Steve Brine

Stephen Charles Brine[2] (born 28 January 1974) is a British Conservative Party politician who has served as the Member of Parliament for Winchester since 2010. Prior to his political career, he worked as a BBC Radio journalist and in public relations.

Steve Brine

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care
In office
14 June 2017  25 March 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byNicola Blackwood
Succeeded bySeema Kennedy
Member of Parliament
for Winchester
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byMark Oaten
Majority985 (1.7%)[1]
Personal details
Born (1974-01-28) 28 January 1974
Political partyConservative (until 3 September 2019) (29 October 2019−present)
Other political
Independent (3 September − 29 October 2019)
Susie Toulson (m. 2003)
Alma materLiverpool Hope University
WebsiteOfficial Website

He served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Public Health and Primary Care at the Department of Health from June 2017 to March 2019, when Brine resigned to vote against the government's policy on Brexit. Brine had the Conservative whip removed on 3 September by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for supporting the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, an attempt to prevent a no-deal Brexit. He sat for over a month as an independent politician before being readmitted to the party on 29 October.

Early life and career

Brine was born on 28 January 1974 to Clive Charles and Gloria Elizabeth Brine.[3] He attended Bohunt School, and Highbury College.[4] He was a volunteer for the hospital broadcasting service Radio Lion at the Royal Surrey County Hospital for a number of years from 1990. He studied history at Liverpool Hope University, where he also served a sabbatical year as president of its students' union.[5]

After graduating, Brine worked as a radio journalist for the BBC. His first job was at BBC Southern Counties Radio in Guildford.[6] He also did an internship in Chicago with the radio station WGN.[7] Brine later worked as a director of the golf marketing agency Azalea Group.[8]

Political career

Brine worked in the Conservative Central Office as a researcher during William Hague's leadership, and was the campaign director for the party in Hampshire during the 2001−2005 parliament.[9][10] He was selected as the party's prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) for Winchester in November 2006.[11] Brine was a member of the party's A-List.[12]

He was elected as MP for Winchester in the 2010 general election with a majority of 3,048 (5.4%) votes.[13] The seat had previously been held by the Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten since the 1997 general election, who had stood down prior to the 2010 general election.[14] During the 2010−2015 parliament, he was a member of the Justice Select Committee.[15]

Brine was one of 136 Conservative MPs who voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales.[16] His reasons for voting against the Act included that he felt that the bill had been rushed, that the majority of his constituents opposed it, and his Christian faith.[17][18] In the same year, he was appointed as parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Mike Penning, Minister of State at the Department for Work & Pensions and Minister for Disabled People.[19] In July 2014, Brine became PPS to Penning in his new role as Minister of State for Policing within the Ministry of Justice.[20]

He was re-elected in the 2015 and 2017 general election.[1] In May 2015, Brine became PPS to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health.[21] Following the appointment of Theresa May as the prime minister in July 2016, he was appointed as assistant government whip at HM Treasury, a role he held till June 2017 when he was promoted to Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Public Health and Primary Care at the Department of Health.[22][23]

Brine supported the United Kingdom (UK) remaining within the European Union (EU) in the 2016 UK EU membership referendum. He voted for then Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal agreement in early 2019. In the indicative votes on 27 March, Brine voted for single market membership, customs union with the EU, Norway plus, and against a no-deal Brexit.[24] He had resigned from his ministerial post two days prior.[25] Brine supported Jeremy Hunt in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election.[26]

In September, he was one of 21 MPs expelled from the Conservative Party by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for voting for the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 which aimed to prevent a no-deal Brexit.[27] Brine was one of 10 MPs to be readmitted to the party on 29 October.[28] He was re-elected in the 2019 general election, his majority fell from 9,999 to 985.[1]

Outside of his parliamentary role, he is also an event speaker for the pharmaceuticals company Sigma, and strategic advisor for the healthcare recruitment firm Remedium Partners.[29][30]

Personal life

Brine has been married to Susie Toulson since 2003. She is a speech and language therapist, and is one of the daughters of the late Lord Toulson, former Supreme Court judge.[31] They have one son and one daughter.[3]


  1. "Winchester". BBC News. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Brine, Stephen Charles". A & C Black. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  4. "A visit from former student Mr Steve Brine MP". Bohunt School. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  5. "Speakers". The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  6. "BBC Local Radio". Hansard. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  7. "British Conservative Member of Parliament Candidate Steve Brine: 'They [London attackers] have been radicalized here'". WGN. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  8. "Brine recognised as Parliamentary Golfer of the Year". Golf Today. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  9. "Winchester". UK Polling Report. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  10. "Cabinet and Ministerial appointments following the 2017 general election" (PDF). NHS Providers. 6 July 2017. p. 5. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  11. "Steve Brine selected for Winchester". Conservative Home. 15 November 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  12. "Where are the original A-Listers now? The 27 who have been selected for target seats". Conservative Home. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  13. "Winchester". BBC News. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  14. Walker, Peter (14 January 2019). "Ex-Lib Dem Mark Oaten says he is now 'comfortable with being gay'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  15. "Steve Brine MP". Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  16. "MP-by-MP: Gay marriage vote". BBC News. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  17. "Winchester MP Steve Brine votes against gay marriage". Hampshire Chronicle. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  18. Napier, Andrew (14 February 2013). "Senior Winchester Tory worker criticises MP Steve Brine over gay marriage vote". Hampshire Chronicle. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  19. "Winchester MP Steve Brine promoted to be ministerial aide". Hampshire Chronicle. Winchester. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  20. Napier, Andrew (4 August 2014). "New Government post for Winchester MP Steve Brine". Hampshire Chronicle. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  21. Franklin, James (1 June 2015). "Hampshire MP made an aide to Jeremy Hunt". Southern Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  22. "Steve Brine MP". Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  23. "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care". Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  24. "How MPs voted on May's withdrawal deal defeat". Financial Times. 29 March 2019. Archived from the original on 2 September 2019.
  25. Seymour, Michael (26 March 2019). "Steve Brine MP's government resignation letter in full". The Hampshire Chronicle.
  26. Brine, Steve (27 May 2019). "Steve Brine: Why I am voting for Hunt". Conservative Home. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  27. "Who were the Conservative Brexit rebels?". BBC News. 5 September 2019.
  28. Walker, Peter (29 October 2019). "Tories restore party whip to 10 MPs who sought to block no-deal Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  29. "Register of Members' Financial Interests as at 21 October 2019" (PDF). p. 56. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  30. Napier, Andrew (31 October 2019). "Steve Brine MP criticised for taking on private part-time work in health sector". Hampshire Chronicle. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  31. "Lord Toulson". The Times. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2019.(subscription required)
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Mark Oaten
Member of Parliament for Winchester
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