Louise Mensch in 2015
|Member of Parliament
6 May 2010 – 29 August 2012
|Preceded by||Phil Hope|
|Succeeded by||Andy Sawford|
|Born||Louise Daphne Bagshawe
28 June 1971
|Political party||Conservative (before 1996 and since 1997)|
|Labour (1996 to 1997)|
|Spouse(s)||Anthony LoCicero (m. 2000; div. 2009)
Peter Mensch (m. 2011)
|Relatives||Tilly Bagshawe (sister)|
|Residence||New York City, US|
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
- 1 Early and personal life
- 2 Writing career
- 3 Political career
- 4 Columnist
- 5 Internet ventures
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early and personal life
Mensch was born in London, England, the daughter of Nicholas Wilfrid Bagshawe and Daphne Margaret Triggs, and was raised a Roman Catholic. She has a brother and two sisters, one of whom, Tilly, is a freelance journalist and author.
Her family moved to the countryside when she was seven. She was educated at Beechwood Sacred Heart School, Tunbridge Wells, and Woldingham School, a Roman Catholic girls' boarding school in Surrey, and was named[by whom?] "Young Poet of the Year" in 1989 at the age of 18. She read English Language and Literature at Christ Church, Oxford and was Secretary of the Oxford Union.
Bagshawe married Anthony LoCicero, an Anglo-Italian Roman Catholic property speculator. They have three children, but separated after nine years. The marriage ended in divorce. In June 2011, she married music manager Peter Mensch, whom she had met twenty years earlier.
Her first novel, Career Girls, was published in 1995 and has been followed by 16 subsequent works in the chick lit genre aimed at young women. She has defended chick lit against allegations, specifically by psychologist Susan Quilliam, that the books cause irrationally high expectations which "ruin readers' lives" by saying that such books merely make readers raise their standards.
With parents who were active in the party, Mensch had joined the Conservatives when she was 14. Subsequently, in 1996, she switched to the Labour Party, saying she believed Tony Blair to be "socially liberal but an economic Tory". By 1997 she had returned to the Conservatives, helped her mother, Daphne, win a seat in East Sussex County Council from the Liberal Democrats, and campaigned in the 1997, 2001 and 2005 general elections. In 2001, Mensch co-founded the Oxonian Society with Joseph Pascal and Princess Badiya bint El Hassan of Jordan.
Mensch was placed on the A-List of Conservative candidates in 2006. In October 2006 she was selected to stand in Corby. As part of her campaigning for the 2010 election, she appeared on Question Time and BBC One's The Big Questions.
She believes the 2004 fox hunting ban should be repealed on civil liberties grounds, and that its debate and implementation was a waste of Parliamentary time. Mensch advocates "reality-based feminism", in particular "Conservative feminism" or "Tory feminism", and she has criticised what she sees as "ultra-feminism", the feminism of the "impact equalities assessment [sic]", and Britain's "modern feminist movement", which she contrasts unfavourably with "American feminism".
In the 2010 general election Mensch won the seat of Corby with a majority of 1,951, defeating Labour incumbent Phil Hope, and in June 2010 she was elected by other Conservative MPs to serve on the Select Committee for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
Phone hacking scandal
Political blogger Bagehot in The Economist named Mensch as the "surprise star" of the hearing saying her "sharp, precise, coolly scornful questions" contrasted with her "waffling, pompous" fellow committee members. Mensch later faced criticism for incorrectly claiming during the committee that Piers Morgan had written in his autobiography about conducting phone hacking while he was the editor of the Daily Mirror. When challenged on CNN by Morgan, Mensch cited the protection of parliamentary privilege and refused to withdraw the allegation; however, she also refused to openly repeat it. She later apologised to Morgan, claiming that she had misread a newspaper report about the book.
Three days later Mensch received an email alleging that she had taken a controlled substance with Nigel Kennedy at Ronnie Scott's club in Birmingham in the 1990s while working as a press officer for EMI Records. Mensch publicly released the email and admitted the allegations were "highly probable", but said she regretted only that others had to see her dancing and would not be deterred from asking further questions about phone hacking. She subsequently admitted using class A drugs in The Sunday Times.
The Culture, Media and Sport select committee finalised its report in April 2012. Mensch disagreed publicly with Tom Watson and Paul Farrelly, two Labour members of the committee, over whether the conclusion that Rupert Murdoch was unfit to run an international company, had been discussed before Watson tabled a Commons amendment on 30 April. Mensch and the other three Conservative members of the committee had opposed it, and could not support the report with the MP herself saying the report had become "partisan" as a result of the statement's inclusion. Mensch insisted on Newsnight on 2 May that it had not been discussed and was not part of its remit. Watson later accused Mensch of tabling pro-Murdoch amendments which would have "exonerated" James Murdoch in the report and, in Twitter exchanges with her, alleged private committee conversations had been leaked to News Corp.
Following the 2011 England riots Mensch called for social media services Twitter and Facebook to be shut down or to "take an hour off" during disturbances to stop the spread of false rumours wasting police resources. She compared the action with brief interruptions to road and rail networks during emergencies. However, other Twitter users compared such action to the online censorship of regimes such as Iran and China, whilst Sussex police said they had used Twitter to stop rumours.
In June 2012, a man was given a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years for sending Mensch an offensive and threatening email including threats against her children. Following his conviction, Mensch called for networking sites to identify anonymous bullies saying it was impossible for the victim to ascertain the seriousness of the threat posed, while the bullies felt they could do as they pleased without fear of retribution.
In May 2012, Mensch used her Twitter account to condemn abusive and threatening tweets that she had received, describing them as "misogyny and bullying". The tweets were subsequently reported in the mainstream press, and she received support for drawing attention to the issue from Jeremy Vine and Isabel Hardman, among others. In March 2014, Mensch was herself accused of cyberbullying after she sent a series of tweets to a journalist, which included personal remarks about his appearance.
In May 2015, after that year's general election, Mensch was accused of cyberbullying leader of the 'Milifandom', teenager Abby Tomlinson. Mensch denied the accusation, asserting that she had only criticised Tomlinson. Shortly afterwards, she wrote a 4,000-word blog entry to reiterate that she had not bullied Tomlinson, but made new assertions about the sixth-form student.
On 6 August 2012, Mensch announced her decision to resign as the MP for Corby to spend more time with her family in New York City. Mensch had appeared likely to be promoted in the expected September government reshuffle. She told her local newspaper that she had intended to stand down at the next election, but brought the date forward as she was concerned her children would be too settled in Britain by then. She was appointed to the nominal position of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead on 29 August 2012, thus vacating her seat. The subsequent by-election was won by Andy Sawford for the Labour party.
After leaving Parliament, Mensch wrote articles for several newspapers, including the The Times and The Sun. In May 2014, she started developing new digital projects for News Corporation. She works in her own time as an independent journalist.
In June 2012, Mensch joined forces with former Labour digital adviser Luke Bozier to set up a social networking website – a politics-based rival to Twitter. The site, named Menshn – pronounced "mention" – allowed users to select their topic of interest. Mensch hoped to raise venture capital finance. The site was slated by IT industry experts for its lack of security. Menshn closed in February 2013.
After the closure of menshn, Mensch announced she was setting up a style and fashion blog called Unfashionista. The website was covered widely in the British press; The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and others all ran articles – giving it mixed reviews – and Mumsnet made her a featured blogger on their bloggers' network.
Hudson Union Society
In June 2014 Mensch tweeted "F*** you, Greece. Nasty things happening to nasty people." The remarks were later reported in Greek media and press.
In 2012, while still a member of parliament, Louise Mensch admitted on the BBC current affairs panel show Question Time that "..I messed with my brain [by taking hard drugs]...It's had long-term mental health effects on me."
Mensch has been accused in UK newspapers of combining a tenaciously philosemitic defence of "the Jewish people" with an ignorance of Jewish history. She once tweeted that the term Zionist was merely an antisemitic code word for Jew; when asked by another user whether she would consider Theodor Herzl – one of the founding fathers of Zionism—antisemitic if he were to use the term, Mensch replied in the affirmative.
Writing as Louise Bagshawe:
- Career Girls (1995)
- The Movie (1996) aka Triple Feature
- Tall Poppies (1997)
- Venus Envy (1998)
- A Kept Woman (2000) aka For All the Wrong Reasons
- When She Was Bad... (2001)
- The Devil You Know (2003)
- Monday's Child (2004) aka The Go–To Girl
- Tuesday's Child (2005)
- Sparkles (2006)
- Glamour (2007)
- Glitz (2008)
- Passion (2009)
- Desire (2010)
- Destiny (2011)
Writing as Louise Mensch:
- Beauty (2014)
- Career Game (2015)
- Five Romantic Reads (2005; with Donna Hay, Laura Wolf, Jane Elizabeth Varley and Stella Chaplin)
- Gimson, Andrew (12 August 2012). "Louise Mensch: writing herself out of the Tory story". The Guardian. London, England.
- "Louise Mensch to quit as an MP, triggering Corby by-election". BBC News. 6 August 2012.
- "Marriages". The Times. 23 September 1969. p. 12.
- Scott, Caroline (6 March 2005). "Relative Values: Tilly and Louise Bagshawe". The Sunday Times. London, England.
- Who's Who 2011, A & C Black, 2011
- "Question Time:This week's panel". BBC News. 10 January 2008.
- "Louise Mensch (Ex-MP)". parliamentaryrecord.com.
- Profile in The Independent 5 May 2012
- Walker, Tim (27 May 2007). "Chick lit Tory candidate Louise Bagshawe splits from husband". The Daily Telegraph. London, England.
- d'Ancona, Matthew (2 February 2012). "Iron maiden". GQ. London, England.
- Singh, Anita (28 October 2012). "Louise Mensch, her hasty husband and two stories of why she threw in the towel". The Daily Telegraph. London, England.
- Dunbar, Polly; Pringle, Gill (14 November 2012). "Agony for New York wife as British lawmaker who had 20-year affair with and then married her rock-and-roll husband quits UK parliament and pitches up in Manhattan". Daily Mail. London, England.
- Walker, Tim (3 June 2011). "Tory MP Louise Bagshawe secretly marries Metallica manager Peter Mensch". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- Carter, Caire (9 May 2013). "Louise Mensch reveals her battle with attention deficit disorder". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
- King, Victoria (29 July 2011). "Tory MP Louise Mensch 'probably took drugs in club'". BBC News.
- Mensch, Louise (8 July 2011). "Chick-lit doesn't damage its readers, it just makes them raise their standards". The Daily Telegraph. London, England.
- Bernstein, Jon (4 October 2011). "The Politics Interview – Louise Mensch". New Statesman.
- "He sees women as equals". The Guardian. London, England. 19 April 2006.
- "Louise Mensch – Profile". Conservatives.com.
- "Today's Leaders, Tomorrow's Ideas. HUDSON UNION SOCIETY™". Hudson Union Society.
- "'Beautiful' Tory list under fire". BBC News. 19 April 2006.
- "'Chick-lit' author to stand at next general election". Northampton Chronicle & Echo. 13 October 2006.
- "BBC One Programmes – The Big Questions, Series 2, Episode 21". BBC News. 14 June 2009.
- "Louise Mensch – Interview". ConservativeHome. 14 June 2006.
- Mensch, Louise (30 May 2013). "How about some reality-based feminism?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- Mensch, Louise (24 January 2012). "Tory women bring feminism out of the ghetto". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- "Rupert and James Murdoch before Parliament". The Economist Blog. 19 July 2011.
- Swaine, Jon (20 July 2011). "Phone hacking: Piers Morgan in on-air hacking row with Louise Mensch". The Daily Telegraph. London, England.
- "MP Mensch apologises to Piers Morgan for hacking slur". BBC News. 29 July 2011.
- Sanchez, Raf (29 July 2011). "Louise Mensch releases email allegations made by journalist". The Daily Telegraph. London, England.
- "Louise Mensch comes clean on Morgan, drugs and bad dancing". 4 News. 29 July 2011.
- Buckland, Lucy (7 November 2011). "Class A drugs caused me long-term mental damage: Tory MP Louise Mensch's candid confession". Daily Mail.
- "Phone-hacking report 'partisan' – Tory MP Louise Mensch". BBC News. 1 May 2012.
- Deans, Jason; Plunkett, John (1 May 2012). "Phone hacking: select committee report unveiled". The Guardian Blog. London, England.
- "Was Rupert Murdoch's 'fitness' to run News Corp discussed?". BBC News. 2 May 2012.
- Wintour, Patrick; Sabbagh, Dan; Halliday, Josh (2 May 2012). "Phone-hacking: MPs clash over when Murdoch criticisms were discussed". The Guardian. London, England.
- O'Carroll, Lisa (3 May 2012). "Tom Watson accuses Louise Mensch of tabling pro-Murdoch amendments". The Guardian. London, England.
- O'Carroll, Lisa (3 May 2012). "News Corp was given private committee details, suggests Tom Watson". The Guardian. London, England.
- Beckford, Martin (12 August 2011). "Louise Mensch MP calls for Twitter and Facebook blackout during riots". The Daily Telegraph. London, England.
- "Louise Mensch internet troll banned from contacting General Petraeus and Lord Sugar". The Daily Telegraph. London, England. 11 June 2012.
- "Louise Mensch: social networks must identify internet bullies who cower behind anonymity". The Daily Telegraph. London, England. 13 June 2012.
- "Louise Mensch MP exposes shameful bullying of women on Twitter after personal attacks". The Daily Telegraph. London, England. 2 May 2012.
- It happened to me: ex-MP Louise Mensch cyberbullied me!, Us vs Th3m, 28 March 2014
- Jackson, Jasper (19 May 2015). "Louise Mensch accused of bullying Milifandom leader on Twitter". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Nelson, Sara C. (21 May 2015). "Louise Mensch Backs Down After 'Harrassing' [sic] #Milifandom Student Abby Tomlinson". The Huffington Poast. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Nelson, Sara C. (21 May 2015). "Louise Mensch Denies Bullying #Milifandom Teen Abby Tomlinson in 4,000 Word Blog". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Prince, Rosa (6 August 2012). "Louise Mensch MP quits to care for young family". The Daily Telegraph. London, England.
- Kameir, Rawiya (20 June 2012). "Tory MP Louise Mensch launches social network". IT Pro Portal.
- John, Rapid (21 June 2012). "MP Louise Mensch has launched a microblogging site". rapidberry.net.
- "Tory MP Louise Mensch launches rival to Twitter". BBC News. 20 June 2012.
- Leyden, John (25 June 2012). "Mensch pal Bozier defends Menshn security, dubs critics 'snippy geeks'". The Register.
- Davenport, Tom (25 June 2012). "New social network Menshn launches in UK with security holes". CNET.
- Arthur, Charles (6 February 2013). "Menshn closes as founders fall out". The Guardian. London, England.
- Keller, Emma G (12 February 2013). "Louise Mensch launches fashion website Unfashionista". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- Orr, Gillian (13 February 2013). "What now for the Über-Mensch?". The Independent. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- Cohen, Claire (13 February 2013). "Louise Mensch: hypocrite, self promoter and now fashion guru". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- Kirkova, Deni (24 February 2013). "Louise Mensch, beauty blogger: Ex-Tory MP and self-proclaimed feminist launches controversial site with tips on man-pleasing". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- "Be Inspired, Change Our World™". Hudsonunionsociety.com. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "Ex-British MP Mensch labels Greece 'racist' over ADL poll results". Kathimerini. 11 June 2014.
- "Louise Mensch: My mind is messed up after taking hard drugs". 6 July 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- "Louise Mensch's class-A drug regrets". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- Silcocks, James (9 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher Dies: The Reaction to the Reaction". The Huffington Post.
- Jones, Oliver (13 April 2013). "Opinion: Thatcher – respect her funeral and respect our right to protest". TNT.
- "Margaret Thatcher: David Mellor and Ken Livingstone discuss the late PM". stv.tv. 9 April 2013.
- Freeman, Hadley (7 November 2014). "God save us from the philosemitism of Burchill, Amis and Mensch". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Louise Mensch's Latest Twitter Gaffe Is Her Best Yet". The Huffington Post UK. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Louise Mensch makes a tweet of herself over anti-Semitism". London Evening Standard. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Articles authored at Journalisted
- Louise Mensch at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Louise Mensch in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Louise Mensch on Twitter
- Articles authored as Louise Bagshawe at Journalisted
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Corby