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The Honourable Phillip Arthur Charles Lawrence Oppenheim (born 20 March 1956) is a former British politician and businessman.


Born in Lambeth, London, he is the son of former Conservative government minister Sally Oppenheim. Before entering the House of Commons, he was a businessman, founding an information technology information company which was sold to Reed Elsevier.

He was unexpectedly elected with the largest swing in the 1983 election as the Conservative Member of Parliament for the one time safe-Labour coal mining seat, Amber Valley, which he represented from 1983 until electoral defeat in the 1997 general election by Labour's Judy Mallaber.

During his time in Parliament, he served in various ministerial posts in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major and was also the parliamentary aide to Kenneth Clarke, the former Chancellor. While in parliament, he was known for strong free-market and socially-liberal views, as well for being a strong supporter of animal welfare issues and an opponent of fox hunting. As a Treasury minister, he toughened restrictions on imports of endangered species and introduced tax breaks on less-polluting fuels including LPG]. As a trade minister, he resisted efforts by the fur lobby to loosen restrictions on imports of trapped fur. He was also in favour of an elected House of Lords. An expert on trade policy, he wrote two award-winning books (The New Masters in 1990 and Trade Wars in 1992) attacking US and European protectionism against both Japan and Third World countries which he blamed in part for developing world poverty.

Following 1997, he was a columnist for The Sunday Times and other newspapers, attacking both new Labour's spin culture, along with what he saw as the corrupt sale of peerages, and his own party for their rightward drift.

He is now a motivational speaker and businessman and is managing director of the Cubana bar and restaurant[1] that includes Fidel Castro as a shareholder.

His recent venture is[2], an online HR resource. He is also director of Waterloo Quarter, a business alliance regenerating Waterloo, trades with Cuba, importing rum and coffee and runs Carnival de Cuba, a large, annual Cuban carnival in London. He entered the British blogosphere launching the Party Political Animal[3] blog which he co-edits with the Tory Radio[4] editor Jonathan Sheppard.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Amber Valley
Succeeded by
Judy Mallaber
Political offices
New creation Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
1996 – 1997
Title next held by
Angela Eagle


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