Pow in 2020
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Opportunities|
|Assumed office |
10 September 2019
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||Thérèse Coffey|
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism|
23 May 2019 – 10 September 2019
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||Michael Ellis|
|Succeeded by||Helen Whately|
|Member of Parliament|
for Taunton Deane
|Assumed office |
7 May 2015
|Preceded by||Jeremy Browne|
|Born||10 October 1960|
Somerset, United Kingdom
(m. 1992; died 2019)
Rebecca Faye Clark (born 10 October 1960), known as Rebecca Pow, is a British Conservative Party politician, currently serving as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Member of Parliament (MP) for Taunton Deane.
Pow was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Taunton Deane in May 2015. Her first ministerial position came in May 2019 when she was appointed by Theresa May as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. On 10 September 2019, Pow was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Her ministerial portfolio includes the domestic natural environment, climate change adaptation, land use and floods and water.
Pow was brought up on a family farm in Inglesbatch near Bath, working on the farm throughout her teenage years. She was an active member of both Bath and Taunton Young Farmers Club where she met her late husband, Charles Clark. They were married for 27 years until his death in 2019 and had 3 children.
Pow was a Governor at Thurlbear C of E school for 10 years and a Parish Councillor in her local village, Stoke St Mary.
She had a career in radio and television, including working for HTV in Bristol and BBC Radio 4. Pow also ran the Taste of Somerset, the first independent initiative for local food and drink producers which ultimately became The Taste of the West. In 2003 Pow took voluntary redundancy from ITV West to set up Pow Productions, specialising in communications and PR focusing on rural, environmental, farming, food and gardening in particular.
Standing for election to Parliament for the first time in May 2015, Pow became the MP for Taunton Deane, gaining the seat from the sitting Liberal Democrat with a majority of 15,491 votes (26.8% of the vote). In July 2016, Pow was made Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Gavin Barwell MP, Minister for Housing, Planning and Minister for London in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Pow supported the Conservative Government's moves to cap welfare, improve education and opportunities for young people, control immigration, deal with the deficit and enable people to be given the right climate to get on. She described herself as "a traditional Conservative with a twist of the contemporary with [her] own added touch of green!" Pow was selected by a capacity audience at an Open Primary held in Taunton in July 2013. It was the first time a candidate had been selected for the constituency in this way, with the audience voting. She was also the first female Conservative Member of Parliament that Taunton Deane had ever had representing them. She declared that she would vote Remain in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.
Pow was previously a parish councillor for Stoke St Mary and trustee of the Somerset Wildlife Trust. After working for the National Farmers Union, she became a journalist specialising in environment, farming and gardening and has reported for BBC, ITV and Channel 4. She stepped down as vice-president of Somerset Wildlife Trust in June 2018, following an online petition criticising her support for badger culling.
During the 2015–17 Parliament, Pow sat on the Environmental Audit Select Committee and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. She declared that she would vote Remain in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.
After Theresa May called the 2017 general election, Pow announced she would seek reelection as MP for Taunton Deane. On 8 June 2017, she was returned as Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane. Whilst her vote share increased by 4.8% the local Lib Dem candidate's vote increased by 6.3% - so Pow's majority slipped from 26.8% to 25.2%.
Pow received heavy criticism for claiming during the 2017 Budget debate that people in Taunton have "thousands of extra pounds in their pockets". This was disputed by the majority of her constituents and many believe she was out of touch with real people.
In 2018, Pow was awarded a Green Heart Hero Award by The Climate Coalition, a coalition of over 100 charities and community groups across the UK, for being the "Greenest New MP" for her environmental work. However, she was criticised for her stances on fracking, the destruction of ancient woodland for HS2, and the vast amount of new homes being built in her constituency. Pow served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Ministerial team, before serving as PPS to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey until her Ministerial appointment in May 2019.
In May 2019, it was alleged that Pow had falsely claimed parliamentary expenses through means of an 'accommodation uplift' for her children that she was not entitled to.
In 2019, Pow was appointed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
On the 10th September 2019, Pow was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Her ministerial portfolio includes the domestic natural environment, climate change adaptation, land use and floods and water.
- "No. 61230". The London Gazette. 18 May 2015. p. 9125.
- Taylor, Michael (21 June 2019). "Taunton MP Rebecca Pow's tribute to 'greatest man I know' after death of husband Charles Clark". SomersetLive. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
- "About Me". Rebecca Pow.
- "European Referendum". Rebecca Pow. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- "Election Taunton Deane result: Conservative Rebecca Pow". Western Daily Press. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Rebecca Pow". Conservative Party. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Wright, Oliver (6 May 2014). "Why it's harder than it looks to evict a Liberal Democrat MP". Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Rebecca Pow". Garden Media Guild. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Taunton's MP and Michael Eavis resign as vice presidents of wildlife trust amid badger cull row". Somerset County Gazette.
- "Rebecca Pow MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- Linham, Laura (24 November 2017). "Here's why everyone is mad at Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow for comments she made about the budget". Somerset Live. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- Williams, Zoe (27 November 2017). "Such is the poverty of Tory ideas that they deny poverty even exists". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Green Heart Hero Awards". The Climate Coalition. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "LETTER: Is MP Rebecca Pow really that green?". Somerset County Gazette.
- "List of Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS): September 2018" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Gov UK. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
- "List of Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS): June 2019" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Gov UK. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
- Mikhailova, Anna; Young, Charles (10 May 2019). "MPs claim expenses for adult children: allowances topped up under rule originally intended to help young families" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Taunton Deane