25/Oct/2014 - Last News Update: 03:20

Who's who: Tory women tipped for promotion

Category: England

Published: 14th Jul 2014 22:15:18

Who's who: Tory women tipped for promotion

As David Cameron reshuffles his Cabinet, a guide to female Conservative high-fliers tipped to join the top table....

Esther McVey

Age: 46

Education: Liverpool-born, Ms McVey was educated at the city's Belvedere School, before studying law at Queen Mary and Westfield University, London, and Radio Journalism at City University.

Career so far: Employment Minister since the 2013 reshuffle, Ms McVey is a former GMTV presenter and a TV and radio personality. She helped her friend Kate McCann set up the Madeleine McCann Fund and started her own business, providing training and office space for start up firms. She became Wirral West MP in 2010, and is the only Tory MP in Merseyside.

What is she tipped for? If you believed everything you read, Ms McVey could find herself in any number of roles. The Daily Mail reckons she could replace Ken Clarke as minister without portfolio. However, a conversation overheard by a commuter suggests she could be taking the reigns from Iain Duncan Smith, currently Work and Pensions Secretary. But one MP told BBC deputy political editor James Lansdale Ms McVey could find herself at the helm as Culture Secretary, taking over from Sajid Javid, who's only been in post since April, after incumbent Maria Miller quit over her expenses.

What do her supporters say? Mrs Miller says: "Esther is working the department that I used to work in with Iain Duncan Smith and I think has proven herself to be a formidable advocate for employment and the employment programmes that are going forward. I would imagine she will continue to rise on up with her credentials and her clear talent."

Personal life: Unmarried and without children, Ms McVey shares a London flat with fellow Conservative MP Philip Davies.

Elizabeth Truss

Age: 38

Education: Brought up in Yorkshire, Ms Truss attended Roundhay, a comprehensive school in Leeds, and read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Merton College, Oxford University.

Career so far: Previously deputy director at the think-tank Reform, Ms Truss also worked for Shell and Cable & Wireless. A qualified management accountant, she became South West Norfolk MP in 2010 and was appointed Education Minister in 2012.

What is she tipped for? Seen as a potential future leadership candidate in the longer term - in the shorter term she could possibly take over David Willetts' job as Universities' Minister.

What do her supporters say? One senior Conservative praised Ms Truss in the Daily Mail for her "poise and control", adding: "She is still young but people make the Thatcher comparison, and not just because she's an education minister. There is a touch of the Thatcher steel."

Personal life: Married with two daughters.

Nicky Morgan

Age: 41

Education: Ms Morgan grew up in Surrey and studied law at Oxford University.

Career so far: She worked as a solicitor specialising in Corporate Law advising a range of private and public companies from 1994 until her election as Loughborough MP in 2010. In April 2014 Ms Morgan became Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women.

What is she tipped for? A full cabinet post.

What do her supporters say? Described by the Daily Mail as a protégé of Chancellor George Osborne, her confidence at the dispatch box has won her many fans, although some detractors describe her as "headgirlish".

Personal life: Married with a son.

Priti Patel

Age: 42

Education: London-born Ms Patel was educated at a Watford comprehensive school before studying economics at Keele University and completing her postgraduate studies at the University of Essex.

Career so far: After assisting her parents run a number of small businesses around the South East and East of England, she worked in corporate communications for a variety of international companies, including Weber Shandwick. She became MP for Witham in 2010, is an elected member of the Conservative Party Board, the 1922 Committee's Executive and the Public Administration Select Committee. Independently-minded and known as a straight-talker, she is also a member of the Downing Street Policy Board and the Prime Minister's Indian Diaspora Champion - tasked with forging closer ties with Indian communities in the UK.

What is she tipped for? A number of papers have suggested she could be a surprise inclusion in the reshuffle winners, although there's been no specific role suggested.

What do her supporters say? Chancellor George Osborne is believed to be a fan, having described Ms Patel - who accompanied him on a recent visit to Mumbai - as a "champion of the British Indian community".

Personal life? Married with a son.

Margot James

Age: 56

Education: Ms James was born in Coventry and went to school in Leamington Spa and Somerset before attending the London School of Economics where she read Economics and Government.

Career so far: Ms James has had a career in business - starting work at her father's firm, before setting up her own company, Shire Health, which she sold in 2009. She was elected as Stourbridge MP in 2010 and is parliamentary private secretary to Trade Minister Lord Green. She works on the Number 10 Policy Advisory Board, focusing on the economy, business and trade.

What is she tipped for? According to CITYAM, Ms James could see her stock rise, especially given her strong background in business.

What do her supporters say? Former Culture Secretary Maria Miller says Margot James is among a "hugely rich talent pool" from which David Cameron could pick. She also praised Ms James as "a very successful businesswoman".

Personal life? Lives with her partner; no children.

Penny Mordaunt

Age: 41

Education: Born in Torquay, Devon, Ms Mordaunt was educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School in Waterlooville and studied drama at the Victoryland Theatre School in Portsmouth. She worked as a magician's assistant for Will Ayling, a former Magic Circle president, before studying Philosophy at the University of Reading

Career so far: Ms Mordaunt is a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, but was director of communications for the National Lottery; head of campaigns for Diabetes UK; head of foreign Press for George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 presidential election campaigns; and chief of staff for fellow Tory David Willetts. She was elected for Portsmouth North in 2010, and is parliamentary private secretary to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

What is she tipped for? There have been suggestions, in CITYAM, that Ms Mordaunt, who recently made the headlines by taking part in ITV's diving contest, Splash!, could be in line for a ministerial role in the Ministry of Defence.

What do her supporters say? David Cameron described Ms Mordaunt as a "real parliamentary star" after she became only the second woman in the Queen's reign to propose the loyal address about Portsmouth in the House of Commons.

Personal life? Lives with her partner; no children

Harriett Baldwin

Age: 56

Education: Born in Watford, Mrs Baldwin was educated at the Friends School Saffron Walden; Marlborough College in Wiltshire, and read Modern Languages (French and Russian) at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She also possesses an MBA from McGill University in Montreal.

Career so far? Harriett Baldwin was a pension fund manager with JP Morgan and was elected as Worcestershire West MP in 2010. She was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, before serving as parliamentary private secretary to Employment Minister Mark Hoban until February 2014 when she joined the government as Assistant Government Whip.

What is she tipped for? CITYAM say she could take over from Deputy Chief Whip Greg Hands if he is promoted.

What do her supporters say? Ex-Culture Secretary Maria Miller told Sky News's Murnaghan programme: "I think (Mr Cameron) has got a hugely rich talent pool to draw from - people like Harriet Baldwin, who was a leader in her field in the City before she came to Parliament."

Personal life? Married with a son and two step-daughters

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BBC News, 2014. Who's who: Tory women tipped for promotion [Online] (Updated 14th Jul 2014)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1588285/Who%26%23039%3Bs+who%3A+Tory+women+tipped+for+promotion [Accessed 25th Oct 2014]

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