Member of Parliament for Ludlow
Philip was first elected as Ludlow's Member of Parliament in May 2005. He believes politicians can contribute most to their communities if they have experience of the world beyond politics.
He had a twenty year business career before becoming actively involved in politics. He has experience of business both big and small: having worked for investment banks in London, New York and Hong Kong and helped start a bookshop business, Ottakar's, from scratch.
Philip is married with two daughters and two sons, each having been at a school in the Ludlow constituency, where he was a Governor for six years. He was brought up on the family farm near Ludlow, for which he has had responsibility since 1987. He lives near Ludlow, which he has regarded as his home town all his life.
He enjoys family life, living in the countryside and keeping busy.
Philip read Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. He spent eight years at the then leading British merchant bank S.G.Warburg, working in London and New York advising major British and foreign companies on their strategic development. He then worked for two years for James Gulliver Associates, before becoming a partner of Phoenix Securities, a leading adviser to the financial services sector, for whom he worked for 10 years in London and Hong Kong, during which time it was bought by Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a US investment bank of which he became a Managing Director.
During his 18 year involvement as co-founder and then Chairman of Ottakar's, eventually acquired by Waterstones, he helped it grow to a business employing over 2,500 people nationwide in nearly 150 shops. Philip has also been a director of charities, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and he remains a trustee of some local charities.
He remains chairman of a quoted Venture Capital Trust, Baronsmead 4 VCT plc, reflecting his enthusiasm for encouraging entrepreneurship in the small business sector. He was formerly a non-executive director of Ruffer LLP, a leading independent private client fund manager.
Philip is a lifelong Conservative. He has campaigned for Conservative candidates at elections since 1974 and was a Conservative appointed governor of a primary school in the 1990s. During the run-up to the 2001 General Election he helped coordinate the campaign for target seats in Greater London - where the Conservatives made net gains.
He won a by-election in November 2001 in the Castle Ward of Ludlow to become the first Conservative Councillor on South Shropshire District Council. He led the Conservative Group on this council until December 2004. He was elected as Member of Parliament for the Ludlow constituency in May 2005.
In Parliament Philip has been a Member of the Work & Pensions Select Committee (2005-06), the Public Accounts Committee (2006-08) and the Treasury Select Committee (2007-08). He was appointed an Assistant Opposition Whip in October 2008.
He was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in April 2008 as Deputy Chairman of the International Office with responsibility for Conservatives Abroad. He is also a Conservative appointed Governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
He is Chairman of the Retail and Consumer Goods group of Conservative Business Relations. In this capacity he served on the Commission into Small Shops on the High Street in 2008 and was Chairman of the Retail Crime Commission in 2009.
He is a director of the cross-party European Information Management Group (EURIM) and the parliamentary chair of its Information Governance group. He also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Corporate Governance and Rural Services, is Deputy Chairman of the APPG on Diabetes and London 2012 and is Secretary of the APPG on Post Offices.
In May 2010, Philip became an Assistant Government Whip. In September 2012, he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defence. Following the 2015 General Election his was appointed Minister for Defence Procurement. Philip was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Health, following Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister in July 2016, a role he held until January 2018.