Charlotte Leslie

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Charlotte Leslie
Director of the Conservative Middle East Council
Assumed office
July 2017
Preceded byOffice created
Member of Parliament
for Bristol North West
In office
6 May 2010 – 9 June 2017
Preceded byDoug Naysmith
Succeeded byDarren Jones
Personal details
Born (1978-08-11) 11 August 1978 (age 40)
Liverpool, Merseyside, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
Websitecharlotteleslie.com

Charlotte Leslie (born 11 August 1978[1] in Liverpool) is a British Conservative Party politician who is the current Director of the Conservative Middle East Council. She was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bristol North West constituency, losing her seat in the 2017 general election [2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Liverpool in 1978,[3] Leslie moved to Bristol with her family when she was two. Her father worked as an orthopaedic surgeon at Southmead Hospital in Bristol and the Bristol Royal Infirmary.[4] Her mother is a British triathlon champion for her age group,[5] and in 2013, finished 9th in the World Triathlon Grand Final.[6] Leslie attended Badminton School and Millfield, before studying Classics at Balliol College, Oxford.[7] She graduated in 2001.[8] She used to swim competitively, representing City of Bristol, and made the age-group national finals in 200m and 100m backstroke.[4]

Career[edit]

Whilst at university, and immediately afterwards, Leslie worked as a lifeguard on the beaches of North Cornwall, and then as a swimming coach and gym instructor at Thornbury Leisure Centre and part-time in a local pub. She later worked in television, for the BBC on The Weakest Link and The Holiday Programme, as well as on independent programmes on the BBC and Sky.[4] She has also worked as a part-time tutor in Classics and as a governor of Oxford Gardens Primary School in London and Avonmouth Primary School in Bristol.[9]

In 2005, she joined the Policy Exchange think tank. Whilst there, she co-authored the report, More Good School Places, which was the first to recommend a "Pupil Premium" of £6000 extra funding for each disadvantaged child in the country’s state schools.[10] This policy was later adopted by the Coalition Government in 2010.

She later worked as an advisor to David Willetts, the then Shadow Secretary of state for Children, Schools and Families, focusing mainly on special needs education, and for the Young Foundation and the National Autistic Society.[4]

Before her election in 2010, she edited Crossbow, the journal of the Bow Group,[4] and wrote for a variety of publications, including a regular blog for The Guardian [11] and the Daily Mail about life as a candidate.[12]

In July 2017, Charlotte was appointed the director of the Conservative Middle East Council.[13][14]

In Parliament (2010–2017)[edit]

In the General Election of 6 May 2010, Charlotte Leslie was elected as the Member of Parliament for the bellwether constituency of Bristol North West at the age of thirty-one, making her one of the youngest MPs in Parliament. She polled 19,115 votes, 3,274 ahead of the Liberal Democrat candidate,[15] and achieved a swing of 8.86% from the incumbent Labour Party.[16]

She made her maiden speech on 2 June 2010, focusing on the educational divisions existing in her constituency and praising organisations like Teach First which seek to break down such barriers.[17]

She became a member of the Education Select Committee in 2010, stepping down in 2013 after she became a member of the Health Select Committee.[15] In 2011, she was appointed as the Government’s "Big Society" ambassador by the Prime Minister.[18]

Leslie became more prominent in 2013 after the publication of the report of the Francis Inquiry into the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. She was praised for her campaign calling for David Nicholson, the Chief Executive of the NHS, to resign.[19] This culminated in her winning "Backbencher of the Year" at The Spectator’s 2013 Parliamentarian of the Year awards.[20]

She has also led calls in Parliament for the creation of a Royal College of Teaching,[21] publishing a book on the subject in 2013.[22] She is a trustee on the Teacher Development Trust.[23]

She re-formed the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Boxing in 2011, and is its current chair.[24] She is also a member of the APPGs on Autism, Beer, National Citizens’ Service and Volunteering, and Sport.[4]

She was praised in Chancellor George Osborne’s budget speech of 2012 for her campaign to scrap the beer duty escalator, which added 2% plus inflation to the cost of beer each year. Osborne removed the escalator and cut 1p off beer duty.[25]

In April 2014 she apologised to the House for failing to declare £17,000 of donations in the register of MPs' interests.[26]

Leslie chaired the Commons all-party group on Saudi Arabia. Before Christmas in 2016 she accepted a "food hamper with an estimated value of £500" from the Saudi Arabian embassy in London.[27] In April 2017 she made a five-day trip to Saudi Arabia, paid for by the Kingdom, to "strengthen British-Saudi Arabian diplomatic relations". During the visit she met with the country's deputy crown prince and defence minister in charge of the Saudis' controversial intervention in the Yemeni civil war.[28]

Brexit[edit]

Leslie announced before the Brexit referendum that she would support Brexit [29][30]

Previously she had been a member of the Fresh Start group of Conservative MPs, which campaigned for far-reaching reform of the European Union. She contributed to its work on social and employment law [31] and on the EU’s impact on the National Health Service.[32] In 2011, she presented a Ten Minute Rule Bill to exempt the NHS from the Working Time Directive.[33]

In Bristol (2010– )[edit]

Locally, her work has focused on transport. She has campaigned extensively for the reopening of the Henbury Loop rail line around the north of her former constituency,[34] and for the introduction of a smartcard on local transport.[35]

She supported the creation of an elected mayoralty in Bristol,[36] which became the one of the few cities voting on an elected mayor to choose to have one in 2012.

She is a strong supporter of Free Schools and worked with local parents to form a "Parents Voice" group [37] to set up the Bristol Free School, which, in 2011, became one of the first Free Schools to open.

In 2013, Leslie backed Bristol Rovers’ plans to move to a new stadium.[38] She spoke out strongly against the TRASH group’s opposition to the proposal for a new Sainsburys on the current Memorial Ground site.[39] Her petition on the subject attracted over 13,000 signatures, and the High Court review of the decision to grant planning permission was dismissed.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Leslie lives in Westbury-on-Trym in her former constituency.[4] In her spare time, she enjoys surfing, writing, art, Bob Dylan, running and swimming. She is the President of Avonmouth National Smelting Company Boxing Club.[4] In 2011, website sexymp.co.uk ranked her as the sexiest MP in Parliament.[41]

She became engaged to John Darvall, a BBC Radio Bristol presenter and twice married father of four, on Christmas Day, 2014.[42] Just before the 2015 general election Darvall was moved from his news based morning show to an afternoon slot to protect the BBC's impartiality and to avoid accusations of a conflict of interest when he interviews his fiancée. The presenter strongly objected to the change.[43] In July 2016 she announced that they had broken up "a few months ago".[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charlotte Leslie MP". Democracy Live. BBC. Archived from the original on 29 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Election 2010: Bristol North West". BBC News. BBC. 7 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  3. ^ "UK Polling Report". UK Polling Report. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "About Charlotte". Charlotteleslie.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  5. ^ Bristol, The (22 July 2013). "MP's mum to 'tri' for world title after British triathlon win". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Jane Leslie". Triathlon.org. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Charlotte Leslie MP". Voices From Oxford. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Syria – Clarity and Credibility were of the essence, not speed!". Charlotteleslie.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  9. ^ John Rentoul (9 December 2005). "Charlotte Leslie MP". Policyexchange.org.uk. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  10. ^ Rt Hon Michael Gove MP on The Renewal of Government (9 December 2005). "More Good School Places". Policyexchange.org.uk. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Charlotte Leslie". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Charlotte Leslie: Diary of a Tory Candidate". Leslieblog.dailymail.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 October 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Former MP Charlotte Leslie's lands new job in… politics!". TheBristolCable.org. 17 July 2017. Archived from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Director of CMEC – Charlotte Leslie". The Conservative Middle East Council. Archived from the original on 19 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Charlotte Leslie MP". Parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  16. ^ "UK general election 2010: list of constituency results". Politicsresources.net. 13 September 2010. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Charlotte Leslie makes maiden Commons speech". Charlotteleslie.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Government announces Big Society ambassadors". Civilsociety.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  19. ^ "Charlotte Leslie MP: Sir David Nicholson must not be allowed to appoint 'comrades' to senior NHS positions". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Parliamentarian of Year awards 2013: the winners". Blogs.spectator.co.uk. 7 November 2013. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  21. ^ "A Royal College of Teaching could work – if it's a politician-free zone". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  22. ^  . "RCoTBooklet.pdf" (PDF). Dropbox. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  23. ^ "Mission". Teacher Development Trust. Archived from the original on 20 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  24. ^ "Boxing encouraged by Bristol MP's all-party group". Bbc.co.uk. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Budget 2013: Chancellor praises Bristol MP Charlotte Leslie's campaign to scrap duty escalator". Southwestbusiness.co.uk. 21 March 2013. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Bristol MP Charlotte Leslie apologises for failing to declare cash donations". bristolpost.co.uk. 14 April 2014. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  27. ^ "Culture cash". Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd. 10 February 2017.
  28. ^ Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd. 19 May 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ "Statement on EU Referendum | Charlotte Leslie". charlotteleslie.com. Archived from the original on 24 April 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  30. ^ "Bristol North West MP chooses Brexit". ITV. 20 June 2016. Archived from the original on 24 April 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  31. ^ "A pan-European Conference for EU reform" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  32. ^ "The EU and the NHS" (PDF). Fresh Start. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  33. ^ "Charlotte Leslie's Ten Minute Rule Bill on the European Working Time Directive". YouTube. Archived from the original on 10 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  34. ^ "Bristol Henbury Loop railway line case pushed by MP". Bbc.co.uk. 9 August 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  35. ^ Bristol, The (4 October 2013). ""Why Bristol needs its own Oyster card": MP Charlotte Leslie". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  36. ^ "Charlotte Leslie backs campaign to have an elected mayor for Bristol". Charlotteleslie.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  37. ^ "'Parents' Voice' campaign for a new secondary school launched". Charlotteleslie.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  38. ^ Bristol, The (7 November 2013). "Bristol Rovers stadium row: MP gets David Cameron onside". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  39. ^ Bristol, The (15 October 2013). "TRASH Campaigners are "holding Bristol to ransom", says MP". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  40. ^ Bristol, The (21 March 2014). "Game on: Bristol Rovers' joy as judge kicks out objections to store". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  41. ^ Schofield, Kevin (31 May 2011). "Website ranks MPs' sex appeal". The Sun. News UK. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014. (Subscription required (help)).
  42. ^ "Bristol MP Charlotte Leslie to marry BBC Radio Bristol presenter". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015.
  43. ^ "BBC Radio DJ vents anger after being ousted for getting engaged to Tory MP" Archived 27 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine., Daily Telegraph, 27 March 2015
  44. ^ Moore, Charlie (16 July 2016). "'Baywatch' Tory MP Charlotte Leslie splits with local radio presenter fiance after five years but says they will remain 'the very closest friends'". Mailonline. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Doug Naysmith
Member of Parliament for Bristol North West
20102017
Succeeded by
Darren Jones