|The Right Honourable
|Secretary of State for Wales|
12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Peter Hain|
|Succeeded by||David Jones|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Wales|
8 December 2005 – 11 May 2010
|Preceded by||Bill Wiggin|
|Succeeded by||Peter Hain|
|Member of Parliament
for Chesham and Amersham
9 April 1992
|Preceded by||Ian Gilmour|
21 April 1952 |
Cardiff, Wales, UK
|Alma mater||University of Law|
Cheryl Elise Kendall Gillan (born 21 April 1952 in Cardiff, Wales) is a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire. She was the Secretary of State for Wales from 2010 to 2012. As of 2015 she is the longest serving female Conservative MP.
Prior to her parliamentary career, Gillan worked as a marketing executive for several companies. She was first elected to the House of Commons in 1992 and was a junior minister for Education and Employment from 1995–97 in John Major's government. After 1997 she served as a Conservative whip and as a spokesperson for Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs. She was the Shadow Welsh Secretary from 2005–10, assuming the cabinet position of Secretary of State for Wales after the 2010 general election until the reshuffle in September 2012.
Cheryl Gillan was born in Llandaff, a district of Cardiff, in 1952. Her father was a former British Army officer and a director of a steel company whilst her mother was a Wren. She was brought up in South Wales and her family farms near Usk. She was educated at Elm Tree House and Norfolk House primary schools in Cardiff before her family left Wales when she was aged 11. Gillan attended the independent Cheltenham Ladies' College and the College of Law. She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Gillan joined the International Management Group in 1977 before becoming a director with the British Film Year in 1984. In 1986 she was appointed senior marketing consultant at Ernst & Young, becoming marketing director with Kidsons Impey 1991–1993. She became a Freeman of the City of London in 1991 and is a member of the Livery of the Worshipful Company of Marketors.
Gillan served as the Chairman of the Bow Group in 1987–1988 and unsuccessfully contested the Greater Manchester Central seat in the 1989 European Parliament election. She was elected to the House of Commons in the 1992 general election for the Buckinghamshire seat of Chesham and Amersham. She won the seat with a majority of 22,220 and has remained the MP there since. She made her maiden speech on 25 June 1992.
Gillan was active in her early years in Parliament, serving on the Select Committees for Science and Technology (1992–1995) and for Procedure (1994–1995). She was also the Secretary to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Space and a board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in 1995. In 1994 she was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal Viscount Cranborne.
In July 1995 Cheryl Gillan joined the government as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Education and Employment. In this role she expanded the specialist schools programme to include arts and sports colleges, something she considers to be one of her proudest achievements in politics. After the 1997 general election—with the Conservatives now in Opposition—she became a spokesman for Trade and Industry in June 1997 and then, from June 1998, shadow minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development. From September 2001 until June 2003 she served in the whip's office. In December 2003 she became Shadow Minister for Home, Constitutional and Legal Affairs.
Gillan represented the British Islands and the Mediterranean on the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) from 2000 until 2003 and was later elected treasurer of the CPA from 2003 until 2006.
Shadow Welsh Secretary (2005–2010)
Gillan was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet in December 2005 as the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales. She was initially opposed to the creation of the National Assembly for Wales, saying that there was not a large enough majority in favour of it in the Welsh devolution referendum, 1997. However, after becoming Shadow Welsh Secretary, she declared that she supported the Welsh Assembly, and has maintained the possibility of the Conservatives supporting the devolution of further powers. She has admitted, however, that the Conservative Party is divided on the issue of devolution, and criticised the state of devolution in Wales as being "complex and cumbersome".
Welsh Secretary (2010–2012)
Gillan was appointed by David Cameron as the Secretary of State for Wales in the new Coalition Government formed from the 2010 United Kingdom general election. She was appointed as a Privy Councillor on 13 May 2010.
As Secretary of State for Wales, her aides included:
- running of the Welsh devolution referendum, 2011 on direct law-making powers for the Assembly
- setting up of the Silk Commission on future Welsh Devolution
- rail electrification of the South Wales Main Line branch of the Great Western Main Line
- reduction of S4C funding
- cancellation of the plan to centralise military training at MOD St Athan
In May 2012, Gillan unveiled a Wales Office green paper that made a proposal to cut the number of constituency assembly members from 40 to 30, with another 30 coming from regional lists. The Welsh Government opposed this idea, and it was reported that Tory AMs preferred the status quo.
Gillan ceased to be Welsh Secretary following a major Cabinet reshuffle on 4 September 2012, although she wished to continue in the role. She was replaced by David Jones who had previously been the Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State in the Wales Office.
High Speed 2
Gillan's constituency lies on the proposed route for the High Speed 2 rail line. In a parliamentary debate before the 2010 election, Gillan said that she agreed with neighbouring MP David Lidington who described the planned route as an "outrage". When campaigning for re-election, Gillan said that High Speed 2 would be "a lot more than just the blight on the properties nearby... the implications for the area will be absolutely phenomenal". She also described High Speed 2 as a project that would "threaten the quality of our lives – not just now but for generations to come" and stated that she "would defy the party whip – be very, very sure of that".
On 12 January 2012, Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening confirmed in a House of Commons statement that High Speed 2 would go ahead and in responding to questions stated that it was her understanding that "the Welsh Secretary is already on side... I thoroughly agree with her (Cheryl Gillan) that we have ended up with the right line, with the right mitigation". In an interview with the Bucks Free Press following the announcement, Gillan stated "we've got already got some changes, good changes and I'm looking at what further possibilities there will be". When asked whether she would remain in the Cabinet, Gillan stated "I am not resigning. The speculation on my resignation has always come from the press and my political opponents... I'm exceedingly loyal to my party and my Government and I will remain so".
Three days after the announcement, it was discovered that Gillan had sold her house – which was less than a mile from the proposed route – in November 2011 "because she and her husband John have mobility problems". Following the revelations, Labour called for Gillan to be investigated for a possible breach of the Ministerial Code. Gillan now lives in Epsom, 30 miles away from her constituency.
In 2009, Gillan was criticised in both the Telegraph and local newspaper the Bucks Free Press for her expenses claims. The Telegraph revealed she had claimed for dog food on her second home allowance. Gillan described the claim as a "mistake" and said she would be repaying it. Gillan also claimed £305.50 to cure "noise problems" with her boiler. When questioned, Gillan said the boiler had broken down and that the claim was within the rules. It was also revealed that Gillan had attempted to claim more money for her gas bill than it was actually worth; the Commons Fees Office refused to pay the full amount.
Gillan was also the subject of criticism from the Bucks Free Press, which revealed Gillan had claimed £8,450 for food and £4,335 for cleaning. It was also revealed that Gillan employed her husband, aged 82, as an 'Office Manager/Researcher'. Gillan wrote to the Bucks Free Press to complain that "insinuating language" had been used.
Following a review of MPs expenses by Sir Thomas Legg, Gillan was also found to have claimed £1,884 more than her mortgage bill was actually worth. The mortgage was on a second home in Battersea, despite the fact that at the time she had a home in her constituency, which lies on the London Underground network. Gillan was ordered to repay the money. On 30 March 2010, it was announced that future MPs from Gillan's constituency would not be allowed to claim for a second home after the 2010 election.
Gillan has been married to John Coates "Jack" Leeming since 1985. Her husband, aged 82, is employed using parliamentary expenses. Her interests include singing (she is a member of the Parliamentary Choir), gardening, golf and keeping chickens. Gillan has an estimated wealth of £1.4 million. Gillan now lives 30 miles away from her constituency in Epsom.
- Miss Cheryl Gillan (1952–1985)
- Mrs Cheryl Gillan (1985–1992)
- Mrs Cheryl Gillan MP (1992–2010)
- Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP (2010–present)
- "House of Commons – The Register of Members' Financial Interests – Part 2: Part 2". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- Cornock, David (4 September 2012). "BBC News – Cabinet reshuffle: Cheryl Gillan loses Wales Office". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Cheryl Gillan MP". Conservative Party. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
- "Cameron's Welsh woman denies slur". WalesOnline. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
- "About Cheryl". CherylGillan.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
- "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 25 Jun 1992". Hansard. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
- "Cheryl Gillan, Conservative MP". BBC News. 18 October 2002. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Gillan handed shadow Welsh role". BBC News. 8 December 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
- "Gillan tries to play down deep Tory divisions over devolution". WalesOnline. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
- "Privy Council appointments, 13 May 2010". Privy Council. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Welsh Secretary David Jones' Labour good relations hope". BBC News. 4 September 2012.
- "Cheryl Gillan: A look back at her record as Welsh secretary". BBC News. 5 September 2012.
- "Rail electrification to Swansea and south Wales valleys". BBC News. 16 July 2012.
- "Welsh assembly voting: Cheryl Gillan proposes new seats for 2016 election". BBC News. 21 May 2012.
- Martin, Daniel (5 September 2012). "Reduced to tears, three women who were sacked and the meteoric rise of the former Richard And Judy presenter". Daily Mail. London.
- "David Cameron made three ministers cry when he sacked them". The Daily Telegraph.[dead link]
- Livingstone, Tomos (4 September 2012). "David Jones: Profile of the new Welsh secretary". BBC Wales. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "Cabinet reshuffle: Cheryl Gillan may lose Wales Office". BBC News. 4 September 2012.
- "Cabinet reshuffle: Cheryl Gillan loses Wales Office". BBC News. 4 September 2012.
- Hansard: HC Deb, 23 March 2010, c54WH and HC Deb, 23 March 2010, c57WH
- "MP to "defy party" over high speed trains". From Bucks Free Press. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "All aboard for HS2? Tunnel vision could yet win the day". BBC News. 11 January 2012.
- "'Loyal' MP Cheryl Gillan won't quit over HS2". From Bucks Free Press. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- Owen, Glen (15 January 2012). "Minister sells home near rail-link route BEFORE tunnel she requested was given the ago ahead". Daily Mail. London.
- "Prime Minister must investigate the serious allegations against Ms Gillan – Trickett | The Labour Party | The Labour Party". Labour.org.uk. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- Watts, Robert; Lusher, Adam (14 January 2012). "Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan sells home near route of HS2". The Telegraph. London.
- Cheryl Gillan claimed for dog food: MPs' expenses Daily Telegraph, 11 May 2009
- MPs' expenses in detail BBC News, 7 September 2009
- Three Buckinghamshire MPs to lose second homes cash Bucks Free Press, 30 March 2010
- MP Cheryl Gillan told to repay £1,884 Bucks Free Press, 14 October 2009
- MP: I'll reveal my expenses early Bucks Free Press, 11 May 2009
- Owen, Glen (23 May 2010). "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" Mail on Sunday.
- Cheryl Gillan MP official constituency website
- Cheryl Gillan MP Conservative Party profile
- Cheryl Gillan MP Welsh Conservative Party profile
- Chesham & Amersham Conservatives
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Debrett's People of Today
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for Chesham and Amersham
|Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
|Secretary of State for Wales