Oliver Letwin

Member of Parliament for West Dorset

Minister for Government Policy

Tel: 01300 321716 / Dorchester Road Maiden Newton Dorchester DT2 0BG Web: www.westdorsetconservatives.com

Oliver has been involved in policy formation and policy thinking for the last 25 years, since he worked for Mrs Thatcher in Downing Street in the 1980s.

In a varied career, he has been a philosophy don at Cambridge, a civil servant and a bank director. He has written many books, pamphlets and articles, including Ethics, Emotion and the Unity of the Self, Privatising the World and The Purpose of Politics.

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. He is married to Isabel, who is a senior civil servant and a keen gardener. They have two teenage twins so he knows about the difficulties of being a parent.

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’;  and he has been involved with Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice since it was first founded. He is committed to environmental causes, leading the Conservative Party into the cross-party talks on the Climate Change Bill, and making speeches on the place of beauty in politics when he was Shadow Secretary for the Environment. He is also a localist, and campaigned from the Conservative Front Bench for Nick Hurd’s Sustainable Communities Act, which began a serious move towards giving local communities and local governments more of the power held by central government.

Oliver has been involved with numerous charities, including the Social Mobility Foundation, of which he is a former Trustee and Chairman.


  • MP for West Dorset, May 1997 -
  • Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, September 2000 - September 2001
  • Shadow Home Secretary, September 2001 - November 2003
  • Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, November 2003 - May 2005
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, May 2005 - December 2005
  • Chairman of the Policy Review, December 2005 - May 2010
  • Minister of State – Cabinet Office (providing policy advice to the Prime Minister), May 2010 -


Helping to keep Lyme Regis in his constituency from falling into the sea.


  • Riding
  • Mountain-walking
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Travel
  • Philosophy
  • Cooking (and eating)


  • Married to Isabel
  • Two children: Jeremy and Laura

Oliver Letwin video profile

Oliver Letwin is Chairman of the Conservative Party's Policy Review. His role is to pull together the policies we're putting forward in a whole range of areas, to make sure they're coherent and fit together in our plan to change Britain for the better.