Justine Greening

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Justine Greening
Official portrait of Justine Greening crop 2.jpg
Greening in 2017
Secretary of State for Education
In office
14 July 2016 – 8 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byNicky Morgan
Succeeded byDamian Hinds
Minister for Women and Equalities
In office
14 July 2016 – 8 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byNicky Morgan
Succeeded byAmber Rudd
Secretary of State for International Development
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byAndrew Mitchell
Succeeded byPriti Patel
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
14 October 2011 – 4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byPhilip Hammond
Succeeded byPatrick McLoughlin
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
In office
13 May 2010 – 14 October 2011
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byIan Pearson
Succeeded byChloe Smith
Shadow Minister for London
In office
19 January 2009 – 13 May 2010
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byBob Neill
Succeeded byTessa Jowell
Member of Parliament
for Putney
In office
5 May 2005 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byTony Colman
Succeeded byFleur Anderson
Personal details
Born (1969-04-30) 30 April 1969 (age 51)
Rotherham, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative (until 2019)
Independent (2019)
Alma materUniversity of Southampton
London Business School
WebsiteOfficial website

Justine Greening (born 30 April 1969) is a British social activist and former politician who served as Secretary of State for Education from 2016 to 2018 and as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney from 2005 to 2019. She served in the Cameron Government as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Transport, prior to being appointed Secretary of State for International Development in September 2012.[1] From 14 July 2016 to 8 January 2018, she served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities in the May Government. She resigned as Education Secretary in the January 2018 Cabinet reshuffle.

On 3 September 2019, Greening announced that she would not be standing as a Conservative at the next general election. Later the same day, she was one of 21 Conservative MPs who had the whip withdrawn after voting against the government.[2][3] She sat as an independent MP until Parliament was dissolved for the December 2019 general election.

Early life[edit]

Greening was born in Rotherham, where she attended Oakwood Comprehensive School.[4] She studied Business Economics and Accounting at the University of Southampton, graduating with a first class honours degree in 1990.[5] She obtained an Executive MBA from the London Business School in 2000.[6]

Before entering parliament, she trained and qualified[7] as an accountant, working as an accountant/finance manager for, amongst others, PricewaterhouseCoopers, GlaxoSmithKline and Centrica.[8] She contested the constituency of Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush in 2001; Greening finished second with a reduced share of the vote for the Conservatives.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Greening gained the seat of Putney from Labour in the 2005 general election on 5 May 2005. Greening won 15,497 votes (42.4% of the vote) giving her a majority of 1,766 (4.8%). She unseated Tony Colman, who had held the seat for Labour since defeating David Mellor in 1997.

As the first Conservative elected on the evening of the election, her victory was the first real sign that the Conservative Party was to reduce the Labour Government's majority and begin to recover from the landslide defeats of the 1997 and 2001 general elections. Michael Howard, who had visited Putney to give a speech on his first day as Conservative Leader, returned there on the morning after the election to congratulate Putney Conservatives and give the speech in which he announced his intention to step down. Greening was the youngest female Conservative MP in the House of Commons[9] until Chloe Smith was elected to Parliament on 12 October 2009.

Greening was appointed a vice-chair (with responsibility for youth) of the Conservative Party on 15 December 2005, having earlier that year been appointed a member of the Work and Pensions Committee. In July 2007, following a shadow ministerial reshuffle, she was promoted to be a Junior Shadow Minister for The Treasury.

In January 2009, following a further shadow ministerial reshuffle, Greening was promoted to Shadow Minister for London, within the Communities and Local Government Team with responsibility for Local Government Finance. Within this brief, she focused on transport and local community benefits.

In March 2010, she was put in charge of co-ordinating the Conservative campaign for the 2010 general election in London.[10] She held the post of Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 13 May 2010 to 14 October 2011, where she helped deliver the emergency budget in 2010.

In 2018, she established the Social Mobility Pledge upon returning to the backbenches, a new scheme aimed at broadening social mobility and opportunity in Britain. Later that year, she became the first senior Conservative to come out in favour of a new EU referendum, arguing that Parliament was unable to make a decision on Brexit and therefore it had to be put back to the people. In October 2018, in an interview on Good Morning Britain she was asked if she would be interested in launching a leadership bid. Greening said: "Well, things need to change, don't they, and people need to have some hope for the future that Britain can be a country that runs differently and more fairly." Questioned again on whether she would stand for the Conservative leadership if there were a vacancy, Greening said: "I might be prepared to, but I'm more interested in the Conservative party actually showing what it can do for this country."[11]

In early 2019, she co-founded the group Right to Vote alongside Dominic Grieve and Phillip Lee calling for a new referendum.[12] After the formation of The Independent Group, Greening suggested that she could resign the Conservative whip if there was a 'no deal' Brexit. In April 2019, Greening indicated again that she would run for the Tory leadership if a 'centrist' did not run. She also unveiled possible policies such as scrapping tuition fees in favour of a graduate tax and increasing the number of Opportunity Areas.[13]

Transport Secretary[edit]

In October 2011, she was appointed Secretary of State for Transport and was sworn of the Privy Council.[14]

Whilst Greening represented the London constituency of Putney she had always campaigned against a third runway at Heathrow Airport. In the run up to the 2012 Cabinet reshuffle, Greening said it would be difficult to serve in a Cabinet which was in favour of a third runway.[15]

In her role as Secretary of State for Transport, Greening oversaw the award of new rail franchises, including the award of the Intercity West Coast franchise to First Group in 2012. In October 2012, Greening announced that the government was cancelling the franchise competition for the InterCity West Coast franchise after discovering significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted, reversing the decision to award it to FirstGroup.[16] Subsequently, Sir Philip Rutnam, then Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, issued an apology to Greening stating the problem “clearly the responsibility of officials and not ministers".[17] A report by the Transport Select Committee found fault with Greening and revealed that the cost to the taxpayer of the flawed franchise process was at least £40 million.[18]

International Development Secretary[edit]

Secretary of State Greening meets actress Geena Davis at the Millennium Development Goals Countdown event at the Ford Foundation Building (24 September 2013)
Greening and actor Idris Elba at a Defeating Ebola virus conference (2014)

On 4 September 2012, she was replaced by Patrick McLoughlin at the Department for Transport and became Secretary of State for International Development.[1] The move was strongly criticised by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson who believed it was linked to her opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.[19] As Secretary of State for International Development, Greening became a member of the National Security Council.

Whilst she was in the role of International Development Secretary, the UK became the first G8 country to meet the commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income on international development, meeting the UN official development assistance target subsequently legislating for this.[20][21] Greening led the UK response to international natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013[22][23] and the Nepal earthquake in 2015.[24][25]

In 2014, Greening held the first-ever Girl Summit in London, which saw leaders and young people from all over the world come together to work to help combat female genital mutilation and early and forced marriage. [26] [27]

Greening led the UK response to the Syria crisis including the UK work in Lebanon and Jordan to support local economies to provide work for refugees as well as local people. Greening pioneered the “No Lost Generation” initiative with then UNHCR boss Antonio Guterres and UNICEF to enable Syrian refugee children to still continue their education.[28]

Greening led the international response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014-2015, committing a £230 million aid package including support for 700 treatment beds and funding for children orphaned by the crisis. Greening stated that children would not be “left behind once Ebola was defeated.” “Operation Gritrock” was the first-ever UK military campaign led by DFID, and was also supported by NHS personnel.[29] [30]

In 2015, Greening announced a new economic empowerment programme for women at the Global Goals Summit[31] and campaigned successfully for Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality to be included amongst the UN Sustainable Development goals during international negotiations. [32]

Following an initiative by Greening, Ban Ki Moon, then UN Secretary General, announced in 2016 the creation of the UN’s first high-level panel on women’s economic empowerment. Greening joined other founding panel members including Jim Kim, the then President of the World Bank, and Christine Lagarde, the then head of the International Monetary Fund, to make recommendations on how to support the realisation of women’s economic potential around the world.[33] [34]

During the refugee crisis, Greening oversaw £1 billion pounds of aid spending to support Syrian refugees with water, food, shelter and medical care.[35] Greening further pressured UK businesses and other countries to “put their hands in their pockets”[36] to help before warning the European migrant crisis could last 20 years if nothing was done.[37] Greening argued during negotiations for the Paris Climate Change Agreement that climate change would continue to be a root cause of refugee migration and launched an insurance scheme to help developing nations deal with natural disasters caused by climate change.[38] [39]

Education Secretary[edit]

Greening was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities by Theresa May on 14 July 2016, replacing Nicky Morgan in both roles. During her time in these posts, she announced the creation of social mobility 'opportunity areas', and the approval of additional free schools.[40][41] She has also spoken in favour of creating new grammar schools and retaining university tuition fees.[42][43]

In the June 2017 general election, after which the Conservatives formed a minority government, she held her Putney constituency with a reduced majority and a loss in vote share of 9.7%.[44] She remained Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities after the election until her resignation from government on 8 January 2018, during a cabinet reshuffle: it was reported that she had rejected the post of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, interpreted variously as the offer of a "sideways move" or a demotion.[45]

Whilst Education Secretary, Greening developed targeted Opportunity Areas across England which saw targeted funding to link schools and employers in areas with weak social mobility.[46] In December 2017, Greening launched the Department for Education’s Social Mobility Action Plan to improve social mobility through education which included four ambitions on further education, skills, early years and attainment gaps.[47] Other departments in Whitehall have followed the example and have also created their own social mobility action plans.

Sitting as an independent[edit]

On 3 September 2019, Greening joined 20 other rebel Conservative MPs to vote against the Conservative government of Boris Johnson.[48] The rebel MPs voted with the Opposition against a Conservative motion which subsequently failed. Effectively, they helped block Johnson's "no deal" Brexit plan from proceeding on 31 October.[49] Subsequently, all 21 were advised that they had lost the Conservative whip,[50] expelling them as Conservative MPs, requiring them to sit as independents.[51][52] If they decided to run for re-election in a future election, the Party would block their selection as Conservative candidates.[49] However, Greening said she was not planning to stand for re-election.

After Parliament[edit]

Since leaving Parliament, Greening has campaigned for social mobility and equality of opportunity.[53][54]

In 2020, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and ensuing United Kingdom lockdown, she campaigned for businesses to provide extra support to their employees, customers and communities during the crisis.[55]

Personal life[edit]

In June 2016, Greening revealed on Twitter that she was in a "happy same-sex relationship". Referring to the EU membership referendum, she added: "I campaigned for Stronger In but sometimes you're better off out!"[56] Greening was previously in a relationship with Mark Clarke, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate for Tooting who was expelled from the party for his involvement in a bullying scandal of young members.[57]

Styles[edit]

  • Miss Justine Greening (1969–1987)
  • Ms Justine Greening (1987–2005)
  • Ms Justine Greening MP (2005–2011)
  • The Right Honourable Justine Greening MP (2011–2019)
  • The Right Honourable Justine Greening (2019–present)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Full post-reshuffle list of Conservative Cabinet Ministers". ConservativeHome. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. ^ Proctor, Kate (3 September 2019). "Justine Greening to quit as Tory MP at next election". The Guardian.
  3. ^ https://metro.co.uk/2019/09/04/conservative-rebels-lost-party-whip-10681754/, Who are the Conservative rebels that lost the party whip?
  4. ^ "Justine Greening: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Southampton graduate appointed Secretary of State for Education". University of Southampton website. 14 July 2016. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Notable alumni: The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP". London Business School website. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Welcome to ICAEW.com". ICAEW. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  8. ^ "LSCA member holds seat at general election". Justine Greening, Education Secretary, MP for Putney and LSCA member, was among a number of accountants who were successful in the general election, while others failed in their election bids. ICAEW. 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  9. ^ "BBC News". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  10. ^ [1] Archived 15 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Weaver, Matthew (29 October 2018). "Justine Greening hints at Conservative leadership bid". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  12. ^ Lee, Phillip (19 March 2019). "Letter to the Prime Minister from Dr Phillip Lee MP" (pdf). Letter to Theresa May. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Justine Greening says May-Corbyn Brexit talks are a mess and reveals if she'll run for PM | ITV News" – via www.youtube.com.
  14. ^ "Orders for 17 October 2011" (PDF). Privy Council Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 March 2016.
  15. ^ Hope, Christopher (28 August 2012). "Heathrow third runway: Transport Secretary threatens to resign". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Announcements – GOV.UK". www.dft.gov.uk.
  17. ^ Watt, Nicholas; Jowett, Juliette. "Top civil servant apologises to Justine Greening over west coast rail debacle". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  18. ^ Watts, Robert (9 January 2018). "Justine Greening to face criticism over West Coast Main Line fiasco". The Daily Telegraph.
  19. ^ "Boris Johnson condemns Justine Greening 'demotion over Heathrow'". Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  20. ^ Coffey, Claire; Haddad, Lawrence; Hilary, John; Phillips, Ben. "Justine Greening's first year: how has the development secretary fared?". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  21. ^ Anderson, Mark. "This article is more than 5 years old UK passes bill to honour pledge of 0.7% foreign aid target". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  22. ^ "UK at 'forefront' of Typhoon Haiyan aid response". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  23. ^ Peacock, Louisa. "Typhoon Haiyan: "We are failing thousands of girls at risk of rape or trafficking," says Justine Greening". The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Nepal earthquake: UK aid donations reach £15m". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  25. ^ "Nepal earthquake: UK sends humanitarian experts". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  26. ^ Sanghani, Radhika. "UK's first Girl Summit aims to end FGM and forced marriage". The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  27. ^ Urwin, Rosamund. "Minister for girls: Justine Greening on the fight to end FGM". The Evening Standard. The Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  28. ^ Elliott, Larry. "Could Justine Greening's budget help educate Syria's displaced children?". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Ebola outbreak: £2.5m UK grant to help children". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  30. ^ "Greening to meet troops tackling Ebola in Sierra Leone". ITV. ITV. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  31. ^ Ford, Liz. "Global goals received with rapture in New York – now comes the hard part". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  32. ^ Vale, Paul. "Justine Greening On Putting Women's Rights At The Heart Of The UN's Global Goals". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  33. ^ "UN chief announces first-ever High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment". UN. UN. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  34. ^ Elliott, Larry. "UN launches initiative for women's economic empowerment at Davos". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  35. ^ Merrick, Jane. "Refugee crisis: UK government promises extra support to UN refugee agency". The Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  36. ^ Wintour, Patrick; Watt, Nicholas; Black, Ian. "Justine Greening: countries must put hands in pockets for Syrian refugees". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  37. ^ Freeman, Colin; Holehouse, Matthew. "Europe's migrant crisis likely to last for 20 years, says International Development Secretary". The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  38. ^ Gosden, Emily. "Justine Greening: Our choice is climate aid or more refugees". The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  39. ^ Beament, Emily. "Climate Change Will Destabilise World With Impact On UK, Warns Justine Greening". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  40. ^ "Greening announces social mobility 'opportunity areas'". BBC News website. 4 October 2016. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  41. ^ "Next wave of free schools approved". BBC News website. 12 April 2017. Archived from the original on 11 May 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  42. ^ "Greening pledges grammar 'meritocracy'". BBC News website. 12 September 2016. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  43. ^ "Justine Greening: Labour's free tuition plan 'threat to access'". Times Higher Education website. 12 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Putney Parliamentary constituency – Election 2017". BBC News website. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  45. ^ Ashtana, Anushka (8 January 2018). "Theresa May's reshuffle in disarray as Justine Greening quits". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  46. ^ Coughlan, Sean. "Greening announces social mobility 'opportunity areas'". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  47. ^ Coughlan, Sean. "Greening wants social mobility to 'unlock talent'". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  48. ^ Lyons, Kate; Rawlinson, Kevin; Sparrow, Andrew; Perraudin, Frances (4 September 2019). "Boris Johnson to table motion for election after failed vote – as it happened" – via www.theguardian.com.
  49. ^ a b Mikhailova, Anna (4 September 2019). "Boris Johnson to strip 21 Tory MPs of the Tory whip in parliamentary bloodbath". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235.
  50. ^ "What is removing the whip, filibustering and other Brexit jargon?". BBC Newsbeat. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  51. ^ "Whips". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  52. ^ "Boris Johnson to seek election after rebel Tories deliver Commons defeat". Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  53. ^ Murphy, Lizzie. "Why Justine Greening is targeting social mobility for the UK's youth". Yorkshire Post. Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  54. ^ Gale, Adam. "Justine Greening: "The link between effort and reward has broken down"". Management Today. Management Today. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  55. ^ Boscia, Stefan. "Business heavyweights sign on to Covid-19 business pact". CityAM. CityAM. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  56. ^ Saul, Heather (25 June 2016). "Pride 2016: Tory MP Justine Greening announces she is in a same-sex relationship". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  57. ^ "Revealed: Andrew Feldman campaigned with Tatler Tory Mark Clarke – The Commentator". www.thecommentator.com. Retrieved 3 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tony Colman
Member of Parliament
for Putney

20052019
Succeeded by
Fleur Anderson
Political offices
Preceded by
Ian Pearson
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Chloe Smith
Preceded by
Philip Hammond
Secretary of State for Transport
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Patrick McLoughlin
Preceded by
Andrew Mitchell
Secretary of State for International Development
2012–2016
Succeeded by
Priti Patel
Preceded by
Nicky Morgan
Secretary of State for Education
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Damian Hinds
Minister for Women and Equalities
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Amber Rudd