|Member of Parliament
for Suffolk Coastal
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||John Gummer|
18 November 1971 |
Billinge, Lancashire, England
|Alma mater||Somerville College, University of Oxford|
Therese Anne Coffey, Ph.D, (born 18 November 1971) is an English Conservative Party politician. She is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Suffolk Coastal constituency, having won the seat at the general election in May 2010.
Early life and career
Therese Coffey was born in Billinge, near Wigan, and grew up in Liverpool. Therese attended St Mary's College, Crosby and St Edward's College, Liverpool. She studied at Somerville College, Oxford, followed by University College London where she earned a PhD in Chemistry
On graduation in 1997 she joined Mars, Incorporated in Hampshire as a chemist, later training as a Chartered Management Accountant, rising to hold the position of Finance director for Mars Drinks UK.[when?] As her political career progressed, she moved her work base to London, holding the position of Property Finance manager at the BBC in 2009.
In European Parliament elections in June 2004, she failed to be elected to the European Parliament for the South East region of England. The Conservative party won 35.2% of the vote giving them 4 seats, but Coffey was 7th on the list in this proportional representation system.
At the next European elections, in 2009 then living in Andover, Hampshire, she missed out by one place on being elected to the European Parliament for the South East region. The Conservative Party won 34.79% of the vote giving them 4 seats, but Coffey was fifth on the party list.
- General Election - local selection as candidate
In October 2009, in her first open primary she failed to become the Conservative candidate for South West Norfolk constituency, losing to Elizabeth Truss. Similarly, three months later she lost out in Spelthorne, in Surrey to Kwasi Kwarteng.
After being selected on 6 February 2010 to as Conservative candidate in Suffolk Coastal, Coffey moved from Hampshire to Westleton. Rev David Miller, the vice-chairman of the local Liberal Democrats raised questions over the status of her residency there claiming that "The address at which Ms Coffey currently resides is a holiday let" with reference to her Westleton property. She owns a flat and partly owns a house, both in Hampshire, and has the tenancy of a house in Westleton.
At the general election on 6 May 2010 she won the Suffolk Coastal seat, becoming the constituency's first female member of parliament. Coffey received 25,475 votes (46.4% of the vote) an increase of 1.8% on John Gummer's 2005 campaign. She is a supporter of the Free Enterprise Group.
- Initial response to phone hacking investigations and subsequent position
On 6 July 2011, Coffey defended Rebekah Brooks in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Coffey said a "witch hunt" was developing against Brooks. She said that simply to say she was editor at the time is not enough evidence against her. She became a member of the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee inquiry into the hacking scandal in 2012. In that committee, she declined to support any motions critical of Rupert and James Murdoch. However she later joined the majority of her party in voting for exemplary damages to be a default consequence to deter press misbehaviour.
Coffey's decision to author a paper for the Free Enterprise Group recommending pensioners should be forced to pay National Insurance provoked backlash among older constituents, claiming that in an already tough economic environment, it was wrong to tax pensioners further. However, Mrs Coffey said that she had "no regrets writing about National Insurance" and that it was "a policy proposal - it is by no means, at this stage, anymore than that."
The Member of Parliament has also faced criticism from Suffolk residents over her support for the Government's proposal to sell off forestry and woodland in public ownership, in 2011. Protestors argued that “previous experience shows us that when private landowners come in they close car parks and make access as difficult as possible.”.  Although Dr Coffey voted for the bill, the proposal has since been dropped by the government.
- "Therese Coffey MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- Who's Who, 2012
- Biodata on Coffey
- Curzon Supper Club blogsite
- "Polictics section Therese Coffey: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian.
- The Telegraph European elections 2009 South East region
- Conservative Party blogsite
- Sam Blackledge (20 January 2010). "Candidates prepare to fight for Spelthorne MP seat". getsurrey.co.uk (Surrey Advertiser).
- Staines News 25/1/2010
- Biodata on Coffey, ibid.
- West Sussex Conservatives website
- Conservative Party blogsite
- Evening Star
- Property holdings
- BBC Election Results
- Free Enterprise Group
- The Guardian 2 May 2012
- The Public Whip Retrieved 2013-03-26
- Porrit, Richard. "Suffolk Coastal: MP stands by proposals to force pensioners to pay NI". East Anglain Daily Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Robinson, Craig. "MP faces criticism at heated forest meeting". East Anglain Daily Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Therese Coffey MP, Suffolk Coastal voted strongly for the policy Sell England's Public Forests". Public Whip. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "'No sell-off' for public forests". BBC. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Commons call for Kenny Dalglish knighthood". BBC News. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
- ThereseCoffeyMP.com constituency website
- ThereseCoffey.com political blog
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Suffolk Coastal