Caroline Spelman photograph

Caroline Spelman

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Gender Female
Age 64
Date of birth May 4,1958
Zodiac sign Taurus
Born Bishop's Stortford
United Kingdom
SpouseMark Spelman
Party Conservative Party
Office Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
ChildrenJonathan Spelman
David Spelman
Eleanor Spelman
BooksWater Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill
Property Blight Compensation Bill
The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Science College
The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Science College
The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Science College
The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Science College
Job Politician
Education The Hertfordshire and Essex High School
Queen Mary University of London
The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Science College
Previous positionSecretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom (2010–2012)
Date of Reg.
Date of Upd.
ID398954
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Caroline Spelman Life story


Dame Caroline Alice Spelman DBE is a British Conservative Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament for Meriden in the West Midlands from 1997 to 2019.

Dame Caroline Alice Spelman (née Cormack; born 4 May 1958) is a British Conservative Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Meriden in the West Midlands from 1997 to 2019. From May 2010 to September 2012 she was the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in David Cameron's coalition cabinet, and was sworn as a Privy Counsellor on 13 May 2010.

Education


Born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, Spelman attended the Hertfordshire and Essex High School for Girls (now called The Hertfordshire and Essex High School), in Bishop's Stortford, and received a BA First Class in European Studies from Queen Mary College, University of London.

Early career


She was Sugar Beet commodity secretary for the National Farmers' Union from 1981 to 1984. She was deputy director of the International Confederation of European Beet Growers (officially known as La Confédération Internationale des Betteraviers Européens – CIBE) in Paris from 1984–9, then a research fellow for the Centre for European Agricultural Studies (part of the University of Kent and since 2000 known as the Centre for European Agri-Environmental Economics) from 1989 to 1993. She co-owns Spelman, Cormack & Associates, a lobbying firm for the food and biotechnology industry, with her husband.

Parliamentary career


Before entering Parliament in 1997, she stood unsuccessfully in the Bassetlaw constituency in Nottinghamshire at the 1992 general election.In 2001, Iain Duncan Smith appointed Spelman Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, a post she maintained until Duncan Smith's departure as Conservative Party leader. Duncan Smith's successor, Michael Howard, opted for a streamlined Shadow Cabinet and omitted Spelman; however, he later appointed her as a front bench spokeswoman on Environmental Affairs working for Theresa May. In March 2004, Spelman re-entered the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Local and Devolved Government Affairs, succeeding David Curry. Under David Cameron's leadership of the Conservative Party, in 2007 she was promoted further to become Conservative Party Chairman.

In 2009, Spelman was moved in another reshuffle to the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, replacing Eric Pickles. In 2012, Spelman returned to the Commons backbenches.

Spelman served as Second Church Estates Commissioner from 2015 to 2019.Spelman was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum. In January 2016, Spelman became a Founding MP of Conservatives For Reform In Europe, the campaign to remain in the EU, subject to the Prime Minister's renegotiations, alongside Nick Herbert and Eric Pickles.

In January 2019 MPs approved a symbolic, non-binding amendment, tabled by Spelman, to prevent a no-deal Brexit, by 318 votes to 310.Following abuse and death threats over Brexit, Spelman announced in September 2019 that she would not seek re-election at the next general election.

Expenses


In 2009, during the expenses scandal it was reported that Spelman had received £40,000 for cleaning and bills for her constituency home; this was despite her husband claiming it was their main home. In 2008 she reportedly over-claimed hundreds of pounds towards her council tax.

"Nannygate" controversy


On 6 June 2008, Spelman was the subject of controversy when it was suggested that for around twelve months from May 1997 she paid her child's nanny, Tina Haynes, from her parliamentary staffing allowance, contrary to the rule governing such allowances and fears of the misuse of them. Spelman claims that her nanny also acted as her constituency secretary and was paid from the public taxpayers' purse for this aspect of her further employment. Haynes confirms that occasionally she would answer phone calls and post documents but initially she denied such happenings when interviewed on BBC Two's Newsnight via telephone. The accusations came at a time when Conservative Party leader David Cameron had tasked Spelman with reviewing the use of parliamentary allowances by Conservative MPs and MEPs in the wake of the Derek Conway affair.The allegation against Spelman came shortly after two Conservative MEPs, Giles Chichester (Leader of the Conservatives in the EU Parliament) and Den Dover (Conservative Chief Whip in the EU Parliament), were forced to resign amid claims they misused their parliamentary allowances. However, Spelman was not urged to resign by party leader, David Cameron. She referred the matter pertaining to herself, her nanny and parliamentary funds to John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Senior Conservative colleagues including former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis stated their support for Spelman.New allegations were reported on the BBC's Newsnight programme that nine years previously Spelman's secretary, Sally Hammond, complained to the Conservative Party leadership that she was using Parliamentary allowances to pay her nanny and that the arrangement with the nanny was over a two-year period and not one.In March 2009, the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee ruled that Caroline Spelman had misused her allowances to pay for nannying work in 1997 and 1998.

Privacy injunction


On 24 February 2012, the High Court in London refused to continue a privacy injunction previously granted to prevent the publication of a news item in the Daily Star Sunday involving her son. Judge Michael Tugendhat said that the injunction was "not necessary or proportionate". On 2 March 2012, the Spelmans decided not to appeal against the decision, which permitted the publication of a story about her son. The Spelman family was required to pay the legal costs of the Daily Star Sunday, in addition to their own legal costs of £60,994.

Personal life


She married Mark Spelman, a senior partner at Accenture, on 25 April 1987 in south-east Kent. Her husband stood as a Conservative candidate in the 2009 European elections for the West Midlands region. They have two sons and a daughter. In 1997, Spelman was the only Conservative MP who was also a mother of school-age children; the Conservative party instructed that her children should be educated in her constituency as a condition of her selection as MP. As a result, Spelman rarely saw her children and she found this period of her life very stressful, losing a significant amount of weight.The couple own a constituency home, a London townhouse and a villa in Algarve, Portugal.She is a Patron of the Conservative Christian Fellowship.Spelman was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for political and public service as part of the Resignation Honours of the outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron.

References


External links


Caroline Spelman MP official constituency website

Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom

Contributions in Parliament at Hansard

Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005

Voting record at Public Whip

Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou

Profile: Caroline Spelman, BBC News, 16 October 2002Audio clipsDiscussing forced marriages On Women's Parliamentary RadioVideo clipsAt Coventry Transport Museum on YouTube

'A recovering politician' - the new Twitter life of former MPs

'A recovering politician' - the new Twitter life of former MPs
Feb 16,2020 7:54 am

... So how have they updated their Twitter profiles to reflect their change of status? Several, such as Sir Alan Duncan, Jeremy Lefroy, Louise Ellman and Caroline Spelman, have opted to keep it very factual, pointing out that they are no longer an MP and are not seeking re-election...

Elections and British EU exit: How did you choose your MP?

Elections and British EU exit: How did you choose your MP?
Feb 16,2020 5:55 am

... Conservative MP lady Caroline Spelman matched in addition to the displaced, on Tuesday in voting against the government, while the Brexit-was the support of Kate Hoey, the only Labour-vote member, with the government...

Johnson to meet Macron as French president downplays backstop hopes

Johnson to meet Macron as French president downplays backstop hopes
Feb 16,2020 5:32 am

... But Conservative MP Dame Caroline Spelman and independent MP Nick Boles have said they will not attend...

Jo Swinson: Clarke and Harman 'prepared to lead emergency government'

Jo Swinson: Clarke and Harman 'prepared to lead emergency government'
Feb 16,2020 5:22 am

... Senior Tory Remainer Dame Caroline Spelman and the Independent Group for Change also refused to support a Corbyn government...

Brexit: Corbyn plan to stop no deal meets resistance

Brexit: Corbyn plan to stop no deal meets resistance
Feb 16,2020 5:21 am

... Tory Dame Caroline Spelman, whose backing the Labour leader had sought, also said she would not support a Corbyn-led government...

Brexit: Corbyn plans to call no-confidence vote to defeat no-deal

Brexit: Corbyn plans to call no-confidence vote to defeat no-deal
Feb 16,2020 5:19 am

... How have the other MPs responded? Also receiving the letter were Tory MPs Dominic Grieve, Sir Oliver Letwin and Dame Caroline Spelman, and Nick Boles, the independent MP who quit the Tory Party over Brexit...

Brexit: MPs to debate next steps

Brexit: MPs to debate next steps
Feb 16,2020 3:00 am

... Fellow Conservative Dame Caroline Spelman said equal respect must be given to both Commons motions adding: If he fails to do that, it is contemptuous of this House...

Brexit: Theresa May set for further talks with EU leaders

Brexit: Theresa May set for further talks with EU leaders
Feb 16,2020 12:41 am

... It was a message she repeated to Labour MP Jack Dromey, who together with Tory MP Caroline Spelman got MPs to back a non-binding amendment rejecting a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday...

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