Oliver Dowden Portrait

Oliver Dowden

Conservative - Hertsmere

First elected: 7th May 2015

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

(since October 2022)

Secretary of State in the Cabinet Office

(since February 2023)

Deputy Prime Minister

(since April 2023)

Oliver Dowden is not a member of any APPGs
3 Former APPG memberships
Cultural Heritage, Jews, London's Green Belt
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
16th Sep 2021 - 24th Jun 2022
Co-Chair, Conservative Party
15th Sep 2021 - 24th Jun 2022
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Feb 2020 - 15th Sep 2021
Paymaster General (HM Treasury)
24th Jul 2019 - 13th Feb 2020
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Jul 2019 - 13th Feb 2020
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
9th Jan 2018 - 24th Jul 2019
Petitions Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 31st Oct 2016


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Oliver Dowden has voted in 591 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Oliver Dowden Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(61 debate interactions)
Angela Rayner (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities & Local Government
(36 debate interactions)
Jo Stevens (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(390 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(29 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(1 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Oliver Dowden's debates

Hertsmere Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Oliver Dowden has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Oliver Dowden

Oliver Dowden has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Oliver Dowden, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Oliver Dowden has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Oliver Dowden has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Oliver Dowden has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Oliver Dowden has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 17 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Charities Act 2022 on decisions by trustees of national museums to consider the moral claims of restitution claimants.

The Government is deferring the commencement of sections 15 and 16 of the Charities Act 2022 until we fully understand the implications for National Museums and other charities. When Parliament debated the Charities Bill, enabling national museums to restitute items from their collections based on moral grounds was neither considered, nor agreed on.

Deferring the commencement of these sections of the Act, which were initially planned to be in the first tranche of commencements in autumn 2022, will have no impact on the implementation of the other sections in the Charities Act 2022.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Charities Act 2022: implementation plan, published April 2022, what plans do the Government have to bring sections 15 and 16 of the Act into force.

The Government is deferring the commencement of sections 15 and 16 of the Charities Act 2022 until we fully understand the implications for National Museums and other charities. When Parliament debated the Charities Bill, enabling national museums to restitute items from their collections based on moral grounds was neither considered, nor agreed on.

Deferring the commencement of these sections of the Act, which were initially planned to be in the first tranche of commencements in autumn 2022, will have no impact on the implementation of the other sections in the Charities Act 2022.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the implementation of sections 15 and 16 of the Charities Act 2022 on the ability of trustees of national museums to seek authorisation from the (a) Charity Commission, (b) Attorney general or (c) in the courts to return collection items if they are motivated by a moral obligation.

The Government is deferring the commencement of sections 15 and 16 of the Charities Act 2022 until we fully understand the implications for National Museums and other charities. When Parliament debated the Charities Bill, enabling national museums to restitute items from their collections based on moral grounds was neither considered, nor agreed on.

Deferring the commencement of these sections of the Act, which were initially planned to be in the first tranche of commencements in autumn 2022, will have no impact on the implementation of the other sections in the Charities Act 2022.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will provide an update on the Government's policy on digital market competition.

The new pro-competition regime will remove the obstacles to competition and drive growth in digital markets, delivering lower prices for UK families, and giving consumers more choice and control over the services they use online.

The Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill was announced as part of the Queen's Speech 2022 and will be published as soon as parliamentary time allows.



10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to allow pre-legislative scrutiny of the forthcoming Digital Markets Competition and Consumer Bill announced in the Queen's Speech 2022.

The new pro-competition regime will remove the obstacles to competition and drive growth in digital markets, delivering lower prices for UK families, and giving consumers more choice and control over the services they use online.

The Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill was announced as part of the Queen's Speech 2022 and will be published as soon as parliamentary time allows.



17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the Government plans to change the requirements in new developments for affordable housing.

Should any proposals to change aspects of housing policy be deemed reasonable and proportionate, we will bring forward those proposals in the usual manner.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the Government's policy is on ensuring that properties looking to erect an additional floor require planning permission.

To support the supply of new homes, national planning policy expects that local planning policies and decisions should respond positively to suitable opportunities to deliver additional new homes above existing residential and commercial premises.

We have introduced new permitted development rights to allow certain existing residential and commercial buildings to extend upwards by up to two storeys to create new homes and extra living space. The rights are subject to prior approval by the local planning authority on specific matters, including potential impacts on the amenity of neighbours. This ensures that people who might be affected by such a development can feed their views into the decision making process.

We continue to keep the rights under review.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to ensure that local authorities are required to hold a new public consultation when an (a) existing and (b) proposed local plan is replaced by a new local plan.

Consultation requirements on the current local plan process are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (‘the Local Plan Regulations’). In the initial stages of plan production, local planning authorities must comply with specific requirements in regulation 18 of the Local Plan Regulations on consultation, and with commitments in their Statement of Community Involvement. Local planning authorities must also make available each of the proposed submission documents they intend to submit to the Planning Inspectorate for examination to enable representations to come forward that can be considered at examination, under regulation 19 of the Local Plan Regulations.

In the reformed planning system, opportunities for communities and other interested parties to influence and comment on emerging plans will be retained, with the digital powers allowing both plans and underpinning data to be accessed and understood more easily.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of building housing on the site proposed for the Radlett Rail Freight Interchange in Hertsmere constituency.

Because of the Secretary of State’s quasi-judicial role in the planning system, I cannot comment about the merits of particular plans or development proposals. It is for the local planning authority to consider the merits of any proposed development and any planning decision should be determined in accordance with the local development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. This would typically include an assessment of the site context and policies referred to in the National Planning Policy Framework, such as Green Belt, Local Green Spaces and other relevant designations.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the Government's policy is on the approval of planning applications for solar plants on agricultural land.

National planning policy is clear that local authorities should have a positive strategy in place to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources such as solar plants.

The National Planning Policy Framework also outlines that planning decisions should “contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment” by recognising the “benefits of the best and most versatile agricultural land”.

Planning guidance outlines that local planning authorities will need to consider “focussing large scale solar farms on previously developed and non agricultural land, provided that it is not of high environmental value”.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the Government's policy is on the calculation of new housing targets in local authorities which are predominately made up of Green Belt land.

Existing Government policy is to help make home ownership affordable for more people and to help more people rent their own home. To do that, we will need to deliver more homes. The standard method for assessing local housing need is used by councils to inform the preparation of their local plans and, as part of the local plan process, Councils are responsible for determining the best approach to development in their areas, including taking into consideration important matters such as Green Belt.

The previous Government undertook a review of the standard method formula in 2020 and, after carefully considering consultation responses, they retained the existing formula providing stability and certainty for planning and for local communities. As with all policies, we are monitoring the standard method, particularly as the impact of changes to the way we live and work and levelling up become clear.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps the Government is taking to address local housing projections which are based on out-of-date numbers.

Existing Government policy is to help make home ownership affordable for more people and to help more people rent their own home. To do that, we will need to deliver more homes. The standard method for assessing local housing need is used by councils to inform the preparation of their local plans and, as part of the local plan process, Councils are responsible for determining the best approach to development in their areas, including taking into consideration important matters such as Green Belt.

The previous Government undertook a review of the standard method formula in 2020 and, after carefully considering consultation responses, they retained the existing formula providing stability and certainty for planning and for local communities. As with all policies, we are monitoring the standard method, particularly as the impact of changes to the way we live and work and levelling up become clear.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the Government will take steps to ensure brownfield development is incentivised by planning policy instead of development on greenfield sites.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out that planning policies and decisions should make efficient use of land and give substantial weight to the value of using suitable brownfield land within settlements. To support this approach we have introduced a number of planning measures including uplifting local housing need in the top 20 most populated cities to make the most of brownfield land and existing infrastructure, and required every local authority to publish a register of local brownfield land suitable for housing. We have also revised Permitted Development and Use Class rules so that yet more homes can be created and commercial buildings can change more easily between uses, helping make best use of existing buildings.

To support these policies we are providing significant tax payer subsidy for the take-up and completion of brownfield redevelopment. We have set the £1.5 billion Brownfield, Infrastructure and Land Fund and the £550 million Brownfield Housing Fund. Around half the projects in the £4.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund programme are mostly on brownfield land and a further £180 million of taxpayer subsidy has been made available to help authorities release smaller brownfield sites for housing.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the Government will take steps to prevent overdevelopment of Green Belt land in its future planning reforms.

This Government has a manifesto commitment to protect and enhance the Green Belt. Our National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that a local authority should not propose to alter a Green Belt boundary unless there are exceptional circumstances and it can show at examination of the Local Plan that it has explored every other reasonable option: including using brownfield land or optimising the density of development. Within Green Belt, most types of new building are questioned and should be refused planning permission unless there are very special circumstances, as determined by the local authority. These strong protections for Green Belt land are to remain firmly in place.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps the Government will take to ensure local authorities can put in place Local Plans which ensure the protection of local green spaces.

Local planning authorities must prepare a local plan as the primary basis for identifying what development is needed in an area, deciding where it should go and dealing with planning applications. Local Plans provide greater certainty for communities, businesses, and developers, enabling local areas to set out their strategy for future development and their approach to protecting and enhancing local character, as well as securing community buy in.

The National Planning Policy Framework acknowledges the importance that open and green space makes to achieving sustainable development. The Framework is clear that local planning authorities through their local plan, and local communities through their neighbourhood plan, can identify and protect green areas of particular importance to them by formally designating them as Local Green Space. This is then classed as a protected area by the Framework and policies for managing development within a Local Green Space should be consistent with those for Green Belts.

Whether to designate land as Local Green Space is a matter of local discretion. The space should be demonstrably special to the local community and hold a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value tranquillity or richness of its wildlife. This could be in rural or urban settings and can include space created as part of new development.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the Government's policy is on the ability for the Planning Inspectorate to override planning decisions made by local councils.

The right of appeal following the refusal of an application is an important part of a planning system. The Planning Inspectorate are required to determine an appeal in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Currently, around two thirds of appeals are refused.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)