Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Anne-Marie Belinda Trevelyan (née Beaton; born 6 April 1969) is a British Conservative Party politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Berwick-upon-Tweed since 2015.[1] She served as the last Secretary of State for International Development from February to September 2020, stepping down when the Department for International Development was merged with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to create the new department Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).[2] An outspoken Eurosceptic, she resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in November 2018 over the Government's draft EU withdrawal agreement.[3][4]


Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Official portrait of Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan crop 2.jpg
Trevelyan in 2017
Secretary of State for International Development
In office
13 February 2020 – 2 September 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byAlok Sharma
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
In office
16 December 2019 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byMark Lancaster
Succeeded byJames Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement
In office
27 July 2019 – 16 December 2019
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byStuart Andrew
Succeeded byJames Heappey
Member of Parliament
for Berwick upon Tweed
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byAlan Beith
Majority14,835 (35.3%)
Personal details
Born
Anne-Marie Belinda Beaton

(1969-04-06) 6 April 1969 (age 51)
London, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)John Trevelyan (divorced)
Children2
Alma materOxford Polytechnic
WebsiteCampaign website

Early life and careerEdit

Trevelyan was born in London on the 6 April 1969,[5] the daughter of Donald Leonard Beaton and Katherine Beaton (née Bougarel).[6] Trevelyan was privately educated at St Paul's Girls' School, Hammersmith.[7] She subsequently studied Mathematics at Oxford Polytechnic.[8][9]

She qualified as a chartered accountant with Price WaterhouseCoopers in London and worked in PwC's corporate finance department before moving to Northumberland in 1996.[10] She is a former Governor of Northumbria Healthcare Trust[11] and of Berwick Academy. Reports prepared by Trevelyan's "Dual the A1 Campaign" were submitted to the consultation to make the road a dual carriageway.[12][13]

She unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate in the Morpeth North ward of Castle Morpeth Borough Council in 1999, finishing last with just under 5% of the vote. She subsequently stood as the Conservative candidate in the Hartburn ward of Castle Morpeth Borough Council in 2003, but failed to get elected. [14]

Trevelyan unsuccessfully stood in the 2010 general election as the Conservative candidate for Berwick upon Tweed, achieving a swing from the Liberal Democrats to Conservatives of 8.3%. In so doing, she reduced Sir Alan Beith’s majority from 8,632 to 2,690.[15]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Member of ParliamentEdit

At the 2015 general election, Trevelyan was elected as the MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, gaining the seat for the Conservatives with a 9.6% swing, after the sitting MP Sir Alan Beith stood down. She was re-elected with an increased majority in the 2017 general election.[16]

In June 2015, Trevelyan was appointed Vice-Chairman of the newly created All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry.[17] In Parliament, Trevelyan served on the Public Accounts Select Committee between July 2015 and May 2017.[18]

In November 2015, she was appointed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.[19] On 27 October 2016 during Prime Minister's Questions the then-Prime Minister Theresa May praised Trevelyan for her work on the Armed Forces Covenant.[20][21] In January 2018, Trevelyan was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Gavin Williamson in the Ministry of Defence.[22]

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Trevelyan was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.[23]

Minister for Defence ProcurementEdit

On 27 July 2019 she was appointed Minister for Defence Procurement in Boris Johnson's administration.[24]

Minister for the Armed ForcesEdit

On 16 December 2016 she was appointed Minister for the Armed Forces.[25]

As Minister for the Armed Forces she met with the United States Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy at The Pentagon on 11 February 2020.[26]

Secretary of State for International DevelopmentEdit

On 13 February 2020 Trevelyan was promoted to Secretary of State for International Development to succeed Alok Sharma, who became Business Secretary. Prior to her appointment, Trevelyan expressed apparent scepticism about the value of foreign aid on a number of occasions.[27]

After the Beirut explosion of 4 August 2020 the UK government aid-funded UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) were sent to help. Treveyan as International Development Secretary said:

Beirut is still facing an uphill battle to get back on its feet, having to deal with the complex double challenge of the aftermath of the explosion at the same time as tackling a worrying increase in coronavirus cases. I want to thank this team of British heroes, whose expertise will help co-ordinate the response to this tragic disaster.[28]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in August 2020 Trevelyan set up the Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility, its funding being £4.85 million from UK aid and £2 million from businesses. The premise was that the Department for International Development, UK supermarket and fashion businesses such as Morrisons, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Primark, and charities such as Care UK, The Fairtrade Foundation and the Ethical Trading Initiative, work together to improve working conditions and support access to healthcare and health information for workers in delvoloping countries, with a focus on countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana.[29]

In August 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced an end to the wild polio of Africa. Trevelyan said:

Thirty years ago, over 100 countries had wild polio. Now, every country in Africa is free from the disease – in large part thanks to UK aid helping to vaccinate children and strengthen health systems across the continent – so no child need suffer again. This outstanding achievement shows what the world can achieve when we work together to tackle global health crises. There is still work to do and the UK will keep working to end all types of polio to prevent people suffering from this debilitating disease.[30][31][32]

Her department was merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 2 September 2020, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab assumed responsibility for a new department named the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. She then left the government.[33][34]

Positions and campaignsEdit

Voting recordEdit

Trevelyan opposes the ban on fox hunting[35] and supports fracking, including voting in support of fracking under Northumberland National Park.[36]

Trevelyan voted against assisted dying on 11 September 2015[37] after the second reading of the failed Assisted Dying (No.2) Bill 2015–16.[38]

She has consistently voted to cut welfare[39] and disability benefits.[40]

She has voted consistently voted against higher taxes on banks,[41] for reducing the capital gains tax,[42] for raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax,[43] more restrictive regulation of trade union activity,[44] and for higher taxes on alcoholic drinks.[45]

She supports military operations overseas,[46] and voted for Operation Shader on 2 December 2015.[47][48]

She supports keeping nuclear weapons, having voted to keep and modernise Trident on 4 June[49] and 24 November 2015,[50] and 26 May[51] and 18 July 2016.[51]

National campaignsEdit

Trevelyan is a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme and campiagns to improve mental health services for veterans in Northumberland.[52]

Trevelyan campaigns for reducing plastic packaging.[53]

Trevelyan secured the support of life sciences minister George Freeman, who had ensured that the Office of Life Sciences was able to offer as much support as possible for the future.[54]

Local issuesEdit

Trevelyan campaigned for dualing the A1 road. In 2007 she set the Dual the A1 campaign group to raise government awareness. In 2014 then-Prime Minister David Cameron announced an initial £290 million investment to upgrade the road.[55]

Trevelyan has campaigned for improving rural broadband.[56]

Trevelyan campaigns for reopening the Harbottle Surgery.[57] and bringing other investment to the county.

In September 2020 commented on the rejection of the opening of an open cast mine at Druridge Bay, a seven-mile stretch of Northumberland Coast from the seaport town of Amble to the village of Cresswell. She said:

This decision from the Secretary of State is incredibly welcome to all of us who have campaigned to protect our precious coastline, and the community in Druridge Bay who have had the spectre of this proposition hanging over them for a number of years. The Prime Minister was clear when he brought forward our goal to stop producing coal to 2024, that this Government will honour its commitments to a cleaner, greener future, and our target of net zero by 2050. This long-fought battle to protect our local environment has been a culmination of years of work by local people, groups and politicians of all parties, coming together to work for the future of their community and I pay tribute to everyone who has played their part in safeguarding our incredible landscape for future generations.[58]

EuroscepticismEdit

In June 2015, Trevelyan joined the Conservatives for Britain group, a Eurosceptic group within the Conservative Party which subsequently moved closer to outright opposition to British membership of the European Union. She later joined the European Research Group – the primary Eurosceptic lobbying group within Parliament.[59] Trevelyan advocated a vote in favour of Brexit for the 2016 EU membership referendum.[60] In March 2018, she attended a protest in London organised by the Fishing for Leave group against proposed access to British waters for EU fisherman up to 2021. The event included the UKIP MEP Nigel Farage. The Independent reported that Trevelyan faced calls for her sacking as a ministerial aide for attending the event in defiance of an order from Conservative whips for party MPs not to take part.[61] On 15 November 2018, Trevelyan resigned from her post as a Parliamentary Private Secretary over Theresa May's draft EU withdrawal agreement.[3][4]

ControversiesEdit

Campaign financesEdit

In May 2016, it was reported that Trevelyan was one of a number of Conservative MPs being investigated by police in the 2015 general election party spending investigation, for allegedly spending more than the legal limit on constituency election campaign expenses.[62] In May 2017, the Crown Prosecution Service said that while there was evidence of inaccurate spending returns, it did not "meet the test" for further action.[63]

In April 2018, Trevelyan was criticised by the Alnwick Labour Party in the wake of the Poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal over claims that a Russian businessman gave almost £50,000 to fund her 2015 general election campaign. The Labour Party questioned why the Conservative Party was accepting large donations from such sources. Trevelyan stated that the man in question was now a British citizen who had invested significantly in the region, while she had personally not received any funds from Mr Temerko, with funds going to the Berwick-upon-Tweed Conservative Association.[64]

Shadow minister parliamentary standards referralEdit

In November 2018, Trevelyan referred Labour shadow minister Kate Osamor to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, on the grounds that Osamor's behaviour "failed to uphold" the code of conduct for MPs, after Osamor continued to employ her son, Ishmael Osamor, as a senior communications, despite her son pleading guilty to possession of drugs valued at £2,500. Osamor denied any wrongdoing and called the referral "politically motivated".[65]

Sinophobia accusationEdit

In May 2020 the Labour MP and first British female MP of Chinese descent Sarah Owen criticized Trevelyan for a WhatsApp message of a split fortune cookie, saying "You not have coronavirus", captioned "Just received my Covid-19 rapid test kit from China. Soooooo relieved!", with a follow-up message of "Just for Bob" and a winking emoji referring to Conservative MP Bob Seely, who responded by sending a love heart and smiling emoji. Owen said "If Anne-Marie Trevelyan doesn't understand why this sort of humour was left in the 1970s, I would be happy to explain it to her. In recent weeks we've seen East Asians spat at, beaten up, verbally attacked and had their businesses targeted." Seely responded to Owen by saying "It was a well-meaning joke at my expense and I didn't think anything of it", referring to his campaign against the Chinese tech company Huawei. Trevelyan responded to Owen by saying "It was not my intent to cause any offence, and I am truly sorry if I did so".[66][67]

Personal lifeEdit

Trevelyan lives in London and Northumberland. She is divorced with two teenage children. She previously lived in Netherwitton Hall, a Grade II Listed Country House near Morpeth[68][69] with her former husband John Trevelyan,[70] owner of the Netherwitton Hall Estates.[71][72]

In October 2017, she said that her teenage son might not have voted for her if he had been old enough to vote.[73] She took part in the Singing for Syrians concert at Westminster in December 2017.[13]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alan Beith
Member of Parliament
for Berwick upon Tweed

2015–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Stuart Andrew
Minister for Defence Procurement
2019
Succeeded by
James Heappey
Preceded by
Mark Lancaster
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
2019–2020
Succeeded by
James Heappey
as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Preceded by
Alok Sharma
Secretary of State for International Development
2020
Succeeded by
Dominic Raab
as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs