Notting Hill Set

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Group.png Notting Hill Set  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Membership• David Cameron
• Nick Boles
• Simon Sebag Montefiore
• George Osborne
• Michael Gove
• Ed Vaizey
• Nicholas Boles
• Steve Hilton
• Rachel Whetstone
• Edward Llewellyn
• Catherine Fall
• Edward Heathcoat Amory
• Alice Thomson
"A coterie of rich, privileged, Oxbridge-educated careerists who were chums of David Cameron."

The Notting Hill Set was a group of conservative politicians. The name, given by journalists, is a reference to both the geographical location of many in the group and the film, Notting Hill. Peter Oborne, who helped coin the phrase, wrote in 2017 that "'Notting Hill set’ describes the coterie of rich, privileged, Oxbridge-educated careerists who were chums of David Cameron when he launched his ultimately successful bid to become Tory leader."[1]


The term was coined by Derek Conway in July 2004, before Cameron became Tory leader.[2] Conway's article was a month after Peter Oborne wrote a Spectator article entitled Howard profits from the rise of the Notting Hill Tories.[3]

Notting Hill

The group's name was also a reference to a popular romantic comedy, Notting Hill. Oborne's 2017 article remarked that "many of Cameron’s inner circle could have had walk-on parts in that film, which centred on a group of self-obsessed and smug luvvies. Their charm and polish was matched only by a moral vacuity and lack of principle."[1]


The membership list shown right contains people listed in the two original articles. Also included is Simon Sebag Montefiore after a 2016 Spectator article referred to him as "the historian at the heart of the Notting Hill set".[4] The same article wrote that "Michael Gove's decision to back Leave has now led to the group splitting into two camps of #TeamDave and #TeamGove."


Related Quotation

Leader of the Conservative Party“All Tory leaders have surrounded themselves with an inner circle, which has given them ballast and in certain important respects defined their leadership. John Major had a winning fondness for palpable fakes, like Jeffrey Archer and David Mellor; Margaret Thatcher liked hirsute North London entrepreneurs with a ‘can-do’ attitude and heavy jewellery. Michael Howard’s chosen milieu is constructed of dapper, well-spoken men and women, many of whom live within walking distance of one another in west London. Cameron is unmistakably the leader of these Notting Hill Tories, but others include Michael Howard’s political secretary Rachel Whetstone, his speechwriter Ed Vaizey, marketing expert Steve Hilton, policy man Nick Boles, along with the newspaper columnists Edward Heathcoat Amory and his wife Alice Thomson.”Peter Oborne19 June 2004