Neil O’Brien OBE, was selected in May 2017 as the Conservative candidate for Harborough, where Sir Edward Garnier was standing down.
Neil grew up in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and took a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, at Christ Church, Oxford.
Neil is currently the lead adviser on industrial strategy and the economy in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit. He has worked on policy areas including transport, housing, education, tax, and most recently has been working on the “Midlands Engine” initiative to boost the Midlands economy.
From 2012 until the 2016 change of Prime Minister, he was a Special Adviser to George Osborne in the Treasury, where he was credited with improving the then Chancellor’s “retail offer” to working class voters.
The former Director of leading cross-party think tank Policy Exchange, he previously led the “Vote 2004” group which successfully campaigned to get Tony Blair to pledge a referendum on the EU’s proposed Constitution
In March 2010, O’Brien co-authored with Ross Clark a wide-ranging book called The Renewal of Government. It was praised by Michael Gove, who said that it “lays down with admirable clarity and form a set of radical policies … which in the field of education I think are peerless”.
Neil was ranked number 14 in Total Politics’ poll of the top 50 political influencers in Britain,named in The Daily Telegraph as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential people on the Right”, in the Sunday Times as one of the “New Political Elite”and as one of the Evening Standard’s “Power 1000 of London’s New Influentials”.