Theresa Villiers

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The Right Honourable
Theresa Villiers
MP
Official portrait of Theresa Villiers crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Owen Paterson
Succeeded by James Brokenshire
Minister of State for Transport
In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Sec. of State Philip Hammond
Justine Greening
Preceded by Sadiq Khan
Succeeded by Simon Burns
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
2 July 2007 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Chris Grayling
Succeeded by Sadiq Khan
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
6 December 2005 – 2 July 2007
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Philip Hammond
Succeeded by Philip Hammond
Member of Parliament
for Chipping Barnet
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Sydney Chapman
Majority 353 (0.6%)
Member of the European Parliament
for London
In office
15 July 1999 – 5 May 2005
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Syed Kamall
Personal details
Born Theresa Anne Villiers
(1968-03-05) 5 March 1968 (age 50)
Lambeth, London, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Sean Wilken (Divorced)
Alma mater University of Bristol
Jesus College, Oxford
City Law School
Website Official website

Theresa Anne Villiers (pronounced Villers; born 5 March 1968) is a British Conservative Party politician.

She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chipping Barnet in 2005. Villiers was the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2012 to 2016.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

Villiers was born in Hunstanton in 1968, the third child of Corporal George Edward Villiers by his marriage to Anne Virginia Threlfall; she has two elder brothers, Edward and Henry.[4][5] On her father's side, she is a descendant of Edward Ernest Villiers (1806–1843), brother of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon, Thomas Hyde Villiers, Charles Pelham Villiers, Henry Montagu Villiers and a direct descendant of Edward II.[6]

Growing up in North London, she was educated at the independent Francis Holland School. Villiers gained a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree with first-class honours in 1990 from the University of Bristol, and a year later the postgraduate degree of Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) from Jesus College, Oxford.[citation needed] After university, she qualified for the bar at the Inner Temple, and worked as a lecturer at King's College London from 1994 until 1999.[citation needed]

Member of the European Parliament[edit]

Villiers was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the London constituency in 1999, and was re-elected in 2004. She stood down after the 2005 general election when she was elected as the Member of Parliament (UK) (MP) for Chipping Barnet.[7]

She served as Deputy Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament between 2001 and 2002. She also served as a member of the governing board of the Conservative Party during this period.[citation needed]

Member of Parliament[edit]

In 2003, following Sir Sydney Chapman's announcement that he would retire at the following election, Villiers was selected as the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Chipping Barnet. Although Chapman's majority at the 2001 general election had only been 2,701 votes, the party viewed Chipping Barnet to be quite a "safe" Conservative seat, and Villiers held it at the 2005 general election with an increased majority of 5,960 votes, which she increased again to 11,927 in 2010. Upon her election to the House of Commons, she resigned from her seat in the European Parliament; it went to Syed Kamall, the next candidate on the Conservatives' regional list for London. Villiers now lives at Arkley in her constituency, and formerly lived at Hillsborough Castle.[citation needed]

Villiers was sworn of the Privy Council on 9 June 2010.[8]

Shadow Cabinet[edit]

In December 2005, following the election of David Cameron as Conservative Party leader, Villiers was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet after just seven months in parliament, as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In July 2007, Cameron promoted her to Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.[citation needed]

Government[edit]

Following the 2010 general election, the Conservatives, short of an overall majority, formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. This required positions in Cabinet to be awarded to Lib Dem MPs, so Villiers did not become Secretary of State for Transport as might have been expected in the event of a majority Conservative government taking office. That role went instead to Philip Hammond, who had shadowed the post of Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Villiers instead became a Minister of State at the Department for Transport.[9]

At the NI Investment Conference 2013 in Belfast, with Martin McGuinness, David Cameron and Peter Robinson

Villiers was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in September 2012, but continued to spend three days a week in her North London constituency of Chipping Barnet.[10] Her time in Northern Ireland gained mixed reviews.[11]

She made a speech in February 2016 defending the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the British Army, which had been accused of colluding with loyalist murderers in the Loughinisland massacre. The Police Ombudsman who investigated the murders, Dr. Michael Maguire, later stated with regard to law enforcement authorities colluding with the murderers: "I have no hesitation in unambiguously determining that collusion is a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders".[12]

Villiers had said that "a pernicious counter-narrative" of the Troubles was emerging whereby responsibility for acts of terrorism was being shifted onto the security forces "through allegations of collusion, misuse of agents and informers or other forms of unlawful activity".[13]

Villiers was one of the six Cabinet ministers who came out in support of Brexit during the EU referendum. Despite the nationwide vote to leave the EU, both her constituency, Chipping Barnet, and area of cabinet responsibility, Northern Ireland, had majorities voting overwhelmingly to remain. Following the referendum, on 14 July 2016, Villiers resigned from her position as Northern Ireland Secretary[3] after explaining that new Prime Minister Theresa May had offered her a post outside the Cabinet which was "not one which I felt I could take on".[14]

Parliamentary expenses and second home[edit]

The Daily Telegraph reported on 11 May 2009 that Theresa Villiers had bought a property in Kennington, London, for £345,000. In 2007-08 she claimed a total of £18,181 in parliamentary allowances for a second home.[citation needed]

She also has a house in Arkley in her North London constituency of Chipping Barnet. The house, a semi-detached property that she bought for £296,500 in May 2004, is an eight-minute drive away from High Barnet tube station, from which commuters can reach Westminster in about forty-five minutes.[15]

Political opinions[edit]

Villiers supported the temporary suspension of Ken Livingstone, then-Mayor of London, by the Adjudication Panel for England, which examined the case after a complaint from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to the Standards Board for England. Villiers is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel.[16]

Theresa Villiers is a member of, and since 2017 Vice-Chair, of Conservative Friends of Israel.[17] On 19 July 2018 she was the only MP of any party to attend a rally of about 200-300 Jewish and other persons called by the "Campaign Against Antisemitism" (CAA) in Parliament Square, London, to protest against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.[18] On the same day, she had complained about an MP leaving a chocolate wrapper on the green benches of the House of Commons.[19] [20]She has, on previous occasions, attended CAA protests similar to that of 19 July 2018 against Labour.[21]

Since late-September 2008, Villiers has dedicated a considerable proportion of her public announcements to aviation policy, specifically the expansion of airports in the South East of England. Villiers underlined that despite differences of opinion, the Coalition government's policy was opposed to a third runway.[22]

She has also spoken out against Boris Johnson's favoured proposal for a new London airport to be built in the Thames Estuary, and alternative expansions at Gatwick and Stansted airports, arguing that airlines should make greater use of the UK's regional airports, though some regional airports themselves have expressed concern about being adversely affected by capacity shortages in the South East.[23] Villiers favours construction of a high-speed rail link from London to Birmingham and Manchester, arguing that flyers could use capacity at airports such as Birmingham International and Manchester International Airport.

In November 2016, Villiers was one of several Conservative MPs who signed a letter to Theresa May demanding a "hard Brexit" (i.e. withdrawal from both the single market and the customs union).[citation needed]

In May 2017, Villiers announced that she fundamentally supports the ban on hunting of wild animals with dogs but suggested that there remains scope for reform of the Hunting Act 2004.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Villiers married fellow barrister Sid Wilken in 1997,[6] and the following year they co-wrote a book on matters of contract and quasi-contract law, which was published by a major publishing house.[25] They are now divorced.[26]

Publications[edit]

  • Theresa Villiers & Sean Wilken (29 April 1998). Law of Estoppel, Variation and Waiver. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-96921-4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "As it happened: Reshuffle". BBC News. 4 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Theresa Villiers MP". BBC Democracy Live. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Theresa May's cabinet: Who's in and who's out?". BBC News. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  5. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (19 December 2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th Edition. London: Burke's Peerage. p. 799. ISBN 0971196621.
  6. ^ a b "Theresa Anne Villiers". The Peerage. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Conservative Diary". The Free Library. 20 May 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Privy Council appointments, 9 June 2010". Privy Council. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  9. ^ Foundation, Internet Memory. "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] UK Government Web Archive – The National Archives". Archived from the original on 1 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Theresa Villiers still in constituency three days a week".
  11. ^ [1], 15 July 2016, Sam McBride, Belfast Newsletter, retrieved at 15 July 2016
  12. ^ NI Police colluded with Loyalist killers of six Catholics watching World Cup Irish Central, 11 June 2016
  13. ^ "Villiers: A way forward for legacy of the past in Northern Ireland - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk.
  14. ^ "Theresa Villiers to be replaced as Northern Ireland secretary". BBC News. BBC. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  15. ^ Theresa Villiers claimed stamp duty on second London home: MPs' expenses Telegraph 11 May 2009
  16. ^ Sloan, Alaistair. "Ed Miliband will back Israel". Middle East Monitor. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Conservative parliamentarians meet Israeli Women Directors delegation ahead of International Women's Day". CFI. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  18. ^ "Protesters to return to Parliament Square over Labour anti-Semitism code". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  19. ^ "Theresa Villiers slams discarded crunchie bar wrapper in Commons". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  20. ^ News Today (2018-07-19), Theresa Villiers complains of discarded chocolate bar wrapper in Commons, retrieved 2018-07-20
  21. ^ "Villiers backs #EnoughIsEnough protest on anti-Semitism in Labour". Theresa Villiers. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  22. ^ Thomas, Natalie. "Theresa Villiers shuts door on third runway at Heathrow". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  23. ^ Tighe, Chris (15 July 2012). "UK hopes to boost regional airports". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  24. ^ "Why I'm backing the hunting ban". Theresa Villiers.
  25. ^ Theresa Villiers & Sean Wilken (29 April 1998). Law of Estoppel, Variation and Waiver. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-96921-4.
  26. ^ "Theresa Villiers". Westminster Parliamentary Record. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2010.

External links[edit]

European Parliament
New constituency Member of the European Parliament
for London

1999–2005
Succeeded by
Syed Kamall
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sydney Chapman
Member of Parliament
for Chipping Barnet

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Philip Hammond
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Philip Hammond
Preceded by
Chris Grayling
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
2007–2010
Succeeded by
The Lord Adonis
Preceded by
Sadiq Khan
Minister of State for Transport
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Simon Burns
Preceded by
Owen Paterson
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2012–2016
Succeeded by
James Brokenshire