Justine Greening

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The Right Honourable
Justine Greening
Justine Greening June 2015.jpg
Secretary of State for Education
Minister for Women and Equalities
Assumed office
14 July 2016
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Nicky Morgan
Secretary of State for International Development
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Andrew Mitchell
Succeeded by Priti Patel
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
14 October 2011 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Philip Hammond
Succeeded by Patrick McLoughlin
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
In office
13 May 2010 – 14 October 2011
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Ian Pearson
Succeeded by Chloe Smith
Shadow Minister for London
In office
19 January 2009 – 13 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Shadowing Tony McNulty
Tessa Jowell
Preceded by Bob Neill
Succeeded by Tessa Jowell
Member of Parliament
for Putney
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Tony Colman
Majority 10,053 (24.6%)
Personal details
Born (1969-04-30) 30 April 1969 (age 47)
Rotherham, England
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University of Southampton
University of London
Religion Anglicanism
Website Official website

Justine Greening PC MP (born 30 April 1969) is a British Conservative Party politician who has served as Secretary of State for Education since 2016 and has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney since 2005. In 2013, she was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[1]

Greening was first elected as a member of parliament (MP) at the 2005 general election. She was appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury in May 2010 and then became Secretary of State for Transport in October 2011. In September 2012, she was replaced by Patrick McLoughlin at the Department for Transport, and became Secretary of State for International Development.[2] On 14 July 2016, she replaced Nicky Morgan as Secretary of State for Education in Theresa May's first government.

Early life[edit]

Greening was born in Rotherham, where she attended Oakwood Comprehensive School.[3] She is a graduate of the University of Southampton, where she studied Economics,[4] and has an MBA from the London Business School. Before entering parliament, she trained and qualified[5] as an accountant, before working as an accountant/finance manager for, amongst others, Price Waterhouse Coopers, GlaxoSmithKline and Centrica.

Political career[edit]

Greening contested the constituency of Ealing, Acton & Shepherd's Bush in 2001, finishing second with a reduced share of the vote for the Conservatives. She won the seat of Putney 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. She was the youngest female Conservative MP in the House of Commons[6] 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 focussed on transport and local community benefits.

During the 2009 expenses scandal, Greening was ranked as the 9th best value for money MP in research carried out by the free-market think tank, the Adam Smith Institute, and of all her expenses claims she was the 599th lowest out of the 645 MPs. In March 2010 she was put in charge of co-ordinating the Conservative campaign for the 2010 general election in London.[7] She became Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Transport Secretary[edit]

In October 2011 she was appointed Secretary of State for Transport and was sworn of the Privy Council.[8]

Greening represents the London constituency of Putney and 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.[9]

International Development Secretary[edit]

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.[2] The move was attacked by Boris Johnson.[10] As Secretary of State for International Development, Greening became a member of the National Security Council.

Greening failed to vote in a critical parliamentary division about military action in Syria. Although in the Houses of Parliament at the time, she was reportedly chatting to another Minister in a room behind the House of Commons, failing to notice that the division bell had sounded.[11]

Education Secretary[edit]

Greening was appointed Secretary of State for Education by Theresa May on 14 July 2016, replacing Nicky Morgan.

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!"[12] Greening was previously in a relationship with Mark Clarke, the former director of the Young Britons Foundation and parliamentary candidate in Tooting, who was banned from the party for his involvement in a bullying scandal in Conservative Future.[13][14] Her coming out in June 2016 makes her the first openly gay or bisexual female cabinet minister in the United Kingdom.[15]


  • Ms Justine Greening (1969–2005)
  • Ms Justine Greening, MP (2005–2011)
  • The Rt Hon Justine Greening, MP (2011–)


  1. ^ "BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power List". BBC. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Full post-reshuffle list of Conservative Cabinet Ministers". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Justine Greening: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "About Justine". Justine Greening website. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to ICAEW.com". ICAEW. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "BBC News". BBC. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived 15 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Orders for 17 October 2011" (PDF). Privy Council Office. 
  9. ^ Hope, Christopher (28 August 2012). "Heathrow third runway: Transport Secretary threatens to resign". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  10. ^ "Boris Johnson condemns Justine Greening 'demotion over Heathrow'". Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Groves, Jason (30 August 2013). "Six ministers who missed the vote: Chief Whip under fire as shambles in Commons is exposed". Daily Mail. London. 
  12. ^ Saul, Heather (25 June 2016). "Pride 2016: Tory MP Justine Greening announces she is in a same-sex relationship". The Independent. Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Dog, Black (2012-01-21). "Justine's lonely road to the top | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  14. ^ Quinton, Matt (2015-11-20). "Sex, drugs, booze, blackmail, bullying & suicide scandal which is rocking Tories – The Sun". Thesun.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  15. ^ "Justine Greening comes out as first female UK cabinet minister in a same-sex relationship · PinkNews". Pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 

External links[edit]

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

Political offices
Preceded by
Ian Pearson
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Chloe Smith
Preceded by
Philip Hammond
Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Patrick McLoughlin
Preceded by
Andrew Mitchell
Secretary of State for International Development
Succeeded by
Priti Patel
Preceded by
Nicky Morgan
Secretary of State for Education
Minister for Women and Equalities