Victoria Borwick

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Victoria Borwick
Victoria Borwick.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Kensington
In office
7 May 2015 – 3 May 2017
Preceded by Malcolm Rifkind
Succeeded by Emma Dent Coad
Deputy Mayor of London
In office
9 May 2012 – 13 May 2015
Mayor Boris Johnson
Preceded by Richard Barnes
Succeeded by Roger Evans
Member of the London Assembly
In office
1 May 2008 – 16 September 2015
Succeeded by Kemi Badenoch
Personal details
Born (1956-04-26) 26 April 1956 (age 61)
London, England, UK
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) James Borwick
Children 4
Website Mayoral website
Parliament biography

Victoria Borwick, Lady Borwick (born Victoria Lorne Peta Poore; 26 April 1956[1]) is a British Conservative politician. She served as the Member of Parliament for Kensington from 2015 to 2017.[2]

Before becoming an elected politician, Borwick's career was in event management, working in senior management for P&O and DMG World Media, before becoming the Conservative Party's fundraising director. She became a councillor in Kensington and Chelsea and a Member of the London Assembly from 2008 to 2015 and was deputy mayor of London from 2012 to 2015.[3]

Personal and business life[edit]

Born in London, she was educated at Wispers School.[4] The former Victoria Poore married Jamie Borwick[5] on 20 March 1981. She is the only child of Wing Cdr Dennis Poore (died 1987), a member of the baronetage family of that name,[1] while her husband succeeded his uncle in 2007 as 5th Baron Borwick (as well as in his family's baronetcy) and took his seat in the House of Lords, in 2013, as an elected hereditary peer. They have three sons and a daughter.[6]

Borwick worked in the event management industry for most of her working life, including being group director of events of shipping company P&O.[7] She organised the Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fairs as director from 1990 to 2001,[8] and in 2002 was recruited to assist International Fine Art Expositions' New International Fine Art Fair in New York City.[9]

Earlier political career[edit]

In September 1999, Borwick was chosen as Conservative mayoral candidate Steve Norris's running mate and potential deputy mayor for the 2000 London Mayoral election.[10] She was also given a place on the Conservative Party list for the London Assembly, although she was unsuccessful in her bid to get elected.

Borwick was elected to Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council in May 2002 for the Abingdon Ward.[11] She became Director of Income Generation and Marketing for the Conservative Party in October 2002, with the aim of increasing revenue from the party's supporter base.[12]

In the run-up to the 2004 London Mayoral election, Borwick declared her intention to seek the Conservative mayoral candidacy.[13] She made the shortlist but was not one of the final two in the selection, which included Steve Norris who received the nomination.[14] She spoke subsequently at the 2003 Conservative Party Conference in support of Norris. In her speech she said of the incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone that "you are the weakest link, goodbye", alluding to her supposed resemblance with the television presenter Anne Robinson.[15]

Borwick assisted the think tank Open Europe from 2009 to 2015. She was a Member of the Advisory Board until 2015.[16]

2008 London mayoral contest[edit]

Borwick announced her candidacy for the nomination for the 2008 Mayoral election in July 2006. During her initial campaign, she declared "London needs a redhead, not Red Ken" in allusion to her hair colour.[17] The Conservative Party, however, would later announce that the candidates "did not satisfy the party's hopes of attracting a national name" and postponed the planned open primaries.[18] In 2007, she published a Centre for Policy Studies pamphlet entitled "The Cost of Ken" which itemised the Greater London Authority budget.[7]

In the middle of the postponed mayoral selection, Borwick unsuccessfully ran for the selection to be the Conservative London Assembly candidate for West Central against Kit Malthouse.[19] The Mayoral selection resumed in summer 2007, and Borwick was one of the final four candidates shortlisted.[20] She finished second in the ballot, receiving 1,869 votes compared to the winner Boris Johnson's 15,661 ballots.[21] She later acted as a consultant in Johnson's successful campaign.[22]

Assembly Member and London Deputy Mayor[edit]

Borwick was elected to the London Assembly as one of three London-wide members for the Conservatives after the 2008 election. She had been placed second on the Conservative list for the election after unsuccessfully seeking to become a prospective parliamentary candidate.[23]

Having been returned as a Member (AM) in the 2012 election, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, appointed her Deputy Mayor of London in succession to Richard Barnes.[24][25]

In an interview with the London Evening Standard in 2013, Borwick was described as "the person who would step up should Boris ever fall under a [proverbial] London bus" as Johnson's "First Deputy".[26][27] During the same year, Borwick was also named in "The Evening Standard Power 1000 List" of the most influential people in London.[28] On 16 September 2015, she resigned from the Assembly, her seat being filled by Conservative Kemi Badenoch.[29]

Parliamentary career[edit]

2015–17 parliament[edit]

On 13 March 2015, Borwick was selected as the Conservative candidate for the Kensington constituency at the 2015 general election. The seat was held by Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind during the 2010–2015 parliament.

On 7 May 2015, Borwick was elected as member for Kensington with 18,199 votes (a majority of 7,361 over Labour). The Conservative vote increased by 2.2% compared with the previous election, though there was a 1.7% swing to Labour. She resigned as deputy mayor on 13 May 2015, being replaced by fellow Assembly Member, Roger Evans,[30] and stood down from the Assembly on 16 September 2015.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed in June 2015 that Borwick was "topping up her Parliamentary salary with tens of thousands of pounds in public money from two additional elected roles", in contrast to the practice of other MPs who, despite also acting as London councillors, had given up their allowances to avoid taking multiple salaries on the public purse.[31]

Views on the UK's EU membership[edit]

Borwick assisted the Eurosceptic think tank Open Europe from 2009 to 2015. She was a Member of the Advisory Board until 2015.[32]

Borwick publicly supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum and, with her son, Thomas Borwick, campaigned for the Vote Leave campaign.[33] This is in spite of the fact that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (in which the Kensington constituency is located) had a greater proportion of EU nationals than any other London Borough in 2016.[34] 69% of the Borough, in contrast to Borwick, voted in favour of Britain's continued membership of the European Union.[35]

The London Evening Standard reported that the discrepancy between Borwick's views on this matter and those of her constituents put her at risk of losing the Kensington seat in the 2017 General Election.[36]

Borwick voted in favour of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2016-17 in early 2017 and against amendments, including the proposed amendments for EU nationals to retain their right to stay in the UK post-Brexit and to take into account the Good Friday Agreement and the interests of the people of Gibraltar.[37]

Borwick was one of over 70 signatories to an open letter from Conservative Members of Parliament to the BBC in March 2017, attacking the broadcaster's coverage of Brexit and accusing it of being "unable to break out of pre-referendum pessimism" by ignoring "economic good news" since the referendum.[38]

2017 general election[edit]

The British press reported in the run-up to the election that Borwick, being acquainted with the incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May, was influential in the decision to remove from the Conservative manifesto the party's previous pledge of a total ban on ivory trading.[39][40]

On 31 May 2017, Borwick participated alongside rival parliamentary candidates at a local hustings in Notting Hill, at which, according to the London Evening Standard, she was repeatedly heckled and booed by constituents.[41] Borwick did not attend the subsequent constituency hustings on 5 June 2017 in Earl's Court, an absence that was mocked both by the Evening Standard[42] and the Daily Mirror.[43] On 7 June 2017, Borwick's campaign team was accused in the media of having deleted comments from residents of Kensington on her social media platforms.[44]

Borwick lost her seat by 20 votes to Labour, which won the Kensington seat for the first time.[45] The Conservatives' loss of this once-safe seat surprised many and was widely explained in the British and international media as a consequence of Borwick's support of a hard Brexit.[46][47][48]

In the final result, Borwick lost the seat to the Labour candidate Emma Dent Coad by 20 votes on a 10.6% swing. The winner was declared nearly 24 hours after polls closed because three recounts were necessary. In her speech conceding defeat, she wished Dent Coad well, but added "tomorrow I start the fight back for Kensington and the Conservatives".[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 3173 (Poore, Bt). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1. 
  2. ^ a b Slawson, Nicola (9 June 2017). "Labour rounds off remarkable election with narrow victory in Kensington". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "Debrett's biographies.
  4. ^ ‘BORWICK, Lady; Victoria Lorne Peta Borwick’, Who's Who 2016, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2016
  5. ^ "Marriages", The Times, 21 March 1981, p. 16.
  6. ^ "Borwick, 5 Baron" in "Debrett's People of Today, 2014".
  7. ^ a b "The Cost of the London Mayor", Centre for Policy Studies, January 2007.
  8. ^ Will Bennett, "Contemporary market", Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2001, p. 18.
  9. ^ "DMG Brings Antique Fair to New York", Gifts & Decorative Accessories.
  10. ^ "Norris names his running mate", Evening Standard, 17 September 1999, p. 2.
  11. ^ Abingdon Ward Local Elections May 2002.
  12. ^ Mark Kleinman, "Tories hire chief to regain core votes", Marketing, 10 October 2002, p. 1.
  13. ^ "10 fight Norris for Tory Mayor chance", Evening Standard, 2 December 2002, p6.
  14. ^ Charles Reiss, "Norris becomes Tories' favourite to be Mayor", Evening Standard, 16 January 2003, p. 2.
  15. ^ "Conservatives in Blackpool: Yesterday's Highlights", The Independent, 8 October 2003, p. 11.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Joe Murphy, Pippa Crerar, "The redhead aiming to challenge Red Ken; Zero-tolerance from woman entering Tory mayoral candidacy race", Evening Standard, 18 July 2006, p. 10.
  18. ^ Brendan Carlin, Jonathan Isaby, "Mayoral fanfare backfires on Tories", Daily Telegraph, 5 August 2006, p. 8.
  19. ^ "Londoner's Diary", Evening Standard, 27 March 2007, p. 15.
  20. ^ "Boris joins Tory four for London", Sunday Times, 22 July 2007, p. 2.
  21. ^ Ross Lydall, "Tory candidate Boris: King Newt's days as Mayor are numbered", Evening Standard, 27 September 2007, p. 1.
  22. ^ Pippa Crerar, "Team BoJo creates big tent in bid to reach City Hall", Evening Standard, 20 November 2007, p. 1.
  23. ^ London-wide Assembly members by party, London Elects.
  24. ^ "Victoria Borwick named new Deputy Mayor of London". 
  25. ^ "Investment providing platform for economic growth". 
  26. ^ "Evening Standard 16 June 2013.
  27. ^ "From The Hornet's Nest, It would be fantastic to take over from Boris.
  28. ^ Evening Standard The Power 1000.
  29. ^ "New Assembly Member appointed". Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Revealed: The 'triple dipper' Conservative MP who is paid nearly £100,000 a year for three elected jobs". 
  32. ^ [2]
  33. ^ 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. 
  34. ^ "The London areas where EU citizens’ Brexodus could harm property prices". Evening Standard. 
  35. ^ "Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union: The result". 
  36. ^ "London MPs face 'Brexit battle' to keep seats over EU views". Evening Standard. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-05-20. 
  37. ^ "Bill stages — European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2016-17". 
  38. ^ Morrison, Caitlin (2017-03-21). "BBC accused of Brexit bias: MPs' letter in full". Retrieved 2017-06-02. 
  39. ^ "Why would Theresa May ditch a pledge to ban ivory trading?". The Guardian. 2017-05-22. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-02. 
  40. ^ "Tories just quietly scrapped their pledge to ban the ivory trade". The Independent. 2017-05-22. 
  41. ^ "Londoner's Diary: Boos for Victoria Borwick at Kensington hustings". Evening Standard. 2017-06-01. Retrieved 2017-06-02. 
  42. ^ "Londoner's Diary: Will Boris hoof out McGregor on Thursday?". Evening Standard. 2017-06-05. 
  43. ^ Bartlett, Nicola (2017-06-06). "No Show Tory candidates are pulling out of hustings". Daily Mirror. 
  44. ^ "Social media politics turns sour: #DeleteGate | Netimperative - latest digital marketing news". Netimperative - latest digital marketing news. 2017-06-07. 
  45. ^ "Kensington Parliamentary constituency". BBC. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  46. ^ "In Kensington, a super-posh neighborhood of London, signs of Labour’s new strength". Washington Post. 
  47. ^ "UK election: shock as blue-blooded Kensington turns red". Financial Times. 
  48. ^ "LABOUR WINS KENSINGTON BY 20 VOTES". Business Insider. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Malcolm Rifkind
Member of Parliament
for Kensington

Succeeded by
Emma Dent Coad