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Oliver Letwin

Sir Oliver Letwin

Senior Advisor

Oliver Letwin holds BA (first class), MA and PhD degrees from Cambridge University, and a Certificate in Corporate Finance from London Business School. He was Procter Fellow at Princeton University, and subsequently Charles and Katherine Darwin Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge.

He was a member of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit from 1983-6, and subsequently an Assistant Director, Director and then Managing Director of NM Rothschild corporate finance division from 1986-2003.

He was elected to the UK Parliament in 1997 as MP for West Dorset. In Opposition from 1998-2010, he was Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Home Secretary, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, and Chairman of the Conservative Policy Review and of the Conservative Research Department.

In Government from 2010 to 2016, he was an architect of the Coalition and a senior minister for 6 years, serving as Minister for Government Policy and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He chaired the Home Affairs Committee and a range of other Cabinet Committees, acted as Minister for National Resilience, and was a member of the National Security Council.

In Parliament from 2016 to 2019, he played an active role in the Brexit debates, as well as chairing the Letwin Review of housebuilding for the Treasury and MHCLG, the Red Tape Initiative, and the All Party Group on Prescription Drug Dependence. He retired from Parliament in 2019.

He is a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, King’s College London, where he chairs the Project for Peaceful Competition, and at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Reading University. He is also Vice President of the Great Britain China Centre, a Fellow of the Legatum Institute, a Senior Adviser to the Faraday Institution, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at Cambridge. He has published widely in academic and popular journals, and is the author of a number of books including: Ethics, Emotion and the Unity of the SelfPrivatising the WorldThe Purpose of PoliticsHearts and Minds, and Apocalypse How? He is currently working on a major book about the geo-political and geo-economic relationship between China and the West.

He has been a privy councillor since 2002 and was knighted in 2016.