42 Facts About Robert Halfon


Robert Henry Halfon is a British Conservative Party politician, the Member of Parliament for Harlow since 2010.


Robert Halfon was the political director of Conservative Friends of Israel.


Robert Halfon was elected to the British House of Commons for Harlow at the 2010 general election.


Robert Halfon attended Prime Minister David Cameron's Cabinet from May 2015 and July 2016 as Minister without portfolio and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.


Robert Halfon served in Prime Minister Theresa May's government as Minister of State for Skills at the Department for Education from July 2016 to June 2017.


Robert Henry Halfon was born in the Westminster district of London on 22 March 1969, and grew up in London's Hampstead area.


Robert Halfon's paternal grandfather, Renato Robert Halfon, was an Italian Jewish clothing manufacturer living in Libya until he was forced to leave in 1968, after which he joined Clement in England.


Robert Halfon was educated at Highgate School and the University of Exeter, graduating with a BA in Politics and MA in Russian politics and Eastern European politics.


Robert Halfon subsequently worked for other Conservative MPs, including Michael Fabricant.


Robert Halfon was Chief of Staff for senior Conservative MP Oliver Letwin before becoming political director for Conservative Friends of Israel.


Robert Halfon spent some time working for a leading London-based Public Affairs company, Market Access.


Robert Halfon unsuccessfully contested the seat of Harlow for the Conservative party at the 2001 general election and 2005 general elections, losing by 97 votes on the second occasion.


Robert Halfon's third run for Harlow was successful and after the 2010 general election, he was elected to the executive of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs.


Robert Halfon delivered his maiden speech in the House on 2 June 2010.


Robert Halfon was re-elected at the 2015 general election and 2017 general election.


Between May 2015 and July 2016, Robert Halfon served as Minister without Portfolio and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.


Robert Halfon is a supporter of apprenticeships, and campaigned for a new university technical college to be built in Harlow, which opened in September 2014 as Sir Charles Kao UTC.


Robert Halfon set up the Parliamentary Academy, which encourages MPs to employ apprentices in Parliament.


Robert Halfon had the first MP's apprentice in the House of Commons and, as of 2013, was on his third apprentice who came from Harlow College.


Robert Halfon is a supporter of the FairFuelUK pressure group, and has raised the issue of cheaper petrol in Parliament.


Robert Halfon presented a petition calling for an inquiry into price-fixing at the Office of Fair Trading, signed by 30,000 motorists in 2013.


Robert Halfon won The Spectators Campaigner of the Year Award in 2013 for his work fighting to keep petrol duty low.


Robert Halfon has campaigned against privatised utility companies making excessive profits.


Robert Halfon has called for a windfall tax to be imposed on energy companies who are found to be unnecessarily putting up prices to customers.


Robert Halfon has campaigned for reducing the tax rate on low-paid workers, arguing in 2013 that a near living wage could be achieved if the government reintroduced the 10p band of income tax or increased the National Insurance threshold, citing this as an alternative to the living wage which he said could damage small local businesses.


Robert Halfon has said that one of the three things that motivate him in politics is "unashamed support for the State of Israel, as the only real democracy and progressive force in the Middle East".


Robert Halfon attempted to get Muslim Engagement and Development, formerly iENGAGE, banned from the House of Commons in 2011.


Robert Halfon has campaigned against Libyan funding of British universities, prompted by the experiences of his Italian-Jewish refugee grandfather Renato Halfon, who was making a living in Libya before being expelled alongside other Jews.


Robert Halfon is concerned about donations from Muslim countries to Oxford University, Saudi Arabian donations to Cambridge University, and links to Iran demonstrated by Edinburgh University and Durham University.


Robert Halfon voted against the Marriage Act 2013, which permitted same-sex couples to marry, and much of the secondary legislation implementing the Act.


Robert Halfon is a member of the Prospect trade union and a campaigner for Conservative supporters to become more involved in trade unions.


Robert Halfon has signed several early day motions in support of NHS funding for homeopathy sponsored by Conservative MP David Tredinnick.


Robert Halfon has been critical of donations received by UK universities from abroad, in particular the London School of Economics and Political Science.


In July 2018, following the deaths of two children while playing on bouncy castles, Robert Halfon called for an "urgent investigation" into the regulation of them.


Robert Halfon argued that "there should be a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas until we can ensure they are safe".


In October 2020, Robert Halfon was one of five Conservative MPs who broke the whip to vote for a Labour opposition day motion to extend the provision of free school meals during school holidays until Easter 2021.


In November 2021, Robert Halfon introduced a new Ten Minute Rule Bill to prevent future school closures.


In 2014, Robert Halfon was challenged in Parliament over money paid to his constituency office by a close associate of a Ukrainian magnate, Dmitry Firtash, recently arrested amid allegations of bribery.


Robert Halfon rejected the accusations of connections with Firtash and said that he had fully declared the money in the Register of Members' Interests.


Robert Halfon admitted in 2015 that he had an affair with the then-chair of Conservative Future, Alexandra Paterson, from 2010 to 2014.


Robert Halfon's spokeswoman responded that Paterson had not actually stayed at the club for the whole of the nights in question.


Robert Halfon was born with a moderate form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia and underwent several major operations as a child, causing an onset of osteoarthritis in his early 30s, and now uses crutches to walk.