Damian was born in 1956. He was educated at Reading School and Balliol College, Oxford. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1977. He is married with two daughters. He is a former financial journalist and worked in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit from 1992-94. He was a Conservative Spokesman on Education and Employment from 1998-99, Conservative Environment Spokesman from 1999-2001, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills from 2001-2003, and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport from 2003-2004. From July 2004-2005 he was a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee; from July to December 2005 he was a member of the Treasury Select Committee.

Damian is Chairman of Parliamentary Mainstream, and a Vice-President of the Tory Reform Group. He is a Vice-Chairman of the John Smith Memorial Trust. In December 2005, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Immigration and in May 2010 Damian was appointed Minister for Immigration.