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Andrew Feldman

Position: Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party and Chairman of the Party Board

Last Updated: Friday, April 15th, 2011

One of David Cameron’s closest friends to have benefited from his patronage and been entrusted with a senior political role is Andrew Feldman, who has been Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party since David Cameron became Prime Minister last summer.

With Eric Pickles having been taken from CCHQ to run the Department for Communities and Local Government, the party again found itself with party chairmen job-sharing (Michael Howard had Liam Fox and Lord Saatchi as co-chairmen between 2003 and 2005) in the form of Feldman and Sayeeda Warsi.

Warsi was new to such a senior role in the party organisation and, combining the role with being Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet, is very much the public face of the duo.

Feldman, meanwhile, who had been Chief Executive of the party since 2008, has been able to provide a sense of continuity at party HQ – which he effectively continues to run on a daily basis, as well as chairing the party Board. He was awarded a life peerage in  November 2010 and sits in the Upper House as Lord Feldman of Elstree.

Born in 1966, he was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Hertfordshire before going up to Oxford, where he read Law at Brasenose College. He chose that course, he says “because my parents convinced me that no-one would ever give me a job if I read History”.

It was there, in the mid-1980s, that fate brought him together with the man who would become a friend, tennis partner, and, rather later in the future, Prime Minister. Cameron (eight months Feldman’s junior) was reading Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Brasenose and Feldman says that he befriended him “because he was so utterly different to me. Cool, funny, connected and I had never met anybody so utterly un-neurotic in my life”. But Cameron was not always the one in the driving seat back then: when they both sat on the College’s May Ball Committee, it was Feldman who was in charge as chairman.

Having decided on graduation that he didn’t want to become a lawyer, he went to work in 1988 as a management consultant with Bain and Co. But he says that he “hated ” it and instead opted to pursue the legal route, and after qualifying at the Inns of Court School of Law he worked for four years as a commercial barrister at One Essex Court.

However, further evidence that he has never been, in his own words, “a man with a plan”, came as he then abandoned his career at the Bar to go and work for the family clothes business, Jayroma, after his father fell ill. Although he originally intended to “help out for a year or two” , he became Chief Executive in 1995 and remained there until he took the job at CCHQ in 2008.

During the 2005 Conservative leadership contest he had also played an important role for Cameron as Treasurer and Operations Manager of his campaign, being immediately rewarded on his old friend’s victory by being made a Deputy Treasurer of the party.  “The party was broke and I had met a few people that might be able to help,” he remembers.

Married to Gabrielle, he has two sons and a daughter and is an active member of Westminster Synagogue, of which he has been treasurer. Others prominent members of the congregation there include Howard Leigh, another Tory fundraiser, and Michael Green, the former Carlton boss for whom Cameron used to work.

He reportedly does a mean Elvis impersonation.

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