Phil Hope

Philip Ian Hope (born 19 April 1955) is a former British Labour and Co-operative politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Corby from 1997 until 2010, when he lost his seat to the Conservatives. He held several ministerial roles during his time as an MP. Since January 2011 he has been co-director of ImprovingCare.[1]

Phil Hope
Minister of State for Care Services
In office
5 October 2008  11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byIvan Lewis
Succeeded byPaul Burstow
Minister for the East Midlands
In office
24 January 2008  11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byGillian Merron
Succeeded byOffice Abolished
Member of Parliament
for Corby
In office
1 May 1997  12 April 2010
Preceded byWilliam Powell
Succeeded byLouise Mensch
Personal details
Born (1955-04-19) 19 April 1955 (age 66)
Battersea, London, England, UK
Political partyLabour and Co-operative
Spouse(s)Allison Butt
Alma materUniversity of Exeter

Early life

Phil Hope was born in Battersea, the son of A.G. Hope, a Metropolitan Police commander, and Grace Thorogood. He was educated at Wandsworth Comprehensive School (later John Archer School, now closed)[2] in Southfields and St Lukes College, Exeter where he was awarded a BEd degree in 1978. On leaving university in Exeter, he taught science for a year at Kettering School for Boys, before joining the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in 1979 as a youth policy advisor. He was appointed as the head of the Young Volunteers Resource Unit at the National Youth Bureau in 1982, before becoming a management consultant from Framework in 1985, becoming the Director of the Framework in Print Publishing Co-operative.

Parliamentary career

He joined the Labour Party in 1978, and the Co-operative party in 1982. He was elected as a councillor to the Kettering Borough Council in 1983, becoming the deputy Labour group leader in 1986, before leaving the council in 1987. He unsuccessfully contested Kettering at the 1992 General Election where he came second to the sitting Conservative Party transport minister Roger Freeman by 11,154 votes. He was elected to the Northamptonshire County Council in 1993, becoming the chairman of the Labour group in the same year, before standing down in 1997. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 General Election for Corby, defeating the Conservative MP William Powell by 11,860 votes. He made his maiden speech on 14 May 1997.[3] He remained the MP for Corby until the 2010 election when he was defeated by the Conservative candidate.

In parliament he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Nick Raynsford, the Minister of State at the former Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in 1999, and after the 2001 General Election he became the PPS to the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. He was promoted to the government of Tony Blair in 2003 as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, again under John Prescott, at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He served as the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Education and Skills from the 2005 general election as the minister for vocational education until the department was disbanded in the reshuffle on 28 June 2007. He then moved to become a Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for the third-sector, based in the Cabinet Office.[4] Following a reshuffle on 24 January 2008 he took on additional responsibility as Minister for the East Midlands. He retained the latter role but moved from the Cabinet Office to become a Minister of State in the Department of Health following a reshuffle in October 2008.

Employment of children during university holidays

In 2008, following the Investigation and withdrawal of the whip from MP Derek Conway the Daily Telegraph revealed that Hope had 'admitted' employing his children, both Politics students, at unspecified times during university holidays.[5] Hope was one of at least 177 MPs employing family members[5] and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority report published 2 years later, whilst tightening the rules, confirmed that a member may employ one relative subject to general conditions relating to expenses.[6]

Expenses controversy

In May 2009, Hope was criticised for claiming £37,000 in expenses from the taxpayer over 4 years for a London flat. The Daily Telegraph claimed that the total size of the items claimed for would have difficulty fitting inside the small flat.[7] Less than a week after this revelation, Hope voluntarily agreed to return £41,709 to the taxpayer, despite claiming that he 'kept to the rules laid down by Parliament'.[8] Following this announcement there were calls on other MPs to take Hope's lead,[9] while the Legg report into the scandal found that he was only liable to repay £4,365.65.[10]

Despite refurbishing, the overall cost of his flat i.e. 'staying away from main home' during the last 8 years was never higher than 166th out of 647 MPs whilst his 2008-2009 costs were ranked 467.[11]

Personal life

He married Allison Butt on 25 July 1980 in Chipping Sodbury and they have a son (born February 1984) and a daughter (born September 1986). He once appeared on the 1970s television drama series Z-Cars and can also both tap dance and juggle. Diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease in December 2006, Hope was later given the all-clear after successful treatment[4] at Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals.[12] He has been a governor of Park Junior School and Montagu Secondary School in Kettering.

He lives in the village of Pipewell near Kettering.


  • Ideas into Action: Handbook on Project Planning for Youth and Community Workers by Philip Hope, 1987, National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, ISBN 0-907518-29-X
  • Making the Break: Choices and Decisions Facing Young People Leaving Home by Philip Hope, 1989, CVS Advisory Service, ISBN 0-907829-57-0
  • Education for Citizenship: Resource Pack for Schools by Philip Hope, 1991, The Children's Society, ISBN 0-907324-59-2
  • View to Learn by Philip Hope and Warren Feek, 1991, ITV and Channel Four Community Education
  • Making Best Use of Consultants by Philip Hope, 1992, Financial Times Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-582-09824-6
  • Diagnosis, Data Collection and Feedback in Consultancy by Philip Hope, 1994, Open University
  • Education for Parenthood: A Resource Pack for Young People by Philip Hope, 1994, The Children's Society, ISBN 0-907324-75-4
  • Analysis and Action on Youth Health by Philip Hope, 1995, Commonwealth Youth Programme
  • Performance Appraisal: A Handbook for Managers in Public Organisations by Philip Hope and Tim Pickles, 1995, Russell House Press, ISBN 1-898924-45-7
  • Tomorrow's Parents: Developing Parenthood Education in Schools by Philip Hope and Penny Sharland, 1997, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, ISBN 0-903319-79-9
  • User Involvement by Philip Hope and Sarah Hargreaves, 1997, Framework in Print
  • Education for Parenthood: A Resource Pack for Young People by Philip Hope, 1998, ISBN 1-899783-10-5


  1. "Improving Care". Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  2. Planning application to convert old school building to flats. Old Wandsworthians.
  3. "Philip Hope (Corby): maiden speech". Hansard, 14 May 1997. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  4. "Phil Hope appointed new minister for the third sector". Civil Society news. 1 July 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  5. "Labour MP Phil Hope drawn into expenses row". Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2008. Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  6. "Staffing expenditure:condition:section 8.6". 26 March 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  7. Phil Hope: How did he fit all this into one tiny flat?, The Daily Telegraph, 9 May 2009
  8. Phil Hope agrees to return £41,000 as MPs retreat on expenses, The Daily Telegraph, 13 May 2009
  9. MPs should take Phil Hope's lead over expenses row, "The Daily Mirror", 14 May 2009
  10. Review of past ACA payments. "Legg Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  11. "Theyworkforyou Phil Hope". Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  12. "Coping with cancer". BBC Northamptonshire. 10 November 2012. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2019.