Caroline Spelman

Caroline Spelman

Infobox MP
honorific-prefix =
name = Caroline Spelman
honorific-suffix = MP

office = Chairman of the Conservative Party
term_start = 2 July 2007
term_end =
leader = David Cameron
predecessor = Francis Maude
successor =
constituency_MP2 = Meriden
parliament2 =
term_start2 = 1 May 1997
term_end2 =
majority2 = 7,009 (15.1%)
predecessor2 = Iain Mills
successor2 =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1958|05|04|df=yes
birth_place = Bishop's Stortford
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
spouse = Mark Spelman
party = Conservative
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = Queen Mary, University of London
occupation =
profession = Politician
religion = Christian

website =
footnotes =

Caroline Alice Spelman MP, born (4 May 1958, Bishop's Stortford as Caroline Alice Cormack) is a Conservative politician in the United Kingdom who has served as MP for Meriden, West Midlands since 1997. In July 2007 she replaced Francis Maude as Conservative Party Chairman in a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle by David Cameron.

Early life

Spelman attended Herts and Essex High School for Girls, [] in Warwick Road, Bishop's Stortford, and received a BA First Class in European Studies from University of London's Queen Mary College.

She was Sugar Beet commodity secretary for the National Farmer's Union from 1981-4. She was deputy director of the International Confederation of European Beetgrowers (actually La Confédération Internationale des Betteraviers Européens CIBE) in Paris from 1984-9, then a research fellow for the Centre for European Agricultural Studies from 1989-3. She has been Director of Spelman, Cormack and Associates (a food and biotechnology consultancy) from 1989.

Parliamentary career

Before entering Parliament in 1997, she stood unsuccessfully in the Bassetlaw constituency in Nottinghamshire at the 1992 general election.

In 2001, Iain Duncan Smith appointed Spelman Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, a post she maintained until Duncan Smith's departure as Conservative Party leader. Duncan Smith's successor, Michael Howard, opted for a streamlined Shadow Cabinet and omitted Spelman; however, he later appointed her as a front bench spokeswoman on Environmental Affairs working for Theresa May. In March 2004, Spelman re-entered the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Local and Devolved Government Affairs, succeeding David Curry. Under David Cameron's leadership of the Conservative Party, in 2007 she was promoted further to become Conservative Party Chairman.

On 6 June 2008, Spelman was the subject of some controversy when it was suggested that for around twelve months from May 1997 she paid her child's nanny, Tina Haynes, from her parliamentary staffing allowance, contrary to the rule governing such allowances and fears of the misuse of them. Spelman claims that her nanny also acted as her constituency secretary and was paid from the public taxpayers' purse for this aspect of her further employment. Haynes confirms that occasionally she would answer phonecalls and post documents but initially she denied such happenings when interviewed on the BBC's "Newsnight" via telephone. The accusations came at a time when Conservative Party leader David Cameron had tasked Spelman with reviewing the use of parliamentary allowances by Conservative MPs and MEPs in the wake of the Derek Conway affair. [ [ BBC article] ] The claim against Spelman came shortly after two Conservative MEPs, Giles Chichester (Leader of the Conservatives in the EU Parliament) and Den Dover (Conservative Chief Whip in the EU Parliament), were forced to resign amid claims they misused their parliamentary allowances. Spelman has not been urged to resign by party leader, David Cameron, and of her own accord has referred the matter pertaining to herself, her nanny and parliamentary funds to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, who is currently John Lyon CB. [] Senior Conservative colleagues including former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis have confederated support for Spelman in a bid to dispel the allegation that she abused her parliamentary allowance. [ [ Tories rally round Spelman Yahoo! News 8 June 2008] ] New revelations were exposed on BBC Two's Newsnight programme that nine years previously Mrs Spelman's secretary, Sally Hammond, complained to the Conservative Party leadership that she was using Parliamentary allowances to pay her nanny and that the arrangement with the nanny was over a two year period and not one. [ [ BBC NEWS | Politics | MPs call for Spelman to be sacked ] ]

Personal life

She married Mark Spelman, a senior partner at Accenture, on April 25 1987 in south-east Kent. They have two sons (born October 1992 and November 1994) and a daughter (born May 1991). She is a trustee of the Conservative Christian Fellowship.

ee also

* Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet (UK)


External links

* [ Caroline Spelman] (official site)
* [ - Caroline Spelman] profile
* [,9290,-4915,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics Ask Aristotle - Caroline Spelman MP]
* [ - Caroline Spelman MP]
* [ The Public Whip - Caroline Spelman MP] voting record
* [ BBC News - Caroline Spelman] profile 16 October 2002
* [ BBC Politics page]
* [,_Caroline/ Open Directory Project - Caroline Spelman] directory category

Audio clips

* [ Discussing forced marriages] On Women's Parliamentary Radio

Offices held

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