MEET THE PARLIAMENTARIANS

Meet the MPs supporting our efforts!

Damian Collins MP

Damian Collins MP

MP for Folkestone and Hythe

Damian has been the MP for Folkestone and Hythe since 2010, having previously worked in the advertising industry. From 2016 to 2019, he was Chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, leading inquiries on addictive and immersive technologies, reality TV, and disinformation and ‘fake news’. He also founded, with fellow parliamentarians from around the world, the International Grand Committee on disinformation and data privacy. He recently co-founded Infotagion, an independent COVID-19 fact-checking service to combat health disinformation.

Damian says:

“Social media and digital infrastructure have transformed our lives over the last decade- connecting people, creating jobs, and facilitating access to information. But we need to make sure that Government keeps up with the challenges of the digital market – be they disinformation, anti-competitiveness, or foreign-state influence. Digital Tories is a great opportunity to raise awareness of these issues in the Party and Parliament.”

Ruth Edwards MP

Ruth Edwards MP

MP for Rushcliffe

Ruth has been the serving MP for Rushcliffe since December 2019. After beginning her early career working in the office of Crispin Blunt MP, Ruth went on to lead on strategy and public policy for BT’s cyber security business. Ruth has worked for TechUK and Deloitte, advising Government departments and FTSE 100 companies. Ruth has been recognised by the industry with a Europe-wide ISG Paragon ‘Women in Technology’ award for helping more young women into technology careers.

As an active member of the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR), she works hard to help shape the future of the UK’s digital economy and unlock the potential for the growth of innovation and skilled jobs.

Ruth says:

“Digital change impacts every single one of us, good and bad. We must make sure we keep our country safe online and ensure every one of us has the right skills to keep pace with evolving technology. As a Digital Tory, I see huge opportunity in the future digital agenda, with the potential for meaningful impact on how we all live and work together.”

MEET THE TEAM

Meet the people behind the Digital Tories initiative – ratcheting the tech agenda up the political ladder!

Donna Gavin

Donna Gavin

Founder

Digital Donna sounds like a very dodgy movie, so we’ll move past that.

10 years in the British Army’s digital and cyber branch means she knows her stuff about tech. Her interest in how tech impacts society and its role in politics stems from working on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and cyber skills agenda as a consultant.

Contact: donna@digitaltories.uk

Alice Hopkin

Alice Hopkin

Executive Director

Alice currently works in Parliament and has an interest in digital campaigning, online harms and preparing young people for the tech jobs of the future. She graduated with a Geography degree from Royal Holloway, before studying Politics & Communications at London School of Economics.

Contact: alice.hopkin@digitaltories.uk

Patrick Timms

Patrick Timms

Head of Digital

Patrick’s background in tech stretches back nearly two decades, mainly in the public sector. He now works as a freelance translator. He is a Digital Tory because he wants to raise awareness of important tech issues across the political sphere.

His main experience in IT has been in the education sector, where he campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of issues facing ‘ed-tech’ specialists working in education.

Contact: patrick.timms@digitaltories.uk

Pierre Andrews

Pierre Andrews

Head of Policy

Pierre is Branch Chair of the Bloomsbury, Kings Cross, and Holborn & Covent Garden wards at Holborn & St Pancras Conservatives.

He studied Politics & Communications at the London School of Economics, and now works in Westminster for a Conservative Member of Parliament.

Contact: pierre.andrews@digitaltories.uk

Christine Wallace

Christine Wallace

Head of Communications and External Affairs

Christine currently works as a Chief of Staff in Westminster. She studied Politics and International Relations at university and wrote her dissertation on ‘How would Machiavelli Solve the Issue of Cyber Security?’

She has an interest in environmental tech, online safety, digital skills and education, the digital economy and the ethics of AI. She is also the Co-Chair of Conservative Friends of Cycling and a Vice-President at Conservative Young Women.

Contact: christine.wallace@digitaltories.uk

Toby Byfield

Toby Byfield

Head of Membership

Toby is the Head of Customer Success at political technology startup PoliMonitor. It’s first employee, he has taken a keen interest in how the intersectionality of politics and technology can help to grow businesses and foster innovation both in the UK and abroad.

Prior to PoliMonitor he worked in the not-for-profit sector, having graduated with a degree in Politics & International Relations from the University of Exeter.

Contact: toby.byfield@digitaltories.uk

Sarah-Jane Sewell

Sarah-Jane Sewell

Head of Events

Sarah-Jane currently works in Westminster with a new “Red Wall MP” and formerly worked for Digital Minister Matt Warman. She is a Freeman of the Company of Communicators and holds the Freedom of the City of London.

She graduated from Royal Holloway University of London with a degree in Politics and International Relations. Her dissertation investigated the impact of social media on political participation in the UK.

Contact: sarah-jane.sewell@digitaltories.uk

Joe Reeve

Joe Reeve

Partner

Joe is a political technologist who works with organisations in the politics and news industries. He founded ToryTechs.uk and HackThePress.org, and has consulted internationally with businesses and charities.

Joe’s focus is on building and developing communities of domain-specific experts in the civic-tech space.

Contact: joe@torytechs.uk

MEET THE DIGITAL CAMPAIGN TEAM

Meet the people behind our specific focus on digital campaigning!

Joshua Godfrey

Joshua Godfrey

Digital Campaigner

Having previously trained and worked as a journalist, Joshua Godfrey has worked as Senior Communications Officer to the Member of Parliament for Redditch since 2017. His role involves producing social media content, campaign support and advice, and press strategy. During the 2019 General Election, Joshua served as Director Communications on the Conservative campaign in Redditch. He has also supported his local Conservative Association by providing social media and communications support to councillors and candidates.

Mike Rouse

Mike Rouse

Digital Campaigner

Mike is a digital native and veteran of internet-based campaigning with an activism record spanning 20 years. Mike’s specialism is being a pioneer of new platforms and services, assessing by immersion how they can be utilised for civic and political engagement. Mike is also a coder, gamer and content producer as well as holding positions in local government in Worcestershire. His skills and experience enable Mike to rapidly iterate and deploy systems to enable and support campaigning activities. Mike is a senior volunteer in the Conservative Party, sitting on the National Convention as an Area Executive Officer, and has campaign-managed two general and numerous local election campaigns.

Laura Emily Dunn

Laura Emily Dunn

Digital Campaigner

Laura Emily is a communications, social and digital consultant, with over 10 years of experience advising and working with MPs, Peers, candidates and the Conservative Party. She has run several General Election, devolved and local election campaigns for candidates. She currently works in the UK Parliament, providing communications advice and support for senior MPs and Ministers. Laura has previously worked in the US House of Representatives and the National Assembly for Wales, as well as running a communications consultancy, with clients across the UK and the USA.

Mario Creatura

Mario Creatura

Digital Campaigner

Mario is a communications specialist with more than a decade working in public affairs, digital communications and grassroots campaigning. He served as a Special Adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May in 10 Downing Street, the first to specialise in digital communication. His previous experience includes leading on strategic communications for Virgin Money, managing public affairs and political stakeholders for Heineken UK and being a policy, campaigns and communications adviser to the Rt Hon Gavin Barwell MP. He is now a Director and leads the Digital Unit at DGA Interel UK.

 Mario was the 2019 Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon Central and has been a councillor on Croydon Council – London’s largest borough – since 2014.

Holly Whitbread

Holly Whitbread

Digital Campaigner

Holly Whitbread is the Essex County Councillor for Epping and Theydon Bois, she is currently the Deputy to the Deputy Leader and Deputy Cabinet Member for Communities, Partnerships, Equalities and Performance. Holly has been a District Councillor since 2016 and is the currently the Cabinet for Housing, a role she has held since May 2019. She is also an association officer who has led local campaigns at all levels. Holly stood as a Parliamentary Candidate in Hull North in the 2019 General Election. She currently works as a Communications Manager for a National Trade Body, she previously worked in Parliament as a Researcher to a number of Conservative Members of Parliament.

Sarah-Jane Sewell

Sarah-Jane Sewell

Digital Campaigner

Sarah-Jane currently works in Westminster with a new “Red Wall MP” and formerly worked for Digital Minister Matt Warman. She is a Freeman of the Company of Communicators and holds the Freedom of the City of London.

She graduated from Royal Holloway University of London with a degree in Politics and International Relations. Her dissertation investigated the impact of social media on political participation in the UK.

Contact: sarah-jane.sewell@digitaltories.uk