Julia Goldsworthy

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Julia Goldsworthy
Julia Goldsworthy, MP.JPG
Member of Parliament
for Falmouth and Camborne
In office
5 May 2005 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Candy Atherton
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Personal details
Born (1978-09-10) 10 September 1978 (age 36)
Camborne, Cornwall
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrats
Alma mater Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Profession Special Adviser

Julia Anne Goldsworthy (born 10 September 1978) is a Special Adviser in HM Treasury to Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. She was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Falmouth and Camborne from 2005 until she lost her seat by 66 votes to George Eustice, the Conservative candidate in the 2010 general election in the redefined Camborne and Redruth constituency. In the House of Commons she was the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Communities and Local Government.

Early life[edit]

Goldsworthy was born in Camborne, Cornwall, where her mother was a local teacher. She was educated locally at the St Meriadoc Primary School in Camborne before winning a scholarship to the independent Truro School. She took a gap year between school and starting university in 1997, and in 2000 she graduated from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge with a BA (Hons) degree, in History. She then spent a year at Daiichi University of Economics in the Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the following year completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Economics at Birkbeck College, London in 2002.

Between 2002 and 2004 she worked in Westminster as an economics researcher for the Liberal Democrat MP for Truro and St Austell, Matthew Taylor, who represented the seat next to the one she would go on to represent. In 2004, she was appointed as a regeneration officer with the Carrick District Council where she worked until her election to Westminster less than a year later.

Parliamentary career[edit]

She was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 General Election for Falmouth and Camborne when she ousted the sitting Labour MP Candy Atherton. Goldsworthy won the seat with a majority of 1,886 and made her maiden speech on 19 May 2005.[1] Goldsworthy was later accused of a dirty tricks campaign, as in her election literature she had published a photograph of Atherton looking rain-swept and dishevelled next to a photograph of herself looking smart, with the caption "Who do you want as your next MP?". A constituent accused Goldsworthy of turning the campaign into a beauty contest. She names former Cornish MP David Penhaligon (1944–1986) as her greatest hero. Her election in 2005 meant that the Liberal Democrats held all the Westminster Parliament seats in Cornwall, for the first time since 1923.

In 2005, she was appointed as a spokesperson on health by Charles Kennedy, and promoted in 2006 by new leader Sir Menzies Campbell as Vince Cable's deputy in the Treasury team. She was also member of the Public Administration Select Committee from 2005 until mid-2006.[2] Julia Goldsworthy was promoted again in December 2007 to become the Liberal Democrat shadow secretary on Communities and Local Government. As an MP, she worked on issues such as the 'Axe the Tax' campaign against council tax, pensions, student tuition fees, health funding formulas and the abolition of central housing targets on local communities.

During her parliamentary career, Goldsworthy also used the social networking website Facebook as a way of gauging the opinions and views of her constituents, and this has led her to campaign for various issues. On 14 May 2008 in the House of Commons debates, she presented a petition on behalf of many thousands of people living in Cornwall who would like to see Cornwall be recognised as a network region on the website.[3][4] It was announced in December 2009, however, that Facebook will be discontinuing regional networks, and that all present networks will be closed. Goldsworthy is a supporter of the Facebook Cornish Tickbox for the 2011 Census campaign.[5]

In the 2010 General Election, Goldsworthy lost her seat by 66 votes (0.16%) to the Conservative challenger George Eustice.[6]

Expenses[edit]

The Daily Telegraph showed that Goldsworthy in 2006 bought a "£999 television, £1,500 of furniture in House of Fraser, a £1,111 sofa bed and a £1,200 rocking chair from Heal’s, an upmarket furniture store", as part of moving into an unfurnished flat, but she did not claim the full amount for these items.[7] Between 2005 and 2008 she also regularly claimed £400 per month for food, as many other MPs did at the time, without providing receipts to prove the expenditure. She has responded with a full account of her transactions and a statement that she opposed steps to block the publication of MPs' expenses claims.[8] In February 2010 it was again reported that she repaid £1005 for the "designer pink rocking chair" (this was repaid in June 2009) and £171.32 over-claimed in mortgage interest in 2005-06.[9]

Post-parliamentary career[edit]

Within days of her defeat in the 2010 election, she was named special adviser to Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, Julia Goldsworthy competed on the Channel 4 show The Games where she was runner-up. She raised £20,000 for the Cornish Air Ambulance. She competed in swimming, hurdles, hammer, curling, track cycling, sprint and kayak slalom. In parliament, she was the chairwoman of the all-party rowing group; she rows in a Cornish pilot gig.

She was married to Christopher Church on 19 May 2012 in Camborne Parish Church.[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (2005-05-19). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 19 May 2005 (pt 24)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  2. ^ See current Membership List Committee Website and previous Committee Reports.
  3. ^ "Julia Golsworthy - Facebook petition for Cornwall". Theyworkforyou.com. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  4. ^ "Julia Goldsworthy - Facebook". Apps.facebook.com. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  5. ^ "Goldsworthy is a supporter of the Facebook Cornish Tickbox for the 2011 Census campaign". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  6. ^ "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Camborne & Redruth". BBC News. 
  7. ^ Winnett, Robert (2009-05-13). "''Daily Telegraph'' allegations 13 May 2009: "Julia Goldsworthy’s home spree as deadline loomed: MPs' expenses: Julia Goldsworthy, the Liberal Democrat local government spokesman, spent thousands of pounds on expensive furniture just days before the deadline for using up parliamentary allowances"". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  8. ^ West Briton (Falmouth & Penryn edition) 14 May 2009, Front page "Goldsworthy: 'I did not set up a spending spree'".
  9. ^ "MPs expenses | repayments - Julia Goldsworthy, Andrew George and Colin Breed | Sir Thomas Legg | Cornwall Lib-Dems MPs | Western Morning News". Thisiscornwall.co.uk. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  10. ^ "Former MP Julia Goldsworthy appointed special adviser". BBC Online. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ex-Lib Dem MP Julia to marry at Camborne". Western Morning News. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Candy Atherton
Member of Parliament for Falmouth and Camborne
2005 - 2010
Succeeded by
George Eustice