Angela Watkinson

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Dame Angela Watkinson
DBE
Angela watkinson2011.jpg
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Succeeded by Anne Milton
Member of Parliament
for Hornchurch and Upminster
Upminster (2001–2010)
In office
7 June 2001 – 3 May 2017
Preceded by Keith Darvill
Personal details
Born (1941-11-18) 18 November 1941 (age 75)
Leytonstone, Essex, England, UK
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Roy Watkinson
Religion United Reformed Church
Website www.angelawatkinson.org.uk

Dame Angela Eileen Watkinson, DBE (née Ellicott; 18 November 1941) is a British politician. She was Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Hornchurch and Upminster until 2017, and was first elected in 2001 to the earlier seat of Upminster, defeating Labour's Keith Darvill who had taken the seat from the Conservatives in 1997. She was re-elected with an increased majorities in 2005 and 2010.

On 19 April 2017, Watkinson announced that she would not be standing for re-election in the 2017 general election.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Leytonstone, Essex, she attended Wanstead County High School (a grammar school, now Wanstead High School) on Redbridge Lane West in Wanstead. In 1989, she gained a Public Administration Higher National Certificate from Anglia Higher Education College. She worked for the Bank of New South Wales (since 1982 the Westpac Banking Corporation) from 1958–64 and became a secretary in 1976 of a Special School in Essex, which helps physically handicapped children with riding lessons. In 1988, she became a clerk to a school governing body, then committee clerk to Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council from 1988–89. From 1989–94, she was a committee manager for Basildon District Council. She was a councillor for Havering London Borough Council from 1994–98, and on Essex County Council from 1997–2001.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Watkinson was a member of the right-wing Conservative Monday Club but resigned her membership in October 2001 when the newly elected Conservative leader Iain Duncan-Smith suspended his party's links with the Monday club. He declared that the club's views on race and immigration were incompatible with his plans to reform the party, and Watkinson was one of three Conservative MPs forced to leave the group.[2][3] An opponent of abortion, she introduced a Private Member's Bill on 14 June 2006, which would have forced doctors offering abortion, or contraception advice to under-16s, to inform the child's parents. MPs voted by 159 to 87 to reject the bill.

At a press conference on 13 March 2007, Watkinson stated that "the whole premise of sex education was wrong".[4] Watkinson is among a dozen or so MPs who hold the most definite record on sexual identity politics, disapproving of every piece of legislation supportive of homosexuality that has passed through the House of Commons.[5] An exception was her vote in support of the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 5 February 2013.[6]

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for public and political service.[7]

Watkinson has expressed opposition to the introduction of non-branded packaging for cigarettes; in a debate on this in 2014, Labour MP Diana Johnson pointed out that Watkinson had accepted hospitality and two tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show, worth £1,260, from Japan Tobacco, makers of Benson & Hedges cigarettes.[8] She is an outspoken supporter of Israel and often speaks about this in the House of Commons.

In spite of her background as a right-wing "lifelong Eurosceptic", she supported the Remain campaign in 2016 and opposed Brexit prior to the 2016 European Union membership referendum.[9]

On 19 April 2017, Watkinson announced that she would not be standing for re-election in the 2017 general election.[1]

Personal life[edit]

She lives in Essex and Westminster, and is a member and elder of the United Reformed Church. She is a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship. She married Roy Watkinson, now a retired Metropolitan Police officer, in 1961 in Essex; the couple has a son and two daughters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Election 2017: Hornchurch and Upminster MP Dame Angela Watkinson to step down". Romford Recorder. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  2. ^ White, Michael (8 October 2001). "Duncan Smith orders three MPs to quit Monday Club". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2007. 
  3. ^ Brogan, Benedict (7 October 2001). "Leader orders three to leave Monday Club". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2007. 
  4. ^ "Teen abortion 'right to know' bid". BBC News. 14 March 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  5. ^ "Angela Watkinson profile at". Public Whip. 
  6. ^ "Gay marriage: MPs back legislation". BBC News. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 7. 
  8. ^ Government to move ahead with standardised cigarette packets, BBC News, 3 April 2014
  9. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Keith Darvill
Member of Parliament for Upminster
20012010
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Hornchurch and Upminster
20102017
Succeeded by
To be elected