Oliver Dowden

Oliver James Dowden, (born 1 August 1978)[1] is a British politician who has served as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport since 2020. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Hertsmere since 2015.

Oliver Dowden

Dowden in 2020
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Assumed office
13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byBaroness Morgan
Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
24 July 2019  13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byDavid Lidington
Succeeded byMichael Gove
Paymaster General
In office
24 July 2019  13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byJesse Norman
Succeeded byPenny Mordaunt
Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office
In office
8 January 2018  24 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byCaroline Nokes
Succeeded byJohnny Mercer
Member of Parliament
for Hertsmere
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byJames Clappison
Majority21,313 (40.8%)
Personal details
Oliver James Dowden

(1978-08-01) 1 August 1978 (age 42)
Park Street, Hertfordshire, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Blythe Dowden
Alma materTrinity Hall, Cambridge

Early life and education

Dowden grew up in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, being educated at Parmiter's School, a state comprehensive school in Garston, Watford. He attests to having received an "excellent state education",[2] before going to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read Law.[3]


Dowden joined the Conservative Research Department in 2004, moving to PR company Hill & Knowlton in 2007, before returning to the Conservative Party in 2009.[4]

He then worked as a special adviser and David Cameron's deputy chief of staff,[3] where he said most of his time was spent on "day-to-day crisis management".[5] Dowden was regarded as having expertise in the attacking form of political communications, leading to comparisons with Alastair Campbell.[4]

He was elected MP for Hertsmere in the 2015 general election, with a majority of 18,461 votes.[6]

While standing as an MP, among the policy priorities Dowden highlighted in his campaign were improving transport infrastructure, preserving green belt land and improving education.[7] Dowden opposed Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[8]

In January 2018, Dowden was promoted to Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office, as part of Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle.[9]

Appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General by incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 24 July 2019, Dowden was appointed a Member of the Privy Council the next day.[10]

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

On 13 February 2020, Dowden was appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, succeeding Baroness Morgan of Cotes, who resigned from HM Cabinet.[11]


He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Dissolution Honours List on 27 August 2015.[12]

Personal life

Dowden is married and has two children.[2][3]


  1. Watson, Chris; Fawcett, Mark (13 March 2018). "Members of the House of Commons since 1979" (PDF). House of Commons Library. p. 62. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  2. "About Oliver Dowden". Oliverdowden.com. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  3. Oliphant, Victoria (8 October 2014). "'This is like coming home' – Oliver Dowden announced as Conservative candidate for Hertsmere". Borehamwood Times. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  4. Merrick, Jane (14 October 2012). "'Olive' in charge after No 10 shake-up". The Independent. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  5. Oct 2012, 7:03AM BST 22 (22 October 2012). "David Cameron's special adviser in US television gaffe". www.telegraph.co.uk.
  6. "Hertsmere (Constituency) 2015 results - General election results - UK Parliament". electionresults.parliament.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  7. "Meet the MPs: Profiling the Conservative 2015 intake | Dehavilland". www1.dehavilland.co.uk.
  8. Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  9. Flanagan, Chris. "Potters Bar's MP 'delighted' after scooping promotion". Welwyn Hatfield Times.
  11. "The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP". GOV.UK.
  12. Prime Minister's Office (27 August 2015). "Press release Dissolution Honours 2015". Gov.uk. Retrieved 30 August 2015.