Andrea Leadsom

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Andrea Leadsom
MP
Andrea Leadsom MP.jpg
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 April 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Nicky Morgan
Member of Parliament
for South Northamptonshire
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency created
Majority 20,478 (34.2%)
Personal details
Born (1963-05-13) 13 May 1963 (age 51)
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England[1]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Ben Leadsom
Alma mater University of Warwick
Religion Anglican

Andrea Jacqueline Leadsom[2] (born 13 May 1963),[1][3] is the Conservative Member of Parliament for South Northamptonshire.[4] Since 9 April 2014 she has been Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Early life[edit]

Leadsom was born in Aylesbury and attended Tonbridge Girls' Grammar School before reading Political Science at the University of Warwick.[1]

Career before Parliament[edit]

Leadsom worked in the financial sector for BZW, Barclays Bank - where she was Financial Institutions Director from 1993 to 1997 - and was Managing Director of De Putron Fund Management (DPFM) between 1997 and 1999. She was Senior Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual from 1999 to 2009.[1]

Political career[edit]

Prior to becoming an MP, Leadsom was a Councillor on South Oxfordshire District Council between 2003 and 2007.[1][5] She contested Knowsley South constituency in the 2005 general election[1][5] and was a member of the Conservative A-List.[6] She was chosen to stand as the candidate in the newly created South Northamptonshire constituency in June 2006 and was elected at the 2010 general election with a majority of more than 20,000.

After entering the House of Commons, she was appointed a member of the Treasury Select Committee.[5] In July 2012, during the Libor scandal, she suggested that George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, should apologise to Ed Balls for "suggesting he was implicated in rate fixing."[7] In response to a specific question on a radio programme about whether Osborne should apologise she responded "Yes I do. I mean I think obviously he made a mistake and I think he should apologise."[7]

In February 2013 Leadsom decided that she would oppose equal marriage and vote against the Government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill to introduce same-sex marriage in England and Wales. She said she found the wording of the legislation “unacceptable”, and that she wanted to reflect the views of “so many” of her constituents, who felt that the bill was “deeply wrong”.[8] However, she later chose to register a positive abstention — by walking through both division lobbies — as she found herself "genuinely torn on the debate."[9]

Leadsom was a founder and leader of the Fresh Start Project seeking reform of the UK's relationship with the European Union.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury[edit]

On 9 April 2014 Leadsom was appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury in the mini-reshuffle caused by Maria Miller's resignation from the Cabinet.

Following her appointment, it was discovered that she had placed her shares in a buy-to-let property company, which she had started with her husband in 2003, into trusts for the benefit of her children. This is a move that is commonly used to avoid inheritance tax. She also took advantage of offshore banking arrangements for the property company in an apparent contradiction to George Osborne’s attempts to crack down on tax avoidance.[10] A spokesperson for Leadsom said: “This is a normal corporate situation and all tax that is due is being paid. None of the loans for the properties are based offshore”.

There was further criticism when it was revealed that she had received a series of donations totalling £70,000 from a firm based in London but owned by her Guernsey-based brother-in-law, Peter de Putron, via a holding company in the British Virgin Islands tax haven.[11] Leadsom’s husband Ben is a director of the firm which made the donations, which were used to pay the salaries of staff in Leadsom’s Westminster office after her election as MP; the firm has also made donations of £816,000 to the Conservative party.[12] Because the firm making the donations, Gloucester Research (later becoming GR Software and Research) was based in London the donations conformed to the rule banning political donations from abroad. The Labour MP Tom Watson said: “These very large donations might be within the rules, but it certainly isn’t right that a Treasury minister has been taking money in this way. Most reasonable people will see this as completely unreasonable”.[11]

As the government minister responsible for financial services she oversees the regulation of hedge funds, including London-based DP Management which is owned by her benefactor Mr de Putron, who is married to her sister.[13]

Constituency[edit]

Leadsom is a founding trustee of NORPIP, the Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership, a charity to help parents bond with their babies.[14] In 2009 she launched the Towcester job club, followed in 2011 by a job club in Brackley.[15]

Personal life[edit]

She married Ben Leadsom in 1993 and has two sons and one daughter.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g ‘LEADSOM, Andrea Jacqueline’, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 2012 accessed 2 Jan 2013
  2. ^ Search Results. london-gazette.co.uk
  3. ^ Andrea Leadsom – Parliamentary candidates – Telegraph. Ukpolitics.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-05-08.
  4. ^ Home. Andrea Leadsom. Retrieved on 2012-05-08.
  5. ^ a b c Andrea Leadsom, www.parliament.org. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
  6. ^ ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Where are the original A-Listers now? The 18 who have been selected for Conservative seats. Conservativehome.blogs.com (2009-04-21). Retrieved on 2012-05-08.
  7. ^ a b "Libor scandal: William Hague rejects Ed Balls apology calls". BBC news. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Tory Northamptonshire MP: "I support the love of gay couples but it is unacceptable for them to be able to marry", www.pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-01
  9. ^ "Same Sex Marriage — UPDATED", Andrea Leadsom's blog. Retrieved 2013-05-05
  10. ^ Harper, Tom (17 April 2014). "Revealed: how City minister Andrea Leadsom used controversial trusts to reduce her potential inheritance-tax bill". The Independent (London). Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Armitage, Jim; McSmith, Andy; Harper, Tom (13 July 2014). "Andrea Leadsom received £70,000 donation from family firm with parent company controlled in tax haven". The Independent (London). Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Leigh, David; Ball, James; Haddou, Leila (8 July 2014). "Top Tory has family link with offshore banker who gave party £800,000". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Private Eye (2014). “Andrea Leadsom: Family funds”, Private Eye, Issue No. 1371, 25 July – 7 August 2014.
  14. ^ "NORPIP:Board of trustees". NORPIP Nothamptonshire Parent Infant partnership. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Andrea Leadsom:Job Clubs". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Constituency created
Member of Parliament for South Northamptonshire
2010–present
Incumbent