The Rt Hon David Willetts


David Willetts was appointed Minister for Universities and Science in May 2010. He was elected Conservative MP for Havant in Hampshire on 9 April 1992.


David was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham and Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics.

Career in politics

David began his career in Parliament as the MP for Havant in 1992. He served as Paymaster General and then in the Shadow Cabinet in a range of roles, including Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Shadow Secretary for Education and Skills, and Shadow Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills. He has also worked at HM Treasury and in the Number 10 Policy Unit.

Career outside politics

David was a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He has written widely on economic and social policy. In 2011 he published a book, ‘The Pinch: How the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back’.

Personal life

David is married to the artist Sarah Butterfield, with whom he has 2 children.

Previous roles in government