Anne Milton

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The Right Honourable
Anne Milton
Anne Milton Official.jpg
Treasurer of the Household
Commons Deputy Chief Whip
Assumed office
11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Don Foster
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
14 July 2014 – 11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Desmond Swayne
Succeeded by Kris Hopkins
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Angela Watkinson
Succeeded by Gavin Barwell
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health
In office
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Gillian Merron (Minister of State)
Succeeded by Anna Soubry
Member of Parliament
for Guildford
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Sue Doughty
Majority 7,782 (14.0%)
Personal details
Born (1955-11-03) 3 November 1955 (age 60)
Cuckfield, Sussex, England
Nationality English
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) (1) Neil Milton 1979 (div.)
(2) Graham Henderson 2000
Children Four
Alma mater Haywards Heath Grammar School
Occupation Minister of state for health
Profession Politician

Anne Frances Milton (née Turner; born 3 November 1955) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Guildford since 2005. After service on the Health Select Committee, in November 2006 she was appointed Shadow Minister for Tourism.[1] In July 2007 she was appointed Shadow Health Minister.[2] In 2010, she was appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state for health as part of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.[3] Following a ministerial reshuffle in September 2012, Milton is currently a Government whip.

Professional life[edit]

Milton was educated at Haywards Heath Grammar School (became Haywards Heath Sixth Form College in 1980, then Central Sussex College Sixth Form Campus in 2005) on Harlands Road in West Sussex. She married Neil Milton in 1979 in Haywards Heath, whom she later divorced. She trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London and worked for the NHS for 25 years, as a District Nurse and for people requiring palliative care. Her current husband, Dr Graham Henderson, whom she married in February 2000 in Surrey, also works in the NHS in the field of community medicine, and is Director of Public Health for the East Surrey PCT. She has four children, including a son born in July 1987 and a daughter born in August 1993.

Political experience[edit]

Milton was a councillor in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead 1999–2004 and led the Conservative Group on the council. She was a member of the South East England Regional Assembly and Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Medical Society. She applied to go on the Conservative Party's list of Parliamentary candidates in 1999, and was rated highly by the party. In the selection for Bexhill and Battle in August 2000 and at Bridgwater, she was among the three finalists but lost out narrowly and did not find another seat for the 2001 general election.


In 2002, Milton was selected for Guildford, a seat which the Conservatives had unexpectedly lost in 2001 to the Liberal Democrats. This was one of the first selections to be made and Milton stood out not only because few women had been selected. Her connection to health care, an area in which the Conservatives felt weak, and her lack of interest in issues such as British membership of the European Union and asylum-seekers, meant that she was thought of as a member of the modernising wing of the Conservative Party.

Following Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith's 2003 conference speech, Milton was interviewed in the Sunday Herald newspaper published in Glasgow. She stated that the priority she heard from the people of Guildford was crime, but lamented the poor press reaction to Duncan Smith's speech. After Duncan Smith was defeated in a vote of confidence among Conservative MPs, she immediately backed Michael Howard as the new leader; following his election, she played host to his wife Sandra on a campaign trip to Guildford.

2005 general election[edit]

There was a good deal of interest in the result at Guildford in the 2005 general election, prompted not only by the fact that the seat was highly marginal but also by the relatively rare phenomenon of two female candidates from major parties contesting a seat.[4] Milton highlighted Conservative plans to abolish regional planning bodies and reduce the amount of new housing built in the area, especially on green field sites. The then sitting Liberal Democrat MP Sue Doughty highlighted the fact that Milton lived outside the constituency, in Reigate, prompting Milton to respond, "It isn't in Tierra del Fuego!". Milton won by just 347 votes, after two recounts.


Milton speaking at a Health Hotel session on the credit crunch and public health during the 2009 Conservative Party Conference.

Once in Parliament, she was appointed to the Health Select Committee, serving until December 2006, following her appointment as Shadow Minister for Tourism. She announced her backing for David Cameron in the Conservative Party leadership election on 11 October 2005, becoming the 29th Conservative MP to support him. She offered herself as a candidate for the 1922 Committee executive in January 2006 but was not elected.

In February 2006, Milton was among a minority of Conservative MPs to oppose exceptions for private clubs from the proposed Smoking ban in England.[5] Milton had previously announced her opposition to a partial ban, stating it was "the worst possible solution".[6] In summer 2007 David Cameron appointed her Shadow Minister for Health.

Milton emerged well from the 2009 MPs expenses scandal, being deemed a Daily Telegraph "saint" for not claiming any money for her second home despite her constituency being 30 miles from Westminster.[7]

Milton retained her seat in the 2010 general election, increasing her majority to 14 per cent.

In March 2015, she was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom and therefore granted the title The Right Honourable.[8]


In July 2010, Milton suggested that doctors should describe obese patients as 'fat' to encourage them to take responsibility for their condition. This was criticised by campaigners who pointed out that a clinical definition was being replaced with a subjective, pejorative term.[9]

Anne Milton, along with other political representatives in Guildford, has persistently pledged her support for Guildford City Football Club but has come under fire for failing to fulfil promises to help the club find a suitable site to build a permanent ground in the borough.[10]


  1. ^ Jenkin axed in Cameron reshuffle. BBC News (8 November 2006). Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  2. ^ Guildford | Conservatives. Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  3. ^ Her Majesty’s Government. Number 10 (19 May 2010). Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  4. ^ Rod Liddle, "Battle of the Guildford Gals", The Sunday Times, 1 May 2005.
  5. ^ In full: How MPs voted,, 14 February 2006
  6. ^ Ben Russell, "Partial smoking ban would be 'unfair and unworkable'", The Independent, 20 December 2005
  7. ^ "The Complete Expenses Files". Daily Telegraph. 20 June 2009. p. 47. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Privy Council appointments: March 2015". Press release. Prime Minister's Office. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Randeep Ramdesh, "'Doctors should tell people they are fat, not obese, minister says'", The Guardian, 28 July 2010
  10. ^ Richard Spiller, "'Guildford City reach out to MP '", The Surrey Advertiser (1 July 2011)

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sue Doughty
Member of Parliament for Guildford
Political offices
Preceded by
Don Foster
Greg Hands
Government Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Preceded by
Greg Hands
Treasurer of the Household