Justine Thornton

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Justine Thornton
QC
Justine Thornton-Miliband.jpg
Thornton in September 2011
Personal details
Born (1970-09-25) 25 September 1970 (age 46)[1]
Manchester, Lancashire, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Ed Miliband (m. 2011)
Children 2
Alma mater Robinson College, Cambridge
Profession Barrister

Justine Thornton, QC (born 25 September 1970)[1][2] is a British lawyer specialising in Environmental law.[3]

The wife of Ed Miliband, former Leader of the Labour Party, she is a former child actress who appeared in Dramarama and Hardwicke House.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Thornton was born in Manchester to Labour-voting professionals,[1] Margaret and Dr Stewart Thornton.[1][5] Her mother was born in Wales, and her orthopaedic surgeon grandfather, who was based in Ammanford, was a speaker on social affairs.[6] The family moved to Nottingham, where Justine was educated at West Bridgford School.[7]

As a pupil at West Bridgford Comprehensive School, she appeared to be heading for an acting career. Thornton was a member of the Central Junior Television Workshop at the age of 16.[8] In 1987 she starred as Erica, a rebellious schoolgirl, in the hour-long pilot episode "The Visit" of Hardwicke House, an ITV sitcom that was later pulled from the schedules after only two episodes had been transmitted following a backlash over its content.[9] In 1988, she appeared as "Chrissie" in an episode of the long-running children's programme Dramarama titled "Snap Decision", which was aired in January 1989.[10]

Putting her acting career behind her, Thornton read Law at Robinson College, Cambridge, graduating in 1992. She became a barrister in 1994.[3] Thornton was appointed Queen's Counsel in January 2016.[11][12]

Career[edit]

Thornton practises in Environmental Law, now at 39 Essex Street.[13] The 2010 edition of Legal 500, the lawyers’ directory described her as “first class”.[14]

She was appointed an Advisor to the British Government on Biotechnology and the Environment under New Labour in 2000, a role she held until 2005 and was later on the Attorney-General's C Panel. She was later Chairwoman of SERA, Labour's Environment campaign. She has also acted on behalf of the Welsh Assembly, and in 2009 was shortlisted for Chambers and Partners "Environmental and Planning Junior of the Year".[3]

Thornton has worked on several law-related publications, as general editor of Sweet and Maxwell's Encyclopedia of Environmental Law, and a co-author of Sweet and Maxwell's textbook on Environmental law. She also co-authored the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 Law Society Legislation Guides.[3]

She became an Associate Governor of Brookfield Primary School in 2009.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Thornton's husband is former Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband MP. They met in 2002, and live together at Dartmouth Park in North London.[16][17] The couple were engaged in March 2010,[18][19] and married at Langar Hall near Nottingham on 27 May 2011.[20] They have two sons – Daniel (b. 2009) and Samuel (b. 2010).[21]

Thornton has been a long-term friend of The Hon. Frances Osborne, the wife of former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne, whom she met while both were studying at Cambridge University.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d McSmith, Andy. "Justine Thornton: Mrs Ed Miliband is no ordinary political spouse". The Independent. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Birth registered GRO Volume 10e, page 299, July–Sept 1970
  3. ^ a b c d "Chambers Partners – Firms – Justine Thornton". Chambersandpartners.com. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  4. ^ McSmith, Andy (14 March 2015). "Justine Thornton: Mrs Ed Miliband is no ordinary political spouse". The Independent. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "How setting up chairs led to romance for Doncaster North MP Ed and Justine". The Star. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  6. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/news-opinion/general-election-2015-justine-miliband-9098248
  7. ^ "Ed Miliband to marry Justine Thornton at Langar Hall". Nottingham Post. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Justine Thornton in banned ITV sitcom Hardwicke House (1986)". 
  9. ^ Stratton, Allegra (26 September 2010). "Ed Miliband's partner Justine Thornton is shy but steely". Guardian Online. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Snap Decision at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ Queen's Counsel appointments 2015 to 2016, gov.uk
  12. ^ Williams, Zoe (January 22, 2016). "New QCs Justine Thornton and Marina Wheeler: Is the legal profession still sexist?". The Guardian. 
  13. ^ "Members Profile – 39 Essex Street". 39essex.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  14. ^ Sawer, Patrick (3 October 2010). "Justine Thornton Mrs. Milibands secret history". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  15. ^ "Brookfield Primary School – Who We Are". Camden. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  16. ^ Brady, Brian; Merrick, Jane (7 June 2009). "Battle for survival at No 10: Mandelson key to defeat of rebels". The Independent on Sunday. London. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  17. ^ "Ed Miliband 'will marry' but politics 'got in the way'". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Doncaster MP Ed Miliband to wed". Doncaster Free Press. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Bingham, John (30 March 2011). "Ed Miliband to marry partner Justine Thornton – but no best man". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  20. ^ White, Michael (27 May 2011). "Ed Miliband wedding day – a very private affair". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 27 May 2011{{inconsistent citations}} 
  21. ^ "Ed Miliband's partner Justine gives birth to second son". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  22. ^ McElvoy, Anne (28 September 2010). "Anguish of the Miliband women". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 

External links[edit]