Heidi Allen

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Heidi Allen
MP
Official portrait of Heidi Allen crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for South Cambridgeshire
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded by Andrew Lansley
Majority 15,952 (24.6%)
Personal details
Born (1975-01-18) 18 January 1975 (age 43)
Notton, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Phil Allen
Residence Elsworth, Cambridgeshire
Alma mater University College London
Website heidisouthcambs.co.uk

Heidi Allen MP (born 18 January 1975) is a British Conservative Party politician.

Allen was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Cambridgeshire at the 2015 general election. She succeeded Andrew Lansley, the former Conservative government minister who had held the seat since its creation in 1997, following his retirement from the House of Commons in 2015.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Allen was born in Notton, a small rural village near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, and received a degree in astrophysics from University College London (BSc).

Allen worked in various corporate positions, including ExxonMobil and the Royal Mail.[2] In 2008 she joined the family classic-motorcycle paints business, RS Bike Paint Ltd, established by her parents in 1978 and now run by her husband Phil Allen.

Allen has said she was inspired to become active in politics after watching the scenes of the Tottenham riots, and first became a councillor in St Albans. Allen served as a councillor for 18 months before making a bid to become an MP.[3]

Parliamentary career[edit]

In February 2014, Allen came a close second in the controversial open selection process for the South East Cambridgeshire parliamentary constituency[4] before, in October, being selected as prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC), for South Cambridgeshire.[5] The seat was already held by the Conservative Andrew Lansley, then a cabinet minister, who had decided to stand down at the next general election.[6]

She won the seat in the 2015 general election, increasing the Conservative majority and taking 51.1% of the votes cast. The nearest candidate was Labour who took 17.6% of the vote.[1]

In July 2015, Allen was elected to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.[7] Allen made her maiden speech before the House of Commons on 20 October 2015, when she detailed criticism of proposed cuts to tax credits, saying, 'because today I can sit on my hands no longer'. She wanted to criticise the proposed tax credit cuts. She wanted to intervene before it was 'too late' to stop the changes to tax credits, even though she didn't want to support the motion tabled by Labour because she disagreed with the party's overall stance,[8][9][10] whilst also not being in favour of the Government's motion over tax credit cuts.[11] Isabel Hardman of The Spectator described her speech as "truly brave" and "well argued".[12] Despite her speech, she voted in favour of tax credit cuts, in line with the Conservative whip.[13][14]

Allen was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 EU membership referendum.[15] Allen voted in favour of triggering article 50 in a vote in the House of Commons.[16]

In June 2017, Allen was re-elected as Member of Parliament for South Cambridgeshire in the snap general election. Over that summer it was mooted that Jacob Rees-Mogg would be a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Allen announced that if he became leader she would leave the party.[17]

In December 2017, Allen displayed tears during a House of Commons debate on Universal Credit after hearing fellow MP, Frank Field, describe how he had talked a man out of suicide.[18] The Department for Work and Pensions later stated that "the two examples that [Field] gave were not claimants on Universal Credit"[19] In the same month Allen voted along with fellow Tory Dominic Grieve and nine other Tory MPs against the government, and in favour of guaranteeing Parliament a "meaningful vote" on any deal Theresa May agrees with Brussels over Brexit.[20]

In June 2018 during a debate on changing the abortion laws in Northern Ireland following a referendum in the Republic of Ireland which would amend the Constitution of Ireland to allow terminatons, Allen revealed that she had an abortion for health reasons when she was younger. She elaborated: "I was ill when I made the incredibly hard decision to have a termination: I was having seizures every day, I wasn't even able to control my own body, let alone care for a new life... I am a modern, progressive woman in this country and I am proud that this country is my home... How can it be that Northern Ireland will soon be the only part of Great Britain and Ireland where terminations are to all intents and purposes outlawed?"[21]

Mayoral intentions[edit]

On 5 December 2016, Allen announced her intention to put her name forward for the Conservative nomination for the election of Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in May 2017. Allen proposed to combine the role with her current position as MP for South Cambridgeshire.[22] However, in January 2017, she failed to win the Conservative Party nomination for the role.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Election 2015 – Cambridgeshire South". BBC. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Heidi Allen – Member of Parliament for South Cambridgeshire". Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  3. ^ White, Debbie (16 January 2014). "St Albans councillor fails to win bid for safe Tory parliamentary seat". The Herts Advertiser. 
  4. ^ Game, Chris (11 February 2014). "The Conservatives' disastrous primary election in South East Cambridgeshire should not deter other local parties from using primaries". democraticaudit.com. Democratic Audit UK. 
  5. ^ Goodman, Paul (11 October 2014). "Heidi Allen wins South Cambridgeshire selection". Conservative Home. 
  6. ^ Wallace, Mark (7 January 2014). "Alleged vote counting error throws South East Cambridgeshire Open Primary result into doubt". Conservative Home. 
  7. ^ "Work and Pensions Committee – membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "MPs debate tax credits: 20 October 2015". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. 
  9. ^ "Government narrowly win vote for tax credit cuts". ITV News. 20 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "MP Heidi Allen warns tax credit cuts 'betray' Tory values". BBC News. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Tory MP speaks passionately against tax credits cuts. Before voting for them. Again". Political Scrapbook. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  12. ^ Hardman, Isabel (21 October 2015). "Tory MP Heidi Allen's devastating attack on tax credit cuts". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 21 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  13. ^ Nagesh, Ashitha (23 October 2015). "Heidi Allen voted for the tax credit cuts after all after accusing George Osborne of betrayal". Metro. 
  14. ^ "Heidi Allen – Spending on Welfare Benefits". They Work For You. 
  15. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  16. ^ "Brexit vote: How did your MP vote on the the [sic] bill?". BBC News. 9 February 2017. 
  17. ^ Simons, Ned (14 August 2017). "Conservative MP Heidi Allen says she will quit party If Jacob Rees-Mogg is made leader". HuffPost. 
  18. ^ Bowden, George (5 December 2017). "Tory MP Heidi Allen moved to tears after heartbreaking Universal Credit speech". HuffPost. Retrieved 6 December 2017. 
  19. ^ "Any Questions". BBC News. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  20. ^ Austin, Henry (13 December 2017). "Brexit vote: The 11 Tory rebel MPs who defeated the Government". The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2018. 
  21. ^ Harriet Line (5 June 2018). "Heidi Allen reveals she had an abortion and her reasons for it". Cambridge News. Retrieved 5 June 2018. 
  22. ^ Comber, Ben (5 December 2016). "MP Heidi Allen will run for mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough". Cambridge Independent. 
  23. ^ Lamy, Joel (16 January 2017). "Marco Cereste and MP Heidi Allen fail in bid to become elected mayor of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Andrew Lansley
Member of Parliament
for South Cambridgeshire

2015–present
Incumbent