Elizabeth Truss

Mary Elizabeth Truss[1][2] (born 26 July 1975), also known as Liz Truss, is a British Conservative Party politician and Chief Secretary to the Treasury who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Norfolk since 2010.

After graduating from the University of Oxford in 1996, Truss worked in sales, as an economist, and was deputy director at the think-tank Reform, before becoming a member of parliament at the 2010 general election. As a backbencher, she called for reform in a number of policy areas, including childcare, maths education, and the economy.[3] She founded the Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs, and authored or co-authored a number of papers and books, including After the Coalition (2011) and Britannia Unchained (2012).

Truss was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State from 2012 to 2014, with responsibility for education and childcare in the Department for Education.[4] She was the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2014 to 2016. On 14 July 2016, she was appointed Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor by Theresa May, succeeding Michael Gove, and becoming the first female Lord Chancellor in the thousand-year history of the role (if not counting Eleanor of Provence in 1253).[5][6][7] On 11 June 2017, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle following the 2017 general election, Truss was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury.[8]


Elizabeth Truss

Official portrait of Elizabeth Truss crop 2
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Assumed office
11 June 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
ChancellorPhilip Hammond
Preceded byDavid Gauke
Secretary of State for Justice
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
In office
14 July 2016 – 11 June 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Attorney GeneralJeremy Wright
Preceded byMichael Gove
Succeeded byDavid Lidington
Secretary of State for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs
In office
15 July 2014 – 14 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byOwen Paterson
Succeeded byAndrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Education and Childcare
In office
4 September 2012 – 15 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Sec. of StateMichael Gove
Preceded bySarah Teather
Succeeded bySam Gyimah
Member of Parliament
for South West Norfolk
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byChristopher Fraser
Majority18,312 (30.0%)
Personal details
Born
Mary Elizabeth Truss

26 July 1975 (age 43)
Oxford, England
Political partyConservative (1996–present)
Other political
affiliations
Liberal Democrats (before 1996)
Spouse(s)Hugh O'Leary
Children2
Alma materMerton College, Oxford
WebsiteOfficial website

Early and personal life

Truss was born in Oxford, England. She was raised in a left-wing household; her father, John Truss, is a professor of pure mathematics at the University of Leeds; her mother was a nurse, teacher, and member of the CND.[9] Truss has described both as being "to the left of Labour".[3] When Truss later ran for election to Parliament, her mother agreed to campaign for her and her father declined to do so.[3][10]

Truss attended a state primary school in Paisley, in Scotland,[3] followed by Roundhay School, a comprehensive school in north-east Leeds. She lived in Canada for a year, and contrasts the competitive attitude in schooling there with the "trendy" education she received in Leeds.[3] She read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Merton College, Oxford.

In 2000, she married an accountant, Hugh O'Leary. The couple have two daughters.[11]

Career

After graduating in 1996, Truss worked for Shell as a commercial manager and Cable & Wireless as economics director, and became a qualified management accountant.[12]

After losing her first two elections, Truss became the full-time deputy director of Reform in January 2008,[13] where she advocated more rigorous academic standards in schools, a greater focus on tackling serious and organised crime, and urgent action to deal with Britain's falling competitiveness. She co-authored The Value of Mathematics[14] and A New Level[15] amongst other reports.

Political career

Truss was President of Oxford University Liberal Democrats and a member of the national executive committee of its youth and student wing. She also expressed republican sentiments at the 1994 Liberal Democrats conference.[16][17] Truss joined the Conservative Party in 1996.[18] She served as the chairman of the Lewisham Deptford Conservative Association from 1998 to 2000.[18] She was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Greenwich in 2006, standing down in 2010, shortly before the end of her term of office.

Parliamentary candidacy

Truss contested election for the Labour constituency of Hemsworth in 2001, swinging the vote by 4%.[11] Prior to the 2005 general election parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley Sue Catling was pressured to resign by the local Conservative Association,[19] whereupon Truss was selected to fight the seat. A locally divided Conservative party resulted in a hold for Labour.[20]

Under David Cameron as Conservative leader, Truss was added to the party's controversial 'A List'.[11] In October 2009, she was selected for the South West Norfolk seat by members of the constituency Conservative Association. She won over 50% of the vote in the first round of the final against five other candidates.[21][22] Shortly after her selection, some members of the constituency Association objected to Truss's selection, claiming that information about her infidelity, reported to have taken place several years earlier, with the Conservative MP Mark Field had been withheld from the members.[23][24] A motion was proposed to terminate Truss's candidature, but this was defeated by 132 votes to 37 at a general meeting of the Association's members three weeks later.[25]

Parliamentary career

Following her election to the House of Commons on 6 May 2010, Truss campaigned for issues including the retention of the RAF Tornado base at RAF Marham in her constituency;[26] over seven months she asked 13 questions in the Commons about RAF Marham, secured a special debate on the subject, wrote dozens of letters to ministers and collected signatures on a petition which was delivered to Downing Street.[27] She also successfully lobbied for the dualling of the A11 west of Thetford.[28] With an eye on the Thetford Forest, in her constituency, she spoke out against the proposal to sell off forests[29] and played a leading role in preventing a waste incinerator being built in West Norfolk.[27] Her work to campaign for design improvements to road junctions in her constituency, notably the A47, led to her being named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by road safety charity Brake in January 2013.[30]

In March 2011, she wrote a paper for the liberal think-tank CentreForum in which she argued for an end to bias against serious academic subjects in the education system so that social mobility can be improved.[31] Truss wrote a further paper for the same think-tank in May 2012, in which she argued for change in the structure of the childcare market in Britain.[32]

In October 2011, she founded the Free Enterprise Group, which has been supported by over 40 other Conservative MPs.[33] In September 2011, together with four other members of the Free Enterprise Group, she had co-authored After the Coalition, a book which sought to challenge the consensus that Britain's economic decline is inevitable by arguing for the return of a more entrepreneurial and meritocratic culture.[34]

A further volume by the same authors, Britannia Unchained, contained the claim that "Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world".[35] It was published in September 2012,[36] and billed as "an insightful and critical assessment of Britain's challenges in the face of future uncertainty". As part of a serialisation in The Daily Telegraph, Truss wrote an article previewing her chapter on the importance of science in education.[37]

Truss has championed Britain following Germany's lead in allowing people to have tax-free and less-heavily regulated "mini-jobs".[38] Since Truss published a paper on the policy for the Free Enterprise Group in February 2012, the policy has been examined by the Treasury as a policy to promote growth.[39][40]

Truss has campaigned for improved teaching of more rigorous school subjects, especially mathematics. She has publicised that only 20% of British students study maths to 18,[41] and called for maths classes to be compulsory for all those in full-time education.[42] Truss herself studied double A-level maths.[41] She has argued that comprehensive school pupils are being "mis-sold" easy, low-value subjects to boost school results: comprehensive school pupils are six times as likely to take media studies at A-level as privately educated pupils.[43] Truss has also criticised the over-reliance on calculators to the detriment of mental arithmetic.[44]

From March 2011, she was a Member of the Justice Select Committee,[45] remaining on the committee until her appointment as a government minister.

Junior Minister in the Department for Education

Liz Truss
Truss at the think-tank Policy Exchange in 2013

On 4 September 2012, Truss was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education, with responsibility for childcare and early learning, assessment, qualifications and curriculum reform, behaviour and attendance, and school food review.[46] In this role, she developed some of the policy areas that she had pursued as a backbencher.

In January 2013, she announced proposals to reform A-Levels, by concentrating examinations at the end of two-year courses.[47] She sought to improve British standards in maths for fear that children are falling behind those in Asian countries,[48] and led a fact-finding visit to schools and teacher-training centres in Shanghai in February 2014 to see how children there have become the best in the world at maths.[49]

Truss also outlined plans to reform childcare, intended to overhaul childcare qualifications, and provide more choice of quality education and care for parents.[50] The proposed reforms were broadly welcomed by some organisations such as the charity 4Children,[51] the Confederation of British Industry[52] and the College of West Anglia.[53] However, the proposals met opposition from others. The TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady and the then Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg were among those criticising the reforms,[54] echoed by some parents and childcare bodies, such as the charity National Day Nurseries Association.[55]

The columnist Polly Toynbee was highly critical of the minister's plans,[56] and challenged Truss to demonstrate how to care for two babies alongside four toddlers on her own. Truss responded to Toynbee's challenge by saying that being an early educator was a very demanding job, requiring great and specialist expertise, for which she was not trained.[57] In the event, aspects of the reforms relating to relaxation of childcare ratios were blocked by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In a 15 July 2014 cabinet reshuffle, Truss was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, replacing Owen Paterson. In apparent contrast to her predecessor,[58] Truss declared that she fully believed that climate change is happening,[59] and that "human beings have contributed to that".[60]

In November 2014, Truss launched a new 10-year bee and pollinator strategy to try and reverse the trend of falling bee populations,[61] including a strategy to revive traditional meadows which provide the most fertile habitat for pollinators. In July 2015, she approved the limited temporary lifting of an EU ban on the use of two neonicotinoid pesticides, enabling their use for 120 days on about 5% of England’s oil seed rape crop to ward off the cabbage stem flea beetle;[62] campaigners have warned that pesticides have been shown to harm bees by damaging their renowned ability to navigate home.[63]

Truss cut taxpayer subsidies for solar panels on agricultural land, as her view was that the land could be better used to grow crops, food and vegetables.[64] She described farming and food as "hotbeds of innovation"[65] and promoted the production and export of British food, including cheese, pork pies and apples.[66] Her 2014 remarks that "we import two-thirds of our cheese: that is a disgrace", and "opening up new pork markets" in Beijing were mocked on the satirical current affairs programme Have I Got News For You?[67][68][69]

In March 2015 she was one of only two Cabinet Ministers to vote against the government's proposals to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, in what was technically a free vote.[70]

Critics who have attempted to engage with her, according to George Monbiot in The Guardian,[71] have said that she is "indissolubly wedded to a set of theories about how the world should be, that are impervious to argument, facts or experience. She was among the first ministers to put her own department on the block in the latest [2015] spending review, volunteering massive cuts. She seems determined to dismantle the protections that secure our quality of life: the rules and agencies defending the places and wildlife we love."[71]

Secretary of State for Justice

On 14 July 2016, Truss was appointed as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor in Theresa May's first ministry. Truss became the first woman to hold either position. The decision to appoint her was criticised by the then Minister of State for Justice Edward Faulks, Baron Faulks, who resigned from the government, questioning whether she was going to have the clout to be able to stand up to the Prime Minister when necessary, on behalf of the judges.[72] Truss herself said that he did not contact her before going public with his criticism, and she had never met or spoken to him.[73]

In November 2016, Truss was further criticised, including by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve and the Criminal Bar Association, for failing to support more robustly the judiciary and the principle of judicial independence, after three judges of the Divisional Court came under attack from politicians and sections of the press for ruling against the government in the article 50 Brexit case.[74] Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor, who had previously suggested that, like her immediate predecessors Chris Grayling and Michael Gove, she lacked the essential legal expertise that the constitution requires, called for her to be sacked as Justice Secretary as her perceived inadequate response "signals to the judges that they have lost their constitutional protector."[75]

Truss denied she had failed to defend the judges. "An independent judiciary is the cornerstone of the rule of law, vital to our constitution and freedoms," she wrote. "It is my duty as Lord Chancellor to defend that independence. I swore to do so under my oath of office. I take that very seriously and I will always do so."[76] She also said that the independent judiciary was robust enough to withstand attack by the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.[77] However, in March 2017, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd told the House of Lords constitution select committee [that] Truss was "completely and utterly wrong" to say she could not criticise the media adding that "I can understand how the pressures were on in November, but she has taken a position that is constitutionally, absolutely wrong – The circuit judges were very concerned. They wrote to the Lord Chancellor because litigants in person were coming and saying 'you're an enemy of the people' – I don't think it is understood either how absolutely essential it is that we [the judges] are protected because we have to act as our oath requires us without fear or favour."[78]

Following a significant rise in prison violence incidents in 2015 and 2016,[79] Truss announced in November 2016 a £1.3 billion investment programme in the prison service and the recruitment of 2,500 additional prison officers, partly reversing the cuts made under the previous coalition government.[80][81]

Chief Secretary to the Treasury

On 11 June 2017, following the General Election, Truss was moved to the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury, attending the Cabinet but not a full member of it, in what was seen by some as a demotion.[82]

Truss developed an enthusiasm for cultivating her presence on Twitter and Instagram. The Times described this as an unorthodox approach that had won her fans.[83][84] She was also closely involved in the launch of the free market campaign group, Freer.[85]

In June 2018, Truss gave a speech at the London School of Economics outlining her declared commitment to freedom and individual liberty. She criticised regulations that get in the way of people's lives and warned that raising taxes could see the Tories being "crushed" at the polls;[86] in particular, she criticised ministerial colleagues who should, in her view, realise "that it's not macho just to demand more money. It's much tougher to demand better value and challenge the blob of vested interests within your department."[87] Her speech also contained jokes at the expense of other ministers, including Michael Gove.[88] She was reportedly berated for this by the Prime Minister Theresa May, although Truss and Gove both maintained that they were good friends.[89]

Bibliography

  • Truss, Liz (June 2008). The value of mathematics. Reform.
  • Truss, Liz (June 2009). A new level. Reform.
  • Truss, Liz (15 March 2011). Academic rigour and social mobility: how low income students are being kept out of top jobs. Centre Forum. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012.
  • Truss, Liz; et al. (2011). After the Coalition. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 9781849542128.
  • Truss, Liz (May 2012). Affordable quality: new approaches to childcare (PDF). Centre Forum. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  • Truss, Liz; et al. (2012). Britannia unchained: global lessons for growth and prosperity. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137032249. Details.

References

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External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Fraser
Member of Parliament
for South West Norfolk

2010–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Owen Paterson
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Andrea Leadsom
Preceded by
Michael Gove
Secretary of State for Justice
2016–2017
Succeeded by
David Lidington
Lord Chancellor
2016–2017
Preceded by
David Gauke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
2017–present
Incumbent
Alun Cairns

Alun Hugh Cairns (born 30 July 1970) is a Welsh Conservative politician, who became Secretary of State for Wales on 19 March 2016. He was previously a member of the National Assembly for Wales for the South Wales West region from the 1999 Welsh Assembly Election until 2011, and was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Vale of Glamorgan.

Biteback Publishing

Biteback Publishing is a British publisher concentrating mainly on political titles. It was incorporated, as a private limited company with share capital, in 2009. It is jointly owned by its managing director Iain Dale and by Michael Ashcroft's Political Holdings Ltd, and has published several of Ashcroft's books including Call Me Dave, his controversial 2015 biography of David Cameron.Other titles include The Left's Jewish Problem (2016) and Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World (2017) by investigative journalist James Ball.Biteback's author roster includes Andrew Adonis, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Roger Bannister, John Bercow, Conrad Black, Gyles Brandreth, Elkie Brooks, Liam Byrne, Alastair Campbell, Chapman Pincher, Ann Clwyd, Michael Crick, Barry Cryer, Edwina Currie, David Davis, Angela Eagle, Nigel Farage, Norman Fowler, Paul Gambaccini, Charlotte Green, Peter Hain, Vince Hilaire, Ken Hom, Barbara Hosking, Lee Howey, John Hutton, Antony Jay, Stanley Johnson, Nigel Lawson, Oliver Letwin, Maureen Lipman, Caroline Lucas, Jonathan Lynn, Denis MacShane, Brian Mawhinney, Damian McBride, Michael Meacher, Austin Mitchell, Ron Moody, Bel Mooney, Jim Murphy, Airey Neave, Michael Nicholson, Jessye Norman, Isabel Oakeshott, David Owen, Matthew Parris, Priti Patel, Harvey Proctor, Vicky Pryce, Mike Read, Malcolm Rifkind, Geoffrey Robertson, Nick Ross, Andrew Sachs, Bernie Sanders, Gillian Shephard, Jacqui Smith, Michael Spicer, Sean Spicer, Elizabeth Truss, David Waddington, Nigel West and Michael Winner.

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Britannia Unchained

Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity is a political book written by several British Conservative Party right-wing MPs. It was released on 13 September 2012. Its authors present a treatise, arguing that Britain should adopt a different and radical approach to business and economics or risk "an inevitable slide into mediocrity".The book is written by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss – five Tory MPs who were elected in May 2010 and belong to the party's Thatcherite-leaning Free Enterprise Group. The text sets out their vision for the United Kingdom's future as a leading player in the global economy, arguing that Britain needs to adopt a far-reaching form of free market economics, with fewer employment laws, and suggesting the UK should learn lessons from the business and economic practices of other countries, including Canada, Australia and the tiger economies of the Far East like China and Singapore.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury is the third most senior ministerial position in HM Treasury, after the First Lord of the Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was created in 1961, to share the burden of representing the Treasury with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Between 1961 and 2015 the holder of the post of Chief Secretary to the Treasury was automatically a member of the Cabinet making the Treasury the only Department to have two ministers automatically serving in the Cabinet. Since 2015, however, the status of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has been reduced to an "also attending Cabinet" role.

The position's responsibilities include negotiating with departments about budget allocations, public sector pay, and procurement policy.

David Gauke

David Michael Gauke (; born 8 October 1971) is a British Conservative Party politician and solicitor serving as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor since 2018 and Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Hertfordshire since 2005. He was appointed as Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor in January 2018.

David Lidington

David Roy Lidington (born 30 June 1956) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Aylesbury since 1992. On 8 January 2018, he assumed the roles of Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He has been frequently described as Theresa May's de facto deputy Prime Minister.Between 2010 and 2016, he served as Minister of State for Europe holding the position for the entirety of David Cameron's premiership, a longer period than all his predecessors. Theresa May appointed him to the cabinet for the first time in June 2016, where he has held a number of roles including Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

David Mundell

David Gordon Mundell, (born 27 May 1962) is a British Conservative Party politician and solicitor. He was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland in May 2015, the first openly gay Conservative to hold a ministerial position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in Scotland since 2005.

He was elected as MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in 2005 and was promoted to Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland from 2005 to 2010 and Under-Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010 to 2015. He has served in the Cabinet as Scotland Secretary since 2015, the first Conservative to hold the position since Michael Forsyth in 1997.

Greg Clark

Gregory David Clark (born 28 August 1967) is a British Conservative Party politician who is the MP for Tunbridge Wells and a British Cabinet minister serving as the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, though before 1988 he was a member of the Social Democratic Party (UK), demonstrating his centrist approach to Politics.

Clark was born in Middlesbrough and studied Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was president of Cambridge University Social Democrats. He then gained his PhD from the London School of Economics. Clark worked as a business consultant before becoming the BBC's Controller for Commercial Policy and then Director of Policy for the Conservative Party from 2001 until his election to parliament in 2005.

Between July 2014 and May 2015, he held the post of Minister for Universities, Science and Cities. Clark was previously Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the minister responsible for cities policy, and Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government and then was Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government from May 2015 until July 2016.In July 2016, he was appointed as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy by new Prime Minister Theresa May. He is described as an "economically liberal Conservative with a social conscience".

James Cartlidge

James Roger Cartlidge (born 30 April 1974) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for South Suffolk since May 2015.

Jeremy Wright

Jeremy Paul Wright (born 24 October 1972) is an English Conservative Party politician and lawyer who was Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland from 2014 to 2018, and has served as Culture Secretary since July 2018. He is Member of Parliament (MP) for Kenilworth and Southam, and from 2005 to 2010 was MP for Rugby and Kenilworth, which was abolished in boundary changes at the 2010 general election.

Justice Select Committee

The Justice Select Committee of the United Kingdom is a select committee of the House of Commons which scrutinizes the policy, administration, and spending of the Ministry of Justice. In addition, the committee examines the work of the Law Officers of the Crown, the Serious Fraud Office, and the Crown Prosecution Service. The committee also reviews draft Sentencing Guidelines issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.

Justine Greening

Justine Greening (born 30 April 1969) is a British Conservative Party politician who served as Secretary of State for Education from 2016 to 2018, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney since 2005.

Greening served in the Cameron Government as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Transport, prior to being appointed Secretary of State for International Development in September 2012. From 14 July 2016 to 8 January 2018, she served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities in the May Government. She resigned as Education Secretary in the January 2018 Cabinet reshuffle.

Matt Hancock

Matthew John David Hancock (born 2 October 1978) is a British politician of the Conservative Party serving as Member of Parliament for West Suffolk since 2010 and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care since 2018.

Hancock was born in Cheshire, where his family run a software business. Hancock studied PPE at Exeter College, Oxford and Economics at Christ's College, Cambridge. He worked as an economist for the Bank of England before becoming an economic advisor (and later Chief of Staff) to George Osborne.

Following his election in 2010, he served in a number of middle-ranking ministerial positions from September 2013 onwards under both David Cameron and Theresa May. He was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in January 2018. On 9 July 2018, after the promotion of Jeremy Hunt to Foreign Secretary, Hancock was named Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Michael Fallon

Sir Michael Cathel Fallon (born 14 May 1952) is a British politician of the Conservative Party serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sevenoaks since 1997. From 2014 to 2017, he was Secretary of State for Defence and a member of the National Security Council. He was previously Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party (2010–2012), Minister of State for Business and Enterprise (2012–2014), Minister of State for Energy (2013–2014), and Minister of State for Portsmouth (2014).

Natalie Evans, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park

Natalie Jessica Evans, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, (born 29 November 1975) is a British Conservative Party politician serving as Leader of the House of Lords. She was made a life peer in 2014.

Oxford Farming Conference

The Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) is an annual conference for the UK's farmers that takes place in Oxford, United Kingdom, in the first week of January.

The 73rd annual conference will run from 2-4 January 2019 at University of Oxford's Examination Schools, in the High Street, central Oxford. The theme “World of Opportunity" will be explored and discussed by visionary speakers from around the world. Future farming, innovation and the world beyond Brexit will be three key topics at the 2019 event.

Speakers in the past have included (listed in their role at time of conference):

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Hilary Benn,

chief scientist of the UK government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Professor Robert Watson

NFU President Peter Kendall

RT Hon Owen Paterson MP

Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs RT Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), George Eustice MP

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Wales, Lesley Griffiths

Director General of the National Trust, Dame Helen Ghosh

Chief Strategy Officer AHDB, Tom HindThe OFC has been mentioned in the long-running BBC Radio 4 series, The Archers.

Patrick McLoughlin

Sir Patrick Allen McLoughlin (born 30 November 1957) is a British Conservative politician. He first became a member of parliament (MP) at the 1986 by-election in West Derbyshire. The constituency became the Derbyshire Dales for the 2010 general election; McLoughlin has remained the seat's MP. As a former miner, he is one of the few Conservative MPs to have been a manual worker before being elected to Parliament. On 4 September 2012, he was appointed Secretary of State for Transport. On 14 July 2016, he became Chairman of the Conservative Party and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, under the new administration of Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May. He resigned as chairman on 8 January 2018.

Philip Hammond

Philip Anthony Hammond (born 4 December 1955) is a British Conservative politician serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer since 2016 and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Runnymede and Weybridge since 1997.

Hammond was born in Epping, Essex, and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford. He worked from 1984 as a company director at Castlemead Ltd – a healthcare and nursing company. From 1995-97 he acted as an adviser to the government of Malawi before his election to Parliament. He was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet by David Cameron in 2005 as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, remaining in this position until a 2007 reshuffle when he became Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

After the formation of the Coalition Government in May 2010, he was appointed Secretary of State for Transport and was sworn of the Privy Council. Upon the resignation of Liam Fox over a scandal in October 2011, Hammond was promoted to replace him as Secretary of State for Defence, before being further promoted in July 2014 to become Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.In July 2016, after Theresa May succeeded Cameron as Prime Minister, Hammond was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. As Chancellor, Hammond has suggested that the government may begin a reduction in austerity measures.

South West Norfolk (UK Parliament constituency)

South West Norfolk is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Elizabeth Truss, a Conservative.

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