Philip was born in Hull but was brought up and educated in Grimsby at Wintringham Grammar School and Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education. A chemistry graduate, he is a Chartered Chemist and Chartered Health & Safety Practitioner. He worked for a number of the chemical manufacturing companies along the south bank of the Humber in research and development, technical support, production management, regulatory compliance and health and safety management. In 1999 he established his own health and safety consultancy focussed on the safe use of chemicals and the transport of dangerous goods.

Philip has been interested in politics since his teens and joined the Conservative Party in 1976. He was an elected member of Great Grimsby Borough Council between 1984 and 1996, latterly being Leader of the Conservative Opposition Group. He was elected to North East Lincolnshire Council in 2003, representing the Waltham Ward, and has been Chair of the Planning Committee and the Economy Scrutiny Panel as well as Leader of the Conservative Opposition Group. He became Leader of the Council in May this year when the Conservatives gained an overall majority on North East Lincolnshire Council for the first time since its inception.

Philip has been a Conservative Westminster parliamentary candidate at two general elections; in Hull East in 1987 and in Great Grimsby in 1992.

Outside of politics, Philip plays squash and enjoys travel. He has a keen interest in cars and railways and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, having passed the Advanced Driving Test.