Margot James

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Margot James
Margot James 2015.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility
Assumed office
17 July 2016
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Anna Soubry (as Minister of State for Small Business)
Member of Parliament
for Stourbridge
In office
6 May 2010 – 3 May 2017
Preceded by Lynda Waltho
Succeeded by Election in progress
Majority 6,694 (14.5%)
Personal details
Born (1957-08-28) 28 August 1957 (age 59)
Coventry, England, UK
Political party Conservative
Domestic partner Jay Hunt
Alma mater London School of Economics
Website Official website

Margot Cathleen James (born 28 August 1957)[1] is a British politician and entrepreneur. She is seeking re-election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Stourbridge and was PPS to Stephen Green, Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint during his period as Minister for Trade and Investment. She is the first openly lesbian MP in the Conservative Party.[2] She served as a local councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea from 2006 to 2008.

Early life[edit]

The younger daughter of a self-made businessman, James was born in Coventry.[3] Educated privately in Leamington Spa, she was in the sixth form at Millfield School.[4] 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.[5]

Political career[edit]

James joined the Conservative Party aged 17, and chaired the LSE Conservative Association.[3] 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.[3] James resigned from the Conservative Party after Margaret Thatcher was ousted as Prime Minister. She rejoined the Conservative Party in 2004.[4]

At the May 2005 general election, she was the Conservative candidate for the Holborn and St. Pancras constituency.[4] 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,[6] becoming one of the Conservative Party's few "out" lesbian office holders.[7] 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,[8] and was selected as the candidate for the marginal Labour-held constituency of Stourbridge, from where she was elected. This made her the second "out" lesbian in the House of Commons, after Angela Eagle, and the first to have come out before her election.[7]

James was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[9]

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.[3] She sits on the Court of Governors at LSE.

She is a Vice-President of the Debating Group.[10]

Personal life[edit]

James lives in South Kensington and Oldswinford with her 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.[11]


  1. ^ "Violet Productions Limited". Dellam Corporate Information. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Margot James becomes the second out lesbian in parliament", Pink News, 7 May 2010
  3. ^ a b c d "Margot James – About". Margot James. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "I can't be 'outed'". Evening Standard. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Farey, Daniel (3 September 2004). "WPP merges divisions to form Ogilvy Healthworld". PR Week. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Brompton ward: local election results". Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Liz Hoggard "Cameron's girl", The Guardian, 22 January 2006
  8. ^ "Who is on the A-list?" from ConservativeHome, 2009
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Debating Group". Debating Group. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Gay Power: The Pink List 2009", The Independent, 2 July 2009

External links[edit]

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

Succeeded by
Election in progress