Adam Holloway

Adam James Harold Holloway (born 29 July 1965) is a British Conservative Party politician and former journalist and military officer. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Gravesham since 2005.[1] He has been a vocal supporter of pro-Brexit lobby group Leave Means Leave.[2]

Adam Holloway

Member of Parliament
for Gravesham
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byChris Pond
Majority15,581 (32.8%)
Personal details
Born (1965-07-29) 29 July 1965 (age 55)
Faversham, Kent, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
Imperial College London
Military service
Branch/serviceGrenadier Guards
Years of service1987–1991
Battles/warsGulf War
Awards (Gulf Medal)

Early life and career

Holloway was born on the 29 July 1965 in Faversham, Kent, the son of the Revd Roger Holloway OBE (died 2010). He was privately educated at Cranleigh School before going to Magdalene College, Cambridge where he studied social and political sciences, graduating as MA, before postgraduate studies at Imperial College London (MBA).[3]

After graduating from university Holloway attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, from which he was commissioned into the British Army's Grenadier Guards in 1987. During his four-year military career he saw service with the British Army on the Rhine as an Armoured Infantry platoon officer, and in the Persian Gulf War.[4]

After resigning from the Army in 1991 with the rank of captain, Holloway worked as an investigative journalist and reporter with ITN, World in Action, Panorama, and also the Sunday Times. During his media career he produced an award-winning documentary series for ITV called "No Fixed Abode" (1991), in which he spent three months homeless on the streets of London examining the plight of the capital's growing homeless population, particularly those with mental health issues.[5]

Parliamentary career

Holloway was elected in the 2005 general election to represent the Kent constituency of Gravesham, defeating a former Labour Minister, Chris Pond, by just 654 votes, but with one of the largest swings from Labour to Conservative in the country at 4.9% at that general election. This was the first time since the Second World War that Gravesham (or its predecessor Gravesend constituency) had not been held by the party of Government.[citation needed]

He delivered his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 28 June 2005. Holloway was also invited to speak (on 15 September 2006) alongside US Congressman John Shimkus to students on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE).[citation needed]

In 2009 a report written by Holloway suggested that some of the claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction used to support the UK government's case for war in 2003 originated from an Iraqi taxi driver, and that this may have included the claim about their being "ready to launch in 45 minutes".[6][7] According to Holloway, reservations expressed by MI6 analysts about much of the data were ignored when preparing the case for war under pressure from Downing Street.[7][6]

He was criticised in the local media in May 2009 for having the highest expenses claims in North Kent, but argued his claims were legitimate.[8][9] In the wake of the Westminster Parliamentary Expenses scandal in 2009, Holloway was ordered by Sir Thomas Legg, the head of a committee examining abuse of expenses by Members of Parliament, to repay £1000 to the Exchequer which he had over-claimed.[10][11] In July 2009, he was criticised by a local newspaper after he responded to a request for an interview about his plans for the summer recess with an expletive laden rejection. This came after all the other local MPs had given answers to the newspapers questions.[12]

Holloway was returned as MP for Gravesham on 6 May 2010 with 22,956 votes (48.5% of the vote) and with an increased majority of 9,312.[13] He went on to be re-elected in 2015 and 2017.

In October 2010 he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to David Lidington, Minister of State for Europe and NATO in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.[14] In 2011, he resigned this junior governmental post to defy of a three-line (party) whip and vote in favour of an early referendum on membership of the EU.[15][16][17]

In October 2014 he was one of just six Conservative MPs to vote against air strikes targeting Islamic State in Iraq, after visiting a border region held by the Kurdish Peshmerga.[18][19] He argued the campaign hadn't "been thought through".[20] He actively abstained in the vote for air strikes in Syria in November 2015.[21]

In a September 2015 Parliamentary speech Holloway described giving asylum to refugees from the Middle East as "bonkers", stating than many asylum seekers go on holiday in the countries they had fled from and used his barber as an example.[22] His barber, a Kurdish refugee, subsequently stated that he was holidaying in Great Yarmouth that week, not Iraq.[23]

Holloway publicly supported the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.[24]

He was criticised by political rivals in June 2017 after he was seen campaigning with Janice Atkinson, a former UKIP MEP, who had been suspended from her former party after a fraud enquiry was started relating to her expenses and who had subsequently become vice-president of Marine Le Pen's far-right European Parliament grouping.[25]

As Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on drones, Holloway provided an article to Politics Home[26] and was interviewed about drones on BBC Radio 5 Live on 17 July 2018.[citation needed]

Holloway was a member of the Defence Select Committee from 2006 to 2010,[27] and served for a time as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council.[28] In Parliament, he has additionally been a member of the Science and Technology Committee, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Public Administration Committee.[29]

In April 2018, Holloway said in Parliament that sleeping rough is "a lot more comfortable" than military exercises and that the majority of rough sleepers were "foreign nationals", in a debate on tackling street homelessness. Rival politicians and charities pointed to evidence that 78 homeless people had died the previous winter and that 80% of recorded homeless people were UK nationals. Holloway defended his position during the debate by pointing to his personal experience of being in the army and having spent several months sleeping on the streets as part of a television programme.[30]

In 2020, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary of State Robert Jenrick.[31]


  1. "Gravesham MP Adam Holloway votes for an EU referendum".
  2. "Co-Chairmen - Political Advisory Board - Supporters". Leave Means Leave. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  3. "About Adam". Personal website. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. Profile of Holloway as an attendee at the 'National Security & Resilience Conference', February 2018, London. Archived 16 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Speakers profile for Holloway, 'National Security & Resilience Conference', February 2018, London.
  6. "Ex-spy chief says Iraqi WMD claims not manipulated". BBC. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  7. Sparrow, Andrew (8 December 2009). "45-minute WMD claim 'may have come from an Iraqi taxi driver'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  8. "MP: I'm no crook". Gravesend Reporter. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  9. "£400,000 expenses bill for three MPs". Gravesend Reporter. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  10. 'MP's expenses, who's in the clear and who owes what;, 'The Guardian', 16 October 2009.
  11. 'M.P. Adam Holloway refuses to speak about £1000 expenses repayment', 'News Shopper', 14 October 2009.
  12. "GRAVESHAM: MP Adam Holloway gives foul-mouthed response in holiday interview". Gravesend Reporter. 29 July 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  13. "Welcome to our website". Gravesham.
  14. "Government publishes list of Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS)".
  15. Archived 26 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  16. "MP denies UKIP rumour". Kent Online. 29 September 2014.
  17. "Ukip claim credit for Tory MP's Euro rebellion - News - Kent News". 4 March 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  18. Simpson, Fiona (6 October 2014). "Gravesham MP Adam Holloway visits Islamic State border before voting against air strikes". News Shopper. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  19. "Iraq vote: the 43 rebel MPs". New Statesman. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  20. "MPs poised to vote for third campaign of military action in Iraq". The Guardian. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  21. "How MPs voted on bombing Isis in Syria - complete list". The Independent. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  22. McCann, Kate (8 September 2015). "Tory MP claims he couldn't get a haircut because refugee barber went on holiday". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  23. Gayle, Damien (10 September 2015). "MP Adam Holloway's barber unavailable as he was in Norfolk – not Iraq". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  24. 'Gravesham M.P. Adam Holloway backing Brexit in E.U. Referendum.
  25. "Outrage as far-right leader linked to Marine Le Pen spotted campaigning for Conservatives". Independent. 3 June 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  26. "Adam Holloway: Britain's armed drone policy is failing to keep up with rapidly evolving changes". Politics Home. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  27. Archived 27 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  28. Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  29. "Adam Holloway MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  30. "Sleeping rough more comfortable than army exercises – Tory MP". The Guardian. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  31. "Meet Adam Holloway: Westminster's new man on rough sleeping". The Big Issue. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.