The Rt Hon David Willetts MP


David Willetts was appointed Minister for Universities and Science in May 2010. He is the Conservative MP for Havant in Hampshire.


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

  1. Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities

    • 2010 to 2014


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  1. Universities of Strathclyde and Surrey selected as the preferred partners of National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

    • 10 July 2014
    • News story
  2. Speech by David Willetts to the UK Science Park Association

    • 10 July 2014
    • Speech
  3. £52 million boost for skills and training in UK science sectors

    • 8 July 2014
    • Press release
  4. David Willetts speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows Forum

    • 7 July 2014
    • Speech
  5. £400 million to fund growth of British innovation

    • 1 July 2014
    • Press release
  6. UK and China agree multi-million pound global research deals

    • 17 June 2014
    • Press release
  7. David Willetts welcomes Universities Week with £48 million investment in biomedical research

    • 9 June 2014
    • Press release
  8. New scheme to help businesses defend against cyber threats goes live

    • 5 June 2014
    • Press release
  9. Leading Cambridge professor receives honorary OBE

    • 20 May 2014
    • Press release
  10. The Great British Space Dinner

    • 2 May 2014
    • Press release