
Privatising the World: A Study of International Privatisation in Theory and Practice; and
The Purpose of Politics.