Damian Collins

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Damian Collins
Nuclear spin.png This article is part of the Nuclear Spin project of Spinwatch.
Damian Collins is the UK Member of Parliament (MP) for Folkestone and Hythe, first elected in the 2010 general election.

Collins is a former lobbyist for Lexington Communications.

In September 2012 he became parliamentary private secretary to the Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, who was appointed in the cabinet reshuffle. [1]

In the 2015 general election, Collins was re-elected with 48 per cent of the vote and a majority of 13,797. [2]

Pro-nuclear views

Collins made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 27 May 2010 in the debate on energy and the environment in the Queen's Speech debate. He explained that in his constituency, which includes the Dungeness B nuclear power station operated and owned by EDF Energy:

There is a great deal of support for nuclear power in my constituency. I am sure that hon. Members who have nuclear sites in their constituencies know that there is a good deal of support for them, because they generate a huge number of jobs and important support for the local economy. [3]

Environmental reasons and concerns about coastal erosion and associated flood risk saw proposals for a new third nuclear power station, Dungeness C, omitted from the previous Labour government's 2009 shortlist of potential sites for new stations.[4] It was later also ruled out by energy minister Chris Huhne in October 2010. Collins has however continued to vociferously lobby the government on the issue. During a House of Commons debate in 2011, energy minister Charles Hendry called him "a doughty champion of the case for Dungeness" but said he "will have to be patient for a little longer" for the decision of a UK government nuclear review after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. [5] In May 2012 after the government published its draft energy bill, Collins once again raised the issue with prime minister David Cameron at a private meeting for Kent MPs at 10 Downing Street.

Despite his strong pro-nuclear stance Collins is however opposed to a controversial planned nuclear waste site on Romney Marsh, which is going through public consultation. [6]

If I were a minister...

In 2010, Collins was interviewed by Conservativehome for their '20 Questions for the Class of 2010' quiz. Asked, "if you could run any government department, which would it be and why?", he replied:

I have been calling for Dungeness in my constituency to be included on the list of preferred sites for a new nuclear power station, so if I was running the Department of Energy, I know what I would do.

Later, he was asked what did he most want to achieve in his first term in Parliament? The answer was direct. "Securing support for a new power station at Dungeness." [7]

Stance on fracking

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project
‬‬In August 2013, Collins accused anti-fracking campaigners of 'scaremongering' and said risks to health and the environment associated with the process had been exaggerated. [8]

Collins is a former senior counsel for Lexington Communications, which provides lobbying and consultation services to fracking companies Cuadrilla and IGas. He is married to Sarah Richardson who works for Edelman, which represents and lobbies on behalf of the Task Force on Shale Gas.

Voting record

Collins has generally voted against increased regulations on fracking . [9]

  • 26 January 2015: voted against making fracking companies apply for an environmental permit before conducting exploratory drilling. He also voted against an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to include an 18 month moratorium on fracking.
  • 11 February 2015: voted in favour of requiring more pre-conditions for where fracking can take place.
  • 16 December 2015: voted in favour of weakening regulations on fracking in protected areas and national parks.

Affiliations

Personal life

Collins is married to Sarah Richardson who is an employee of Edelman PR. [10]

Contact

Address:
Website:

Resources

Notes

  1. Stephen Walker, NIO roles for Damian Collins and Alec Shelbrooke, 11 September 2012, acc 12 September 2012
  2. Damian Collins Express, accessed 20 May 2015
  3. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/damian_collins/folkestone_and_hythe
  4. Press Release - Miliband sets strategic direction for overhaul of energy system. 9 November 2009.  Department of Energy and Climate Change
  5. Lobbying MP told to be patient during nuclear review, This is Kent, May 27, 2011 acc 22 June 2012
  6. Sam Lennon, MP Damian Collins to meet Prime Minister over Dungeness nuclear station, KentOnline, 22 May 2012, acc 22 June 2012
  7. Damian Collins MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010, conservativehome.co.uk, 21 Aug 2010, acc 12 September 2012
  8. [www.folkestoneherald.co.uk/Damian-Collins-Anti-fracking-protesters/story.../story.html Damian Collins: 'Anti-fracking protesters are scaremongering'], Folkestone Herald, 6 August 2013, accessed 9 January 2017.
  9. TheyWorkForYou | Damian Collins, TheyWorkForYou, accessed 9 January 2017.
  10. Damian Collins’ Declaration of Interest, Guy Fawkes Blog, 19 July 2011