Chloe Smith

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This article is about the British politician. For the lead singer of the American musical group, see Chloe Smith (musician).
Chloe Smith
MP
Chloesmith.JPG
Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office
In office
4 September 2012 – 6 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Mark Harper
Succeeded by Jo Johnson
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
In office
14 October 2011 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Justine Greening
Succeeded by Sajid Javid
Member of Parliament
for Norwich North
Assumed office
23 July 2009
Preceded by Ian Gibson
Majority 4,463 (10.2%)
Personal details
Born (1982-05-17) 17 May 1982 (age 33)[1]
Ashford, Kent, England[2]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University of York
Occupation Politician
Website www.chloesmith.org.uk

Chloe Rebecca Smith (born 17 May 1982) is a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Norwich North. She was elected to the seat in a by-election on 23 July 2009 following the resignation of Labour MP Ian Gibson after the MPs' expenses scandal.[3]

Early life[edit]

Born in Ashford, Kent, she was aged three when her family moved to Norfolk.[4] Growing up in Stoke Ferry,[5] Smith attended comprehensive schools in Swaffham and Methwold, and after a gap-year working for former Conservative Education Secretary Gillian Shephard,[4] read English Literature at the University of York.[5] She undertook summer work for Bernard Jenkin.[4]

After graduating from York University she joined Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as a management consultant she advised private businesses, government departments and public bodies.[4]

Political career[edit]

In 2007 Smith was chosen to be the Conservative candidate for the constituency of Norwich North in the general election.[5] She then took leave from her job, working for Conservative Central Office on secondment, to "draw up detailed plans to put our policies into practice".[4]

Following Ian Gibson's resignation, Smith became the Conservatives' by-election candidate and subsequently won the seat, becoming the youngest member of the House of Commons.[6] She took her seat in the House of Commons when the parliamentary break ended in October.[7] On 14 October 2011 she was appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury in a ministerial reshuffle, becoming the youngest minister currently serving in the government.[8] According to The Guardian newspaper Smith was appointed to the role because David Cameron wrongly believed she was a trained accountant.[9]

On 26 June 2012 she appeared on the BBC Two current affairs programme Newsnight and was interviewed about Chancellor George Osborne's decision that day to delay plans to increase fuel duty.[10] Interviewer Jeremy Paxman questioned the apparent change in her views on fuel duty.[11] The interview attracted much comment from the media and other political figures, and was described as a "mauling" and a "humiliation" for Smith.[12][13] Senior politicians, including John Prescott and Nadine Dorries, questioned Osborne's judgement for sending a junior minister onto the programme in place of himself.[10][14]

In August 2013 she was criticised by transparency campaigners for blocking the identification of civil servants and public sector bodies responsible for £77m of flights booked through the Government Procurement Service.[15] In October 2013 she resigned from the Cabinet Office to "concentrate on the most important part of my job: being the Member of Parliament for Norwich North."[16]

During the campaign for the 2015 general election Smith was mocked by political opponents for quoting a constituent's letter in her election literature.[17] The letter, first published in the Norwich Evening News newspaper, said she seemed "to act more like a Socialist than a Conservative."[18] Political Scrapbook, an influential left-wing political blog, published a mocked-up photograph depicting Smith as Marxist "urban guerilla" Wolfie Smith giving a clenched fist salute outside Norwich railway station.[17][19] Smith responded: "Clearly I am not a socialist I am a proud Conservative. What the letter writer was saying was my work can appeal across party lines." Labour Party candidate Jessica Asato said: "Local people won't forget she is one of the most loyal Conservative MPs and shows unwavering support for the vicious bedroom tax, tax cuts for millionaires and the swift march of the profiteers into the NHS. If this is socialism I'll eat my hat."[17]

In May 2014, she was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award under the Business Driver category for designing and conceiving the Norwich for Jobs campaign, which brought over 400 jobs and apprenticeships for young people in her constituency.[20]

Political positions[edit]

Smith's political stances include support for lower taxation and opposition to the Lisbon Treaty.[21] She also supports the legalisation of gay marriage.[22] She singles out Benjamin Disraeli as a political leader she admires.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Smith is an active volunteer and fundraiser for several charities including Cancer Research UK and Sport Relief.[5] She is a keen cyclist and badminton player. She also enjoys life drawing and has posed as a model at classes.[23] She is an atheist.[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The youngest members of the potential next intake of Conservative MPs". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  2. ^ McSmith, Andy (2009-07-23). "Today Norwich, tomorrow the world for rising star of Tories". The Independent (London). Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Tories beat Labour in by-election". BBC News. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Profile: Chloe Smith". BBC News. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d "About Chloe". chloesmith.org.uk. Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Labour braced for key poll defeat". BBC News. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  7. ^ Stephenson, Alex (24 July 2009). "Profile:Chloe Smith". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  8. ^ Falloon, Matt (14 October 2011). "Chloe Smith appointed new economic secretary". Reuters. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Watt, Nicholas (27 June 2012). "Chloe Smith's Newsnight humiliation is No 10's fault, say senior Tories". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Quinn, Ben (27 June 2012). "George Osborne branded a coward after Tory minister's Newsnight disaster". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Treasury Minister grilled over delay of 3p fuel duty rise". BBC News. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (27 June 2012). "How to play Paxman: what Chloe Smith should have said". The Guardian (London). 
  13. ^ Watt, Nicholas (27 June 2012). "Chloe Smith's Newsnight humiliation is No 10's fault, say senior Tories". The Guardian (London). 
  14. ^ "David Cameron denies George Osborne 'hid' after fuel U-turn". BBC News. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Holehouse, Matthew (5 August 2013). "Minister's veto keeps public sector jet set's £77m flight bill a mystery". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "Chloe Smith stands down as minister to restate what is most important to her: her work for Norwich North". chloesmithmp.com. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c Dickson, Annabelle (30 March 2015). ""If this is socialism I'll eat my hat" - Conservative candidate's campaign leaflet prompts mock-up". Eastern Daily Press (Norwich). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  18. ^ McSmith, Andy (30 March 2015). "Andy McSmith's Diary: Frozen Cameron reveals all to Heat - S-Word of the Day". The Independent (London). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "CITIZEN SMITH: DESPERATE LEAFLET CLAIMS FORMER TORY MINISTER IS "A SOCIALIST"". Political Scrapbook. 29 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Fisher, Chris. "Meet Chloe Smith, UK's youngest MP". Eastern Daily Press. Norwich. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Green, Jessica (3 August 2011). "Tory MP Chloe Smith supports gay marriage". Pink News. 
  23. ^ Owen, Glen (18 February 2012). "From ice maiden to no-clothes Chloe: How Cabinet's young star Smith revealed all for art". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  24. ^ Chapman, Tom (15 July 2009). "Norwich election candidates tackle the issues". The Norwich And Norfolk Christian Community Website. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  25. ^ Waugh, Paul (13 October 2009). "Newest Tory MP - Young, gifted and atheist". London Evening Standard (London). Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ian Gibson
Member of Parliament for Norwich North
2009 – present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jo Swinson
Baby of the House
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Pamela Nash