I grew up in a family that like most, was not very political, but believed in the value of a good education, and that if you hard work and do your best there should be no limit to what you can achieve. That’s why I got involved in politics, because I believe everyone should have the chance to achieve what they want in life.
Damian was first elected in 2010 as the MP for Folkestone and Hythe, and increased his majority to 13,797 at the 2015 General Election. In July 2014 he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Foreign Secretary. He was previously PPS to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and from June 2010 until September 2012 was a member of the House of Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media, Sport and the Olympics taking part in committee inquiries including phone hacking and News International, and football finance and governance. He also served as one of the Government's Olympic Ambassadors during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
Damian was born in Northampton in 1974. He was educated at St. Mary’s High School, and Belmont Abbey School, Herefordshire. He graduated in Modern History from St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford in 1996. He is married to Sarah and they have a daughter Claudia who was born in January 2007, and a son Hugo who was born in March 2009 and they live in Elham in Kent and in London. They all enjoy walking in the beautiful countryside around their home at Elham in the Elham Valley. Damian is also a keen sports fan, particularly football, cricket and rugby union. He enjoys cooking with seasonal local ingredients and supporting local independent shops and farmers markets.
Damian’s career before politics was in the advertising and communications industries. He joined the M&C Saatchi advertising agency in London in 1999. In 2005 whilst still at M&C Saatchi he set up Influence Communications within the group which specialised in issues based marketing campaigns. In 2008 Damian joined Lexington Communications where he was Senior Counsel, leaving to fight the 2010 general election campaign. Damian was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1995, and after graduating in 1996 joined the Conservative Research Department. In 1998 he moved to the newly created Political Operations department as media officer for the Foreign Affairs, and Agriculture shadow cabinet teams.
Damian has been an active member of the Bow Group, and was the Political Officer in 2003-4. He was also a contributing author for the Bow Group’s book, “Conservative Revival” published in 2006. In November 2007 Damian was listed amongst the top 50 names for the future in public life in Britain in the first ‘Courvoisier the Future 500′ published by The Observer and was also featured in September 2007 in a profile in Esquire magazine of new faces of the Conservative Party. Since his election he has been working to support local people, causes and business.
Damian is Chairman of the Folkestone based ‘Step Short’ campaign which is working to restore the Road of Remembrance in the town and to create events and information for residents and visitors focused on the role it played during the First World War. Folkestone was the main port for servicemen to go to and from the trenches and played a major part in the national war effort. ‘Step Short’ is also working to ensure that this is properly marked in 2014, the centenary year of the outbreak of the war. Damian is President of the Channel Chamber of Commerce and holds a regular surgery for local businesses on the first Friday of the month at the chamber offices on Shearway Business Park in Folkestone.
Damian is Chairman of ‘The Shed’ Management committee which is the centre supported by the Folkestone Youth Project in the Harbour. The services for young people at The Shed are run by the Kent Youth Service, and include youth clubs, activities and the skate park. Damian is also Chairman of the Conservative Arts and Creative Industries Network, which was launched in May 2009. The Network brings together individuals who work in the arts and creative industries with the Culture Ministerial team, MPs, and senior figures in the Conservative party involved in developing policy in this area.