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Caroline Julia Dinenage[1] MP (born 28 October 1971) is a British Conservative Party politician who was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Gosport at the 2010 general election. She was re-elected in 2015 and 2017.

Caroline Dinenage

Caroline-dinenage-960 (cropped).jpg
Minister of State for Social Care
Assumed office
9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded byPhilip Dunne
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance
In office
14 June 2017 – 9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byCaroline Nokes
Succeeded byKit Malthouse
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years
In office
8 May 2015 – 14 June 2017
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byPosition Abolished
Member of Parliament
for Gosport
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byPeter Viggers
Majority17,221 (34.8%)
Personal details
Caroline Julia Dinenage

(1971-10-28) 28 October 1971 (age 47)
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Carlos E Garreta (2002-?) (divorced)
Mark Lancaster (2014-present)
ParentsBeverley Summers
Fred Dinenage
Alma materSwansea University

A former Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, Dinenage has served in Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State roles at the Ministry of Justice, Department for Education[2] and Department for Work and Pensions,[3] before being appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care in January 2018.


Early life and careerEdit

Dinenage was born on 28 October 1971,[4] the daughter of television presenter Fred Dinenage and Beverley Summers. She has lived in South Hampshire for most of her life.[5]

She attended Oaklands RC Comprehensive School, Waterlooville, and then studied Politics and English at Swansea University.[6]

Dinenage was a director/company secretary of Dinenages Ltd, a private limited company which under a former franchise contract still trades as Recognition Express, a distributor and supplier of corporate identity products.[7] In 2010, Dinenage announced that she would sell her quarter share in the business,[8] but instead reduced her shareholding to 15%.[9] In June 2015, Dinenage gave up her remaining share in the business.[10]

Dinenage began her political career in Winchester, where she was a member of the local council for five years, resigning in 2003.[11] She stood as the Conservative Party candidate for Portsmouth South in the 2005 general election, finishing second with 33.9% of the vote.[12]

Parliamentary careerEdit

In 2010, after the retirement of Sir Peter Viggers was announced following the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal, Gosport Constituency Conservative Association held an open primary pre-election, inviting all constituents, of whatever political affiliation, to complete a postal ballot to select a candidate. Dinenage won the Gosport primary.[13]

Dinenage was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Gosport in the 2010 general election with a majority of 14,413.[14] She was re-elected with a majority of 17,098 (55.3% of the vote).[15]

Dinenage sat on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee between November 2012 and March 2015.[16] In June 2013, she was appointed one of 12 small business ambassadors by the prime minister.[17]

Dinenage has taken an interest in defence issues, and has successfully campaigned in particular for a medal for the veterans of the Arctic convoys of World War II.[18] She served as the vice-chair (Royal Navy) of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Armed Forces for four years between 2010 and 2014.[19]

She was selected by the foreign secretary's office as a member of the UK's NATO delegation, and elected as vice-chairman of a NATO Science and Technology Sub-Committee.[20]

In October 2013, Dinenage led a Parliamentary debate on adult literacy and numeracy.[21] In 2014, she formed the All Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy of which she is Co-Chair.[22]

In July 2014, she was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan.[23]

In May 2015, Dinenage was appointed to the dual roles of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and Minister for Women and Equalities at the Department for Education.[24] During her time as justice minister, campaign group Action 4 Ashes praised Dinenage for her swift action in introducing important changes to cremation law following the baby ashes scandal in Shrewsbury.[25]

In July 2016, Dinenage was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years at the Department for Education until she was removed from office in the Second May ministry.[2] There she was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work & Pensions with a responsibility about family support and welfare.[26]

Views on same-sex marriageEdit

In 2013, PinkNews reported that Dinenage, in a private letter to one of its readers, had written that the state has no right to redefine the meaning of marriage, and that "under current law same-sex couples can have a civil partnership but not a civil marriage and I believe that there is no legitimate reason to change this. Preventing same-sex couples from being allowed to 'marry' takes nothing away from their relationship."[27] On 5 February 2013, Dinenage voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the second reading debate.[28] However, she did not vote against the Bill in subsequent votes.[29] She was appointed Minister for Equalities at the Department for Education, in May 2015.[30]

Constituency workEdit

Dinenage worked with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Gosport Borough Council and Fareham Borough Council to secure ‘Enterprise Zone’ status for the airfield Lee-on-the-Solent (EGHF) in 2010.[31] The Enterprise Zone focuses on advanced manufacturing within the marine, aerospace and aviation sectors.[32] It is expected that 3,500 jobs could be created by 2026.[33] In September 2014, the CEMAST skills centre opened on the site, specialising in automotive, manufacturing and engineering courses for 900 students.[34] Work on a Business Innovation Centre was completed in Spring 2015 and the target of it being a quarter full by the end of the year was exceeded within the first couple of months.[35] The Fareham Innovation Centre is now full, two years ahead of schedule.[36] Since being elected, Dinenage has campaigned for local road improvements, bringing Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin and then transport minister, Norman Baker to the area in 2013.[37][38] She welcomed the £8.5million upgrade to Newgate Lane as well and other local road improvements worth £19.7 million.[39][40]

Personal lifeEdit

Dinenage has two children with her first husband Carlos Garreta, a Royal Navy officer whom she married in Portsmouth in 2002.[41][better source needed] In February 2014, she married her colleague, Conservative MP Mark Lancaster.[42] She is a lifetime supporter of Portsmouth F.C.[13]


  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8742.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ UK Government Official website
  4. ^ "Caroline Dinenage MP". BBC News. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Caroline Dinenage profile". The Conservative Party. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Caroline Dinenage, Conservative, Gosport". Daily Echo. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  7. ^ Register of Members' Financial Interests, as at 24 February 2014
  8. ^ "Caroline Dinenage MP | About Caroline". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  9. ^ Companies House Records, Dinenages Ltd; Registered No: 03852824; Access date: 5 March 2014
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Archive | Archive of stories uploaded to the Daily Echo website". Daily Echo. 8 April 2003. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Portsmouth South". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  13. ^ a b Parkinson, Justin (27 July 2011). "MP Caroline Dinenage on duck islands, dads and the Krays". BBC News. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Gosport". BBC News. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Select Committee Membership - UK Parliament". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  17. ^ "'Cameron cutie' Caroline Dinenage dumps husband to date Tory MP Mark Lancaster who walked out on baby". 30 June 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage pushes for medals for Arctic Convoy vets". Daily Echo. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Caroline Dinenage MP | About Caroline". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Caroline Dinenage". 28 October 1971. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  21. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 10 Oct 2013 (pt 0001)". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  22. ^ "APPG FOR MATHS & NUMERACY". Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Women in Business with Caroline Dinenage MP, PPS to The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP on 29th January 2015, Westminster". 29 January 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  24. ^ [2]
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Early years minister Dinenage moves to DWP | Nursery World". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  27. ^ Tory MP Caroline Dinenage: Banning gay couples from marrying ‘takes nothing away from their relationship’. Scott Roberts, PinkNews, 4 February 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  28. ^ "The House of Commons.2013.Marriage (Same Sex Couples)Bill 2012-2013". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  29. ^ [3]
  30. ^ Cameron appoints second gay-marriage opponent to Equalities Office. Rowena Mason, The Guardian, 12 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Gosport's HMS Daedalus site to become an Enterprise Zone - Portsmouth News". 17 August 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  32. ^ "A place for investment and growth | Daedalus. The Solent Enterprise Zone". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  33. ^ "This development has the potential to make Gosport a major destination - Portsmouth News". 30 September 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  34. ^ "Celebration of Enterprise Zone college completion | Daedalus. The Solent Enterprise Zone". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  35. ^ [4]
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Transport secretary is stuck in traffic on visit to Gosport - Portsmouth News". 12 November 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  38. ^ "Campaign starts to get new bypass built before 2026 - Portsmouth News". 16 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Plans for £8.5m overhaul of busy road are revealed - Portsmouth News". 5 October 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  40. ^ "Stubbington bypass gets the green light | Meridian - ITV News". 7 July 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  41. ^ Matthew Drake (30 June 2013). "Caroline Dinenage dumps husband to date Tory MP Mark Lancaster". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  42. ^ "Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage weds fellow politician at House of Commons chapel". Portsmouth News. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.

External linksEdit