Margot James

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Margot James

Official portrait of Margot James crop 2.jpg
Minister (of State) for
Digital and Creative Industries
Assumed office
9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byMatthew Hancock
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility
In office
17 July 2016 – 9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byAnna Soubry
Succeeded byAndrew Griffiths
Member of Parliament
for Stourbridge
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byLynda Waltho
Personal details
Born (1957-08-28) 28 August 1957 (age 61)
Coventry, England, UK
Political partyConservative
Domestic partnerJay Hunt
Alma materLondon School of Economics
WebsiteOfficial website]

Margot Cathleen James (born 28 August 1957)[1] is a Conservative British politician who was elected the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stourbridge at the 2010 General Election.

She has been the Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries since 9 January 2018.

Early life[edit]

The younger daughter of a self-made businessman, James was born in Coventry.[2] Educated privately in Leamington Spa, she was in the sixth form at Millfield School.[3] James is a graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE) with a degree in Economics and Government.

Professional career[edit]

James worked in sales and marketing for her father's business, Maurice James Industries (MJI), a haulage, waste management, and property group based around Birmingham. After working for a consulting firm, in 1986 she co-founded Shire Health Group, a public relations and clinical trials organisation. Shire Health was voted "Consultancy of the Year" three times, while James was voted Communicator of the Year in 1997. The company was sold to WPP Group in 2004, with James appointed Head of European Healthcare for WPP subsidiary Ogilvy & Mather.[4]

Political career[edit]

James joined the Conservative Party aged 17, and chaired the LSE Conservative Association.[2] During her studies, she acted as a researcher for MP Sir Anthony Durant, and after graduation spent a gap year working in the press office of Conservative Central Office.[2] James resigned from the Conservative Party after Margaret Thatcher was ousted as Prime Minister. She rejoined the Conservative Party in 2004.[3]

At the May 2005 general election, she was the Conservative candidate for the Holborn and St. Pancras constituency.[3] She came third behind the sitting MP, Labour's Frank Dobson, and the Liberal Democrat candidate Jill Fraser.

In May 2006, James was elected a local councillor for the Brompton ward of Kensington & Chelsea,[5] becoming one of the Conservative Party's few "out" lesbian office holders.[6] She resigned from the council in 2008.

James was placed on the "A-List" of Conservative Party parliamentary candidates ahead of the 2010 general election,[7] and was selected as the candidate for the marginal Labour-held constituency of Stourbridge, from where she was elected. This made her the first openly lesbian MP in the Conservative Party,[8] second "out" lesbian in the House of Commons, after Angela Eagle, and the first to have come out before her election.[6] In her maiden speech she paid tribute to Stourbridge's history of glass making.[9]

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, James was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.[10][11]

James was opposed to leaving the European Union prior to the 2016 referendum.[12]

She was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Stephen Green, Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint during his period as Minister for Trade and Investment.

Other activities[edit]

James served on the board of Parkside NHS Trust, and worked as a Mental Health Manager. She spent ten years as a trustee of Abantu, an African women's charity, during which time she trained women from more than 40 different African countries in communications and lobbying skills. She has also worked as a mentor for The Prince's Trust and Young Enterprise.[2] She sits on the Court of Governors at LSE.

She is a vice-president of the Debating Group.[13]

Personal life[edit]

James lives in South Kensington, London with her female partner, Jay Hunt, previously a producer and presenter with the BBC and now managing director of a video production company, Violet Productions. She ranked in the top 50 on The Independent's "Pink List" of the 101 most influential British gay men and women in 2009.[14]


  1. ^ "Violet Productions Limited". Dellam Corporate Information. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Margot James – About". Margot James. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Saner, Emine (4 March 2004). "I can't be 'outed'". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  4. ^ Farey, Daniel (3 September 2004). "WPP merges divisions to form Ogilvy Healthworld". PR Week. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Brompton ward: local election results". Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b Hoggard, Liz (22 January 2006). "Cameron's girl". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Who is on the A-list?". ConservativeHome. May 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  8. ^ Staff writer (7 May 2010). "Margot James becomes the second out lesbian in parliament". Pink News. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  9. ^ Margot James, MP for Stourbridge (7 June 2010). "Constitution and Home Affairs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. col. 60–62.
  10. ^ Stone, Jon (13 January 2016). "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". The Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Did MPs vote against forcing homes to be made fit to live in?". Full Fact. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  12. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Debating Group". Debating Group. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  14. ^ Tuck, Andrew (2 July 2009). "Gay Power: The Pink List 2009". The Independent. Retrieved 2 July 2009.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lynda Waltho
Member of Parliament
for Stourbridge

Political offices
Preceded by
Anna Soubry
as Minister of State for Small Business
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility