Philip Dunne (Ludlow MP)

Philip Martin Dunne (born 14 August 1958) is a British Conservative Party politician. Since 2005, he has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ludlow constituency in Shropshire.

Philip Dunne

Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee
Assumed office
29 January 2020
Preceded byMary Creagh
Minister of State for Health
In office
15 July 2016  9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byAlistair Burt
Succeeded byCaroline Dinenage
Minister for Defence Procurement
In office
4 September 2012  15 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byPeter Luff
Succeeded byHarriett Baldwin
Member of Parliament
for Ludlow
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byMatthew Green
Majority23,648 (47.1%)
Personal details
Born (1958-08-14) 14 August 1958 (age 62)
Ludlow, Shropshire, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Domenica Dunne
EducationEton College
Alma materKeble College, Oxford

He has been a farmer since 1987, at his family's farm just over the county boundary in Herefordshire, at Leintwardine near Ludlow, and was elected in 2001 as a councillor on the South Shropshire District Council, of which he was the Conservative leader in 2003–2005. He was also secretary of the Ludlow Conservative Association for a year in 2001.

He was Minister of State for Health in the First May ministry.


Philip Dunne was born in Ludlow, Shropshire, and has an ancestry of politicians and courtiers. He is the son of Sir Thomas Dunne KG, the former Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, who in turn is the son of Philip Russell Rendel Dunne (who briefly sat in the Commons), who in turn was the son of Edward Marten Dunne (who also sat in the Commons). Philip Dunne was educated at Abberley Hall School, followed by Eton College and Keble College, Oxford, where he was awarded a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. At Oxford he was part of the Bullingdon Club.[1]

Political career

He was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election for Ludlow when he unseated the incumbent Liberal Democrat MP, Matthew Green. Dunne regained the (historically safe) seat for the Conservatives; the seat having been lost at the 2001 general election. He made his maiden speech on 8 June 2005.[2] During his first term in Parliament (2005–2010) he was a member of the Work and Pensions Select committee, and in 2006 he was appointed to the Public Accounts Committee.

Philip Dunne held the Ludlow constituency seat in the 2010 general election with a notable swing from the Liberal Democrats, giving Dunne a 52.8 per cent share of the vote and a new, strengthened majority of 9,749. In the 2015 general election Dunne again increased his share of the vote and substantially increased his majority.

In July 2016, he was appointed as Minister for State for Health.[3] In Prime Minister Theresa May's January 2018 reshuffle, he was dismissed from his ministerial post. Before losing his post, Dunne was accused of belittling the winter NHS bed crisis by suggesting unwell people in accident and emergency departments of hospitals without beds could instead use seats.[4][5]

Just before the Conservative leadership election of 2005, he balloted his constituents about whom he should vote for in the contest. After this ballot Dunne announced that he would be supporting David Cameron; he was also Chairman of Cameron's campaign in Shropshire.[citation needed]

Following the formation of the Liberal Democrat–Conservative coalition government shortly after the general election, Philip Dunne was appointed as an unpaid assistant government whip in the House of Commons.[6] In September 2012, he was appointed Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology with responsibility for defence procurement and defence exports.[7] In this role, he was the minister responsible for, and one of the backers of, the bill which became the Defence Reform Act 2014.[8] He was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in the 2019 New Years Honours List, giving him the honorific title "The Right Honourable".

In the 2019 leadership election, Dunne managed Jeremy Hunt's campaign.[9]

In November 2019, at a hustings held in Church Stretton, Dunne told the Labour candidate, Kuldip Sahota, that he was "talking through his turban".[10]

On 29 January 2020, Dunne was elected as chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, spearheading the examination of government policies' impact on the environment.[11] In this remit, he proposed a private member's bill aiming at sanctioning water companies "that discharge sewage into Britain's rivers".[12]

Personal life

He is married to Domenica and they have two sons and two daughters. As well as farming, Dunne has worked in banking. He also helped start up Ottakar's bookshop.[citation needed]

In 2009, Dunne's wealth was estimated at £5m.[13][needs update]


  1. Scheuermann, Christoph (15 October 2015). "Decadence and Madness at the Top: Inside Britain's Secretive Bullingdon Club". Spiegel Online. Archived from the original on 5 January 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  2. House of Commons Archived 7 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine Hansard
  3. "Philip Dunne MP". Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. "Government reshuffle: Ludlow MP Philip Dunne loses post as health minister". Shropshire Star. 9 January 2018. Archived from the original on 14 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. Campbell, Denis (8 January 2018). "NHS beds crisis: sick patients can sit in A&E, says health minister". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  6. "Her Majesty's Government". May 2010. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  7. "Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  8. "Defence Reform Act 2014 — UK Parliament". Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  9. Burns, Patrick (25 June 2019). "In the Hunt: Underdog's fighting talk". BBC News. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  10. "Ludlow Tory candidate made 'shocking' turban remark". BBC News. 28 November 2019. Archived from the original on 29 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  11. "Philip Dunne elected as Chair of Environmental Audit Committee - Committees - UK Parliament". Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  12. Horton, Helena (14 October 2020). "Wild swimmers boost as MP tables bid to fine water companies which discharge sewage into rivers". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  13. Shackle, Samira; Hegarty, Stephanie; Eaton, George (1 October 2009). "The new ruling class". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.