Philip Collins

Philip Collins

Times Writer & Blair’s Chief Speech Writer


Philip was once a teacher and a top ranked equity strategist, before becoming Blair’s chief speechwriter. Now at The Times, Philip weighs up the personalities, compromises and agenda of the leading political players, and uncovers the secrets of the daily editorial meeting. He also considers the power of speeches and speechmakers, looking at those that have changed the world, as in his book When They Go Low, We Go High.


Philip Collins is Chief Leader Writer and columnist for The Times. He served as Tony Blair’s Chief Speech Writer for five years, leaving Number 10 on the same day as the former PM and penning his last speech in office. He now casts an insider’s eye over Westminster events.

Before joining the Blair communications team, Phil was Director of the Social Market Foundation think tank working on the intersection of markets, society and state. Before that he worked in the City in investment banking, including a time as the top ranked equity strategist in the smaller companies sector. He also spent time teaching, and working at the BBC and ITV before joining politics at the Institute of Education then as a policy advisor for MP Frank Field.

After leaving Number 10 Phil worked with a number of companies at a senior level on areas of strategy and presentation, helping them to form their messages and communicate them internally and externally. At The Times, he has become one of their most read writers. His mix of humour, straight talking and intimate knowledge of government from policy to media presentation has garnered fans (and critics) around the world. He’s also a regular on TV and radio commenting on political events and set-piece speeches.

As well as a view on leadership and strategy, Phil looks at how to communicate your intentions, set the agenda, and persuade others of your argument. He considers how certain strong leaders are one-offs, and others should not necessarily seek to emulate them, but find their own strengths and methods. He also analyses how strategy is formed, and the importance of having all key people on side, and the reasons why they might not be.

Phil also delivers an entertaining insight into Westminster; the deals, the personalities, the agendas, the compromises and what it might all mean. He reveals the secrets of leaders, politics, and Times editorial meetings. As in his book When They Go Low, We Go High he also looks at the unique power of the speech, and at the common elements to the speeches and speechmakers that changed the world.

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