Youngest councillor, grandson of a law lord, is appointed deputy leader of North Norfolk District Council at age 22

PUBLISHED: 16:07 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 16:14 29 January 2013

North Norfolk District Council deputy leader Rhodri Oliver

North Norfolk District Council deputy leader Rhodri Oliver


The youngest councillor on North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has been appointed as its deputy leader.

Rhodri Oliver, 22, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since his election as representative for Sheringham South in May 2011, earning a place on the Conservative-led council’s powerful cabinet last year.

And law student Mr Oliver, who lives in Aylmerton, has his sights set even higher, hoping to take a seat in the Houses of Parliament one day.

He will also contest the Sheringham seat in the county council elections in May.

The son of two lawyers, Mr Oliver is the grandson of the late Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, the law lord who played an important role in the famous Spycatcher secrecy case.

His minority judgement, opposing the ban on the publication of Spycatcher, the memoirs of former M15 man Peter Wright, was eventually vindicated when the book was allowed to go on sale in 1988.

Rhodri Oliver succeeds Tom FitzPatrick as deputy leader. Mr FitzPatrick was appointed leader of the council following the death in December of Keith Johnson who turned a gun on himself after shooting dead his wife, Andrea.

Educated at Gresham’s School, Holt, Mr Oliver was studying for his final exams at Imperial College, London, at the time of the 2011 elections. He graduated with a degree in physics and is currently studying for a law degree with the Open University. He also works part-time as a tutor for GCSE maths and sciences.

He is a keen racket sports player, representing Cromer in squash, table tennis and tennis.

“Professionally I think I would like to be a lawyer and politically, one day I hope to be an MP, ideally somewhere in Norfolk,” he said.

His aim was to make sure that local people’s views were represented on both big issues and everyday matters such as emptying the bins.

Mr Oliver added: “I am particularly keen to show that young people can make a real difference and I hope that my appointment will encourage more young people to get actively involved in their local communities.”

NNDC has also announced that Russell Wright, 53, who represents the Astley ward, centred on Melton Constable, will be joining the cabinet. Mr Wright is also a member of Norfolk County Council.

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