Claire Perry

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Claire Perry
Rail Minister Claire Perry at event in Southampton Port.jpg
Claire Perry at an event in Southampton, welcoming the arrival of the first Class 800 train.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Transport
In office
15 July 2014 – 14 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Stephen Hammond
Succeeded by Paul Maynard
Member of Parliament
for Devizes
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Michael Ancram
Majority 20,751 (57.7%)
Personal details
Born (1964-04-03) 3 April 1964 (age 52)
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England[1]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Clayton Perry (divorced)[2][3]
Children 3
Alma mater Brasenose College, Oxford,
Harvard University
Occupation MP for Devizes
Profession Investment banking

Claire Louise Perry[4] (born 3 April 1964) is a Conservative Member of Parliament for Devizes, elected in the 2010 general election. Perry served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence and as Government Assistant Whip. She was Rail minister from July 2014 to July 2016.

Early life[edit]

The youngest of three children, Perry was raised in North Somerset. Perry was educated at Nailsea School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where she read Geography, graduating in 1985. She later obtained an MBA at Harvard University.

Perry worked in banking and finance for Bank of America, McKinsey & Company and Credit Suisse.[5]

Political career[edit]

After joining the Conservative party in 2006, she worked for the Chancellor George Osborne.[6] Perry was selected in November 2009 as a Conservative candidate to replace the outgoing Member for Devizes, Michael Ancram, in a safe seat for her party.[7]


In October 2011 Perry was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence.[8] Perry held this role until October 2013 when she assumed her new position as Government Assistant Whip. On 15 July 2014 Claire Perry was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, with responsibility for rail fares, rail franchising, freight and logistics and transport agencies.[9] She resigned from this position on 14 July 2016 at the time of the reshuffle when Theresa May became Prime Minister, the day after saying in a debate she was "often ashamed to be the Rail Minister."[10][11]

Online Safety Camapaign[edit]

Claire Perry has campaigned for improvements in Online Safety and in 2011 led an Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection. More than sixty cross-party MPs and Peers supported the Inquiry whilst a core team of 17 cross-party MPs led four oral evidence sessions. Following this Inquiry, David Cameron appointed Perry as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of children. Much of her work has been criticised by groups such as the Open Rights Group who say that default filtering is a form of censorship.[12]

Internet issues[edit]

Claire Perry is in favour of a form of Internet censorship which applies to all users unless they opt out of it. She considers that children should thereby be prevented from obtaining access to information and images which she believes they should not see.[13][14][15]

In July 2013, Perry's website was targeted by hackers who "placed indecent images on the site". Perry used her official Twitter account to make accusations that the political blogger Paul Staines - known as Guido Fawkes - had sponsored the attack,[16][17] while Staines himself threatened to sue her for libel if the claim was not removed.[18]

After Internet filters started to be rolled out, news agencies reported that a wide range of non-pornographic websites were now being censored by UK ISPs as a result of false-positive results for blocked phrases, such as child-protection charities, women's charities, and gay rights groups. This list also included Perry's own website, as a result of her frequent use of words such as "porn" and "sex" in web posts about her pro-censorship campaign.[19][20]

Reporting of comments over Debt and Deficit[edit]

On 8 October 2012, Perry stated that the national debt and national deficit were the same thing on BBC Radio 5 Live.[21][22] Reference to this comment was later made by David Dimbleby, when introducing her as a panelist on a following episode of Question Time.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Perry has three children from her former marriage.[2] She currently lives in Pewsey Vale.[24]


  1. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Tim Walker (21 March 2013). "'Cameron cutie' Claire Perry gives up on 'difficult' marriage". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Lewis Cowen (21 March 2013). "Devizes MP Claire Perry reveals that her marriage is over". Wiltshire Gazette & Herald. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59418. p. 8746. 13 May 2010.
  5. ^ [1] at
  6. ^ Paul Barltrop, Claire Perry chosen for Devizes at
  8. ^ "About Claire | Claire's Biography". Claire Perry. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Claire Perry MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Southern: Claire Perry 'often ashamed' to be rail minister". BBC News. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Rail minister Claire Perry resigns". BBC News. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Internet Pornography: 23 Nov 2010: House of Commons debates". TheyWorkForYou. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Caroline Davies "Broadband firms urged to block sex websites to protect children", The Guardian, 19 December 2010
  15. ^ "MP calls for pornography 'opt-in' to protect children", BBC News, 23 November 2010
  16. ^ "Net block MP Claire Perry in spat over porn hack", BBC News, 24 July 2013
  17. ^ Doctorow C Technologically illiterate MP who masterminded UK porn blocker gets hacked, threatens reporter for writing about it, boing boing, 24 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  18. ^ Josh Halliday "Guido Fawkes blogger threatens to sue Tory MP over hacking accusation", The Guardian, 24 July 2013
  19. ^ Worstall, Tim (25 December 2013). "The Best Story Yet About The UK's Online Porn Filters". Forbes. 
  20. ^ "FSC's Duke Argues Against Censorship at UK Roundtable". Adult Video News. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Prime Minister puts the twit back in Twitter...". Daily Mail. 8 October 2012. 
  22. ^ "Boris on Best Behaviour…". Guido Fawkes. 8 October 2012. On Radio 5 this morning:
    Victoria Derbyshire: What is puzzling is, under Labour debt equals bad, under the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats national debt equals?
    Claire Perry: We have cut Labour's deficit Victoria by a quarter
    Derbyshire: I’m talking about debt
    Perry: Well it is the same thing
    Derbyshire: It is not the same thing
  23. ^ "Question Time: as it happened 26th October". The Daily Telegraph. 26 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Fascinating to find out what changes are afoot". Newsquest. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Ancram
Member of Parliament for Devizes
Preceded by
Stephen Hammond
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Paul Maynard