|The Right Honourable|
Dame Caroline Spelman
|Second Church Estates Commissioner|
Assumed office |
21 May 2015
|Preceded by||Tony Baldry|
|Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs|
12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Hilary Benn|
|Succeeded by||Owen Paterson|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government|
19 January 2009 – 12 May 2010
|Preceded by||Eric Pickles|
|Succeeded by||John Denham|
15 March 2004 – 2 July 2007
|Preceded by||David Curry (Local and Devolved Government Affairs)|
|Succeeded by||Eric Pickles|
|Chairwoman of the Conservative Party|
2 July 2007 – 19 January 2009
|Preceded by||Francis Maude|
|Succeeded by||Eric Pickles|
|Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment|
10 November 2003 – 15 March 2004
|Preceded by||David Lidington (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)|
|Succeeded by||Richard Ottaway|
|Shadow Minister for Women|
14 September 2001 – 15 March 2004
Iain Duncan Smith|
|Preceded by||Theresa May|
|Succeeded by||Eleanor Laing|
|Shadow Secretary of State for International Development|
18 September 2001 – 10 November 2003
|Leader||Iain Duncan Smith|
|Preceded by||Gary Streeter|
|Succeeded by||John Bercow|
|Member of Parliament|
Assumed office |
1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Iain Mills|
Caroline Alice Cormack|
4 May 1958
Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
Mark Spelman (m. 1987)
|Alma mater||Queen Mary University of London|
Dame Caroline Alice Spelman DBE (née Cormack; born 4 May 1958) is a British Conservative Party politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Meriden in the West Midlands since 1997. From May 2010 to September 2012 she was the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in David Cameron's coalition cabinet, and was sworn as a Privy Counsellor on 13 May 2010.
Born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, Spelman attended the Hertfordshire and Essex High School for Girls (now called The Hertfordshire and Essex High School), in Bishop's Stortford, and received a BA First Class in European Studies from Queen Mary College, University of London.
She was Sugar Beet commodity secretary for the National Farmer's Union from 1981 to 1984. She was deputy director of the International Confederation of European Beet Growers (officially known as La Confédération Internationale des Betteraviers Européens – CIBE) in Paris from 1984–9, then a research fellow for the Centre for European Agricultural Studies (part of the University of Kent and since 2000 known as the Centre for European Agri-Environmental Economics) from 1989 to 1993. She co-owns Spelman, Cormack & Associates, a lobbying firm for the food and biotechnology industry, with her husband.
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In 2001, Iain Duncan Smith appointed Spelman Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, a post she maintained until Duncan Smith's departure as Conservative Party leader. Duncan Smith's successor, Michael Howard, opted for a streamlined Shadow Cabinet and omitted Spelman; however, he later appointed her as a front bench spokeswoman on Environmental Affairs working for Theresa May. In March 2004, Spelman re-entered the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Local and Devolved Government Affairs, succeeding David Curry. Under David Cameron's leadership of the Conservative Party, in 2007 she was promoted further to become Conservative Party Chairman. In 2009 she was moved in another reshuffle to the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, replacing Eric Pickles. Since the reshuffle, Spelman has returned to the Commons backbenches. Spelman was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum. In January 2016, Spelman became a Founding MP of Conservatives For Reform In Europe, the campaign to remain in the EU, subject to the Prime Minister's renegotiations, alongside Nick Herbert and Eric Pickles.
In 2009, during the expenses scandal it was reported that Spelman had received £40,000 for cleaning and bills for her constituency home; this was despite her husband claiming it was their main home. In 2008 she reportedly over-claimed hundreds of pounds towards her council tax.
On 6 June 2008, Spelman was the subject of controversy when it was suggested that for around twelve months from May 1997 she paid her child's nanny, Tina Haynes, from her parliamentary staffing allowance, contrary to the rule governing such allowances and fears of the misuse of them. Spelman claims that her nanny also acted as her constituency secretary and was paid from the public taxpayers' purse for this aspect of her further employment. Haynes confirms that occasionally she would answer phone calls and post documents but initially she denied such happenings when interviewed on BBC Two's Newsnight via telephone. The accusations came at a time when Conservative Party leader David Cameron had tasked Spelman with reviewing the use of parliamentary allowances by Conservative MPs and MEPs in the wake of the Derek Conway affair. The allegation against Spelman came shortly after two Conservative MEPs, Giles Chichester (Leader of the Conservatives in the EU Parliament) and Den Dover (Conservative Chief Whip in the EU Parliament), were forced to resign amid claims they misused their parliamentary allowances. However, Spelman was not urged to resign by party leader, David Cameron. She referred the matter pertaining to herself, her nanny and parliamentary funds to John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
New revelations were exposed on the BBC's Newsnight programme that nine years previously Mrs Spelman's secretary, Sally Hammond, complained to the Conservative Party leadership that she was using Parliamentary allowances to pay her nanny and that the arrangement with the nanny was over a two-year period and not one. 
In March 2009, the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee ruled Mrs Spelman had misused her allowances to pay for nannying work in 1997 and 1998.
On 24 February 2012, the High Court in London refused to continue a privacy injunction previously granted to prevent the publication of a news item in the Daily Star Sunday involving her son. Judge Michael Tugendhat said that the injunction was "not necessary or proportionate". On 2 March 2012, the Spelmans decided not to appeal against the decision, which permitted the publication of a story about her son. The Spelman family was required to pay the legal costs of the Daily Star Sunday, in addition to their own legal costs of £60,994.
She married Mark Spelman, a senior partner at Accenture, on 25 April 1987 in south-east Kent. They have two sons and a daughter. Her husband stood as a Conservative candidate in the 2009 European elections for the West Midlands region.
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- Tory MP paid nanny from expenses Archived 18 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine., BBC
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- Tories rally round Spelman Yahoo! News 8 June 2008 Archived 10 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "MPs call for Spelman to be sacked". BBC News. 26 June 2008. Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Caroline Spelman's son loses privacy injunction bid". BBC News. 24 February 2012. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- "Caroline Spelman's son 'took drugs after sports injury'". BBC News. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "Cabinet Minister's Son Sorry Over Drug Use". Sky News. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012.
- Savage, Tom (26 February 2012). "Court Win for the Daily Star Sunday". (The Daily Star Sunday was party to the legal action)
- Worden, Tom (15 March 2009). ""Nannygate" Tory Caroline Spelman's properties worth nearly £5million". Sunday Mirror. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- Glen Owen The coalition of millionaires: 23 of the 29 member of the new cabinet are worth more than £1m... and the Lib Dems are just as wealthy as the Tories Archived 27 May 2012 at Archive.is Mail on Sunday 23 May 2010
- "CCF Patrons". Conservative Christian Fellowship. Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "No. 61678". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 August 2016. p. RH3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caroline Spelman.|
- Caroline Spelman MP official constituency website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Contributions in Parliament during 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 at Hansard Archives
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Articles authored at Journalisted
- Profile: Caroline Spelman, BBC News, 16 October 2002
- Audio clips
- Video clips