Oliver Letwin is the Minister for Government Policy, UK, and 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.
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.