Sandys (left) in 2013
|Member of Parliament
for South Thanet
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Stephen Ladyman|
|Succeeded by||Craig Mackinlay|
|Born||5 June 1964|
Laura Jane Sandys (//; born 5 June 1964) was chair of the European Movement UK and a British Conservative Party politician. She served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for South Thanet between the 2010 UK general election and 2015.
The daughter of Duncan Sandys through his second marriage to Marie-Claire (née Schmitt), Sandys was born on 5 June 1964 and christened on 17 July 1964 in the Crypt Chapel of the Palace of Westminster. Her father was a member of parliament, and later a life peer, who served as Minister of Defence in Harold Macmillan's government and was also the son-in-law of Winston Churchill (through his first marriage to Diana Churchill).
Career before Parliament
In the 1980s, Sandys was a Director of Barter Group, an organisation doing business by exchange of goods or services rather than cash in the former Eastern Bloc. She moved on to lead the Parliamentary Unit at the Consumers' Association. Sandys has also worked in public relations; since 1992 she worked through Laura Sandys Associates, also known by its abbreviation LSA. She later became Head of Communications at the Shopping Hours Reform Council, an organisation which promotes allowing shops to open on Sundays. She is also a journalist, also writing for newspapers, and a commentator appearing on television and radio on a wide range of issues, including urban development and the Iraq war. She contributed the opening chapter Paul Cornish's book The War in Iraq (October 2004).
Sandys completed an Open University course on Environment and Development in 1993 and is currently a trustee of the Open University Foundation, which was established in 1973 as an independent charitable trust to further the objects of the University. She is a non-executive director on the board of openDemocracy; her biography on that site describes her as: "having experience of political structures across Europe, Turkey, South America and the US". The site also states that she has worked as a journalist and policy strategist in Washington D.C. She was appointed a Trustee of the Civic Trust on 18 July 2000 and is a member of its Policy Committee. and was also a Senior Research Associate for the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College London.
Before the 2005 general election, Sandys applied to be selected as a Conservative candidate in fourteen parliamentary constituencies and was shortlisted in Surrey Heath and Arundel and South Downs. She missed out, however, to Michael Gove and Nick Herbert respectively. With a group of other women Conservatives, Sandys signed a letter in support of David Cameron's election as Conservative Party leader which was printed in The Daily Telegraph in August 2005. Sandys nominated Christabel Flight in the May 2006 Westminster City Council elections.
In 2006, Sandys was placed on the new 'A-list' of Conservative candidates ahead of the 2010 general election. In October 2006, she was selected to stand as the Conservative candidate for Thanet South, defeating Mark MacGregor, the party's previous candidate at the 2001 and 2005 elections. The constituency was then held by Stephen Ladyman for the Labour Party. She lives locally within the constituency in the town of Ramsgate with her husband, Randolph Kent, whom she married on 3 September 2007 in Ramsgate, Kent.
An article in The Sunday Telegraph in October 2009 reported "Some high-profile women are already installed in winnable seats: Louise Bagshawe, Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel, Laura Sandys and Joanne Cash will all make colourful additions to the Tory benches."
Sandys is a Vice-President of the Debating Group.
In August 2014, Sandys announced that she would not be standing in the 2015 General election. She explained that, "I have been considering my future in light of a wide range of family demands and have decided that I cannot combine the level of dedication and service needed for the constituency with my growing personal responsibilities to those closest and dearest to me."
As Chair of the European Movement, Sandys played a role in campaigning to remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum on EU membership, albeit critical of the official umbrella campaign Britain Stronger in Europe. After the result, she resigned as Chair of the Movement and was succeeded by Richard Corbett.
- "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8743.
- "Policy Connect Limited". Dellam Corporate Information. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Auden at stanford.edu
- Paul Waugh, Writer wins fight for Tory seat, Evening Standard, 6 July 2004. Evening Standard, 6 July 2004
- How it Works at bartergroup.com
- Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (22 January 1993). "Parliament publications/Hansard 1993". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "''The War in Iraq'' by Paul Cornish". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "OpenDemocracy". OpenDemocracy. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Laura Sandys at opendemocracy.net
- "Civic Trust". Archived from the original on 12 March 2005.
- Centre for Defence Studies
- Sophie Tedmanson; Sadie Gray (27 September 2011). "''UK Times Online''". Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Letters. "''Daily Telegraph'', 11 August 2005". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- 2006 Westminster City Council elections at westminster.gov.uk
- "Conservativehome.blogs". Conservativehome.blogs. 11 May 2006. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "Laura Sandys". The Conservative Party. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Melissa Kite "The softly, softly fight for the women's vote at the general election", The Sunday Telegraph, 25 October 2009
- Debating Group
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for South Thanet