Damian Collins OBE has been the Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe since 2010. He has served as Minister for Tech and Digital Economy in the UK government, and is a former Chair of the House of Commons select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. In 2021 Damian also chaired the Joint Committee of the UK Parliament on the Online Safety Bill.
As Tech Minister, Damian was responsible for the Online Safety Bill, digital markets and competition and AI policy. During his time as Chair of the Select Committee, he led a number of high profile inquiries, including the investigations into Cambridge Analytica and social media disinformation, additive and immersive technologies, doping in sport and the reform of sports governance, and the responsibilities of the creators of reality television programmes.
Damian has been profiled by Time magazine, and appeared in documentary films including The Great Hack and Rio Ferdinand’s Tipping Point. He has also written on politics and technology for Wired magazine, The Times, The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and the Daily Mail.
Damian has also spoken at numerous international conferences, including the Athens Democracy Forum, Copenhagen Democracy Summit, the Tallin Digital Summit, the MyData conference in Helsinki, and Wired Live. He has also been a guest speaker for major international think tanks, including Chatham House and the Atlantic Council as well as at Harvard University, the University of Oxford, Stamford University, Georgetown University and the George Washington University.
Damian is also an author, with Charmed Life: The Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon, a biography of the politician, millionaire and aesthete Philip Sassoon published by HarperCollins in 2016. He is currently writing a biography of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, which will be published by Bloomsbury in 2024. He has also written for Iain Dale’s series of biographical essay books, The Prime Ministers, The Presidents, and Kings and Queens. For these Damian wrote respectively about David Lloyd George, Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VIII.
The story of a fascinating man who connected the great politicians, artists and thinkers at the height of British global power and influence.
A famed aesthete, politician and patron of the arts, Philip Sassoon lived in a world of English elegance and oriental flair. Gathering a social set that would provide inspiration for Brideshead Revisited, Sassoon gave parties at which Winston Churchill argued with George Bernard Shaw, while Noël Coward and Lawrence of Arabia mingled with flamingos and Rex Whistler painted murals as the party carried on around them.
Not merely a wealthy socialite, Sassoon worked at the right hand of Douglas Haig during the First World War and then for Prime Minister Lloyd George for the settlement of the peace. He was close to King Edward VIII during the abdication crisis, and Minister for the Air Force in the 1930s. And yet as the heir of wealthy Jewish traders from the souks of Baghdad, he craved acceptance from the English establishment.
In Charmed Life, Damian Collins explores an extraordinary connected life at the heart of society during the height of British global power and influence.
‘The first history of Sassoon’s life, offering an extraordinary insight into a colourful, quintessential aristocrat’
— Vanity Fair
‘An elegant, playful and fluent book … widely researched, canny in its political insights, sympathetic but not syrupy about Sassoon’s glamour’
— Richard Davenport-Hines, Guardian
‘A readable and lively picture of this extravagant creature’
— Literary Review
‘It is re-assuring to know that the MP elected by fellow members to lead the hugely important DCMS committee can not only write but has a fine cultural antenna and sweeping, almost Churchillian grasp of pre-war European and British politics … This sharply written biography is psychologically exhausting to read’
— William Cash, Spear's Magazine
‘The politician, arts patron, aviator and lavish host who called himself a ‘worthless loon’ is brought fluently to life’
‘Enlivened with a rich crop of anecdotes … Sassoon emerges as a delicate, almost fairy-tale figure … as a supreme networker, a dedicated politician and a lover of beautiful things’