Derby and Derbyshire Women in Politics
Current Derbyshire MPS
Dame Rt Honourable Margaret Beckett, MP
Margaret Beckett MP is a British Labour Party politician who is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Derby South.
Mrs Beckett was first elected to Parliament in 1974 and held junior positions in the governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. She lost her seat in 1979 but returned to the House of Commons in 1983 and became a senior member of the Labour Party. She was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in 1992 and was briefly its leader in 1994 following the premature death of John Smith, the first woman to occupy either role.
After Labour's victory in the 1997 general election, Mrs Beckett became a member of Tony Blair's Cabinet. Initially the President of the Board of Trade, she was later the Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. In 2006, Mrs Beckett was appointed British Foreign Secretary, making her the first woman to hold the position, and, after Margaret Thatcher, the second woman to hold one of the Great Offices of State.
Rt Honourable Heather Wheeler MP
Member of Parliament - South Derbyshire
Born in 1959, Heather moved to the Midlands in 1986 when she married Bob, and they have a daughter who is a solicitor. Heather is qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and for 10 years had a successful career in the City of London specialising in Professional Indemnity insurance.
Local Government: In 1982, aged just 22, Heather was elected onto Wandsworth Council becoming the youngest female Councillor. In 1995, she was elected to represent Repton Ward on South Derbyshire District Council; where, in 2002, she became Leader of the Conservative Group. In May 2007, the Conservatives took control of the Council for the first time in its 34 year history - and Heather became Leader of the Council, a position which she held until she was elected as MP for South Derbyshire in May 2010.
Journey to Westminster: During her time on South Derbyshire District Council, Heather fought vigorous general election campaigns in Coventry South, both in 2001 and 2005, increasing the Conservative share of the vote on both occasions.
At an "Open Primary" in November 2006, members of the public as well as Party members voted for Heather to be the Parliamentary Candidate for South Derbyshire.
At the Primary she said:
"South Derbyshire matters to me. My family and I have lived here for over 20 years. I want to see South Derbyshire as a beautiful place to live, work and enjoy life. It must be a safe place to live, a place where you can get a good education, where there is access to excellent NHS services, where there are interesting things for the young and the elderly to do and where you can get a secure and rewarding job.
Over the last 13 years, Labour has let down our towns and villages. Only a strong voice for South Derbyshire will restore our services and protect us."
Political focus: As a Councillor, her particular strength was in urban regeneration projects and the success of that focus can be clearly seen in and around the South Derbyshire constituency and in Swadlincote in particular. Other special political interests include: introducing measures to combat economic and environmental urban decay; being at the forefront of schemes to limit anti-social behaviour, especially amongst young people, and being instrumental in the opening of a Domestic Abuse Refuge in the East Midlands.
Election to Parliament: On 6th May 2010, Heather was elected as Member of Parliament for South Derbyshire with a majority of 7,128 (14.1%) taking the seat from the Labour Party after 13 years.
On election to Parliament, Heather said: “I want the hard working people of South Derbyshire to keep their money in their pocket, to have choices when they retire and to cut the red tape dictated by Europe to keep South Derbyshire’s businesses prospering.”
At Westminster: Heather currently sits on two Select Committees: Standards & Privileges and Communities & Local Government. She has also been elected onto the Conservative MP’s influential 1922 Committee, where she meets the Prime Minister regularly through the year. Heather is also Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Motor Group and an Officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance and Financial Services.
In South Derbyshire: Heather’s main focus is the economic prosperity of South Derbyshire, encouraging businesses to open, expand and to take on more employees - particularly apprentices. She is delighted to represent one of the fastest growing districts in the country - a district which also has one of the lowest levels of unemployment.
One significant success since 2010, is the opening of Burton & South Derbyshire College in Swadlincote. Not settling for that, Heather's most recent challenge is joining with local Head Teachers to find ways to improve local education standards across the constituency, inspiring aspiration in our young people.
Heather's main office is based in Swadlincote, in the heart of the constituency, and she holds regular surgeries, moving them around the villages of South Derbyshire. To keep everyone updated, she sends out regular e-newsletters. More information can be found on her website www.heatherwheeler.org.uk
Outside of politics she has wide-ranging interests, foremost her family, watching sport, DIY and listening to the Archers.
Rt Honourable Pauline Latham OBE
Pauline Latham OBE is the Conservative candidate for Mid Derbyshire for the forthcoming general election on June 8th 2017. She is not currently an MP, as Parliament has been dissolved until after the election.
Pauline Latham was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Mid Derbyshire in 2010. She has lived in Derbyshire since 1970, and has been involved in local politics in the area since 1987. For many years, Pauline was a dedicated and popular councillor, representing Oakwood on Derbyshire County Council, then Derby City Council and later became the Mayor of Derby. In 2006, she was selected as the candidate for the new constituency of Mid-Derbyshire.
Pauline has a keen interest in education issues, as she was a governor at Ecclesbourne School for 12 years. She has been an enthusiastic advocate for more support for diabetic children in schools, and was delighted when the Children and Families Act obligated schools to help them manage their condition.
Pauline has also championed a number of health causes in her time as an MP. At one point she was contacted by constituents whose daughter was a quadruple amputee as a result of having contracted Meningitis B. As a result of this, she began a campaign to establish a nationwide vaccination programme against the disease, which was subsequently approved by the Department of Health. Additionally, Pauline has worked tirelessly to make new and life-improving drugs available to melanoma patients. She has also run a campaign to get the drug Avastin on the approved treatment list for bowel cancer, and lobbied the East Midlands Cancer Drugs Fund to change the way in which they apportion funding for certain types of cancer drugs.
Since starting Project Uganda at Ecclesbourne School, Pauline has had a real interest in international development, and was a member of the Select Committee. She is particularly committed to the cause of women in less developed countries, and spoke in debates about the horrific conditions they face in refugee camps, and the need to promote women as community leaders through international aid.
Despite working hard in Westminster, Pauline’s foremost priority when an MP was always her constituency. She has spoken out against the proposed developments in Belper, Borrrowash and Allestree and brought pressure to bear on the Highways Agency over their handling of the improvements to the Little Eaton and Markeaton roundabouts. Pauline has also mounted a successful campaign to protect the Pattenmaker’s Arms in Duffield from rent increases.
Rt Honourable Natascha Engel MP
Natascha Engel was born Natascha Engel on 09 April 1967 in West Berlin , Germany and is the Labour MP for North East Derbyshire.
Natascha Engel ceased to be a member of the House of Commons on 03 May 2017 (general election).
She was Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.
Natascha Engel has the following specific interests :
Politics - Parliamentary reform, Europe, park homes, planning reforms, youth, welfare rights
Countries - Germany, Spain, USA
RT Honourable Maggie Throup MP
Maggie is the Member of Parliament for Erewash, elected in May 2015. Before standing, Maggie worked as a biomedical scientist and a senior manager in a pharmaceutical company. She also has extensive voluntary experience, including working in overseas development in Rwanda. She now sits on the Health Committee and the Scottish Affairs Committee.