Damian Collins has served as the Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe since 2010, and is standing for re-election at the general election on 8th June 2017.
In October 2016 he was elected by the House of Commons as Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, having previously served as a member of the committee. In this role he led the committee’s inquiries into doping in sport, fake news, football governance, homophobia in sport, and the impact of Brexit on the creative industries and tourism. Damian is also the Chairman of the Conservative Arts and Creative Industries Network.
During the Coalition government Damian served between 2014-15 as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to then Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond. From 2012 to 2014 he was PPS to the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers.
Damian was born in Northampton in 1974. He is married to Sarah, they have a daughter Claudia and a son Hugo, and they live in Elham in Kent, and in London. Damian grew up in Herefordshire and was educated at St. Mary’s High School in Lugwardine, and then studied for his A levels at Belmont Abbey School, Hereford. He graduated in Modern History from St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford in 1996, and in 1995 was also President of the Oxford University Conservative Association. Damian’s career before politics was in the advertising and communications industries, mostly at the M&C Saatchi advertising agency in London where he worked from 1999 to 2008.
In addition to Damian’s work in Parliament, he is a trustee of the Shepway Sports Trust, the Folkestone Youth Project and is Chairman of Step Short, a heritage charity working to commemorate Folkestone’s role in the First World War. On 4th August 2014 HRH Prince Harry of Wales opened the Step Short memorial arch in Folkestone to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the War, and the memory of the ten million journeys by servicemen through the town between 1914 and 1919.
Damian is a keen sports fan, a lifelong supporter of Manchester United, and a member of the MCC. He has also made recent, occasional appearances for the Lord and Commons rugby and cricket clubs. Damian has written for The Times, the Daily Telegraph and Newsweek, and his first book, ‘Charmed Life, the phenomenal world of Philip Sassoon’, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.