Caroline Julia Dinenage, Baroness Lancaster of Kimbolton, DBE (born 28 October 1971[2]), also styled as Dame Caroline Dinenage,[3] is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Gosport since 2010.[4]

Dame Caroline Dinenage
Official portrait, 2024
Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Assumed office
17 May 2023
Preceded byDamian Green (acting)
Minister of State for Digital and Culture
In office
13 February 2020 – 15 September 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byNigel Adams
Succeeded byThe Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Minister of State for Social Care
In office
9 January 2018 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded byDavid Mowat
Succeeded byHelen Whately
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
Theresa May
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Member of Parliament
for Gosport
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byPeter Viggers
Majority6,066 (13.7%)[1]
Personal details
Born
Caroline Julia Dinenage

(1971-10-28) 28 October 1971 (age 52)
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Political partyConservative
Spouses
  • Carlos E Garreta
    (m. 2002; div. 2012)
  • (m. 2014)
Children2
Parents
Alma materSwansea University
Websitecaroline4gosport.co.uk

Dinenage was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2022 Political Honours.[5]

Early life and career

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Caroline Dinenage was born on 28 October 1971 in Portsmouth,[6] the daughter of television presenter Fred Dinenage and Beverley Summers.[7]

She attended Wykeham House School, a private school for girls in Fareham, then Oaklands RC Comprehensive School, Waterlooville, before studying Politics and English at Swansea University.[8]

Dinenage established her first manufacturing company at the age of 19, and was a director/company secretary of Dinenages Ltd for 20 years.[9]

In May 1998 she was elected as the youngest member in Winchester District Council.[10]

Parliamentary career

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Dinenage speaking at the Week of Women panel discussion in 2016 alongside Karen Pierce

Dinenage stood as the Conservative candidate in Portsmouth South at the 2005 general election, coming second with 33.5% of the vote behind the incumbent Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock.[11]

At the 2010 general election, Dinenage was elected to Parliament as MP for Gosport with 51.8% of the vote and a majority of 14,413.[12][13]

Dinenage worked with local partners to secure Enterprise Zone status for the Daedalus disused military airfield at Lee-on-the-Solent in August 2011.[14]

Dinenage sat on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee 2012–2015.[15]

Dinenage successfully campaigned for a medal for the veterans of the Arctic convoys of World War II. She served as the vice-chair (Royal Navy) of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Armed Forces 2010–2014, and was a UK delegate to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and vice-chair of the NATO Science and Technology Sub-Committee.[16]

Dinenage has campaigned for local road improvements in 2013,[17][18] helping in May 2019 to secure £25.7m Government funding for the Stubbington Bypass, which has now been completed.[19]

At the 2015 general election, Dinenage was re-elected as MP for Gosport with an increased vote share of 55.3% and an increased majority of 17,098.[20][21]

In August 2016, Campaign group Action 4 Ashes praised Dinenage for her swift action as Justice Minister in introducing important changes to cremation regulation.[22]

Dinenage was again re-elected at the snap 2017 general election with an increased vote share of 61.9% and an increased majority of 17,211.[23]

In January 2018, Dinenage was appointed as Minister of State for Care at the Department for Health & Social Care. Dinenage was the first minister since Alistair Burt to hold the social care portfolio at Minister of State level, after Theresa May handed the portfolio to a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State under David Mowat and Jackie Doyle-Price.[24] Dinenage's appointment was welcomed by learning disabilities charity Hft, who had campaigned for the restoration of the Minister of State role.[25][26]

In June 2018, Dinenage launched the Carers Action Plan to support unpaid carers in England.[27]

Following her campaign against proposals which would have seen the closure of the Royal Navy School of Engineering at HMS Sultan, in February 2019 the government indefinitely delayed the closure of the site.[28]

In November 2019, she introduced plans for making learning disability and autism training mandatory for all Health and Social Care professionals.[29]

At the 2019 general election, Dinenage was again re-elected with an increased vote share of 66.5% and an increased majority of 23,278.[30]

In August 2020, Dinenage launched a consultation on Changing Places toilets:[31] the resulting building regulation changes would ensure larger accessible toilets were added to more than 150 major buildings a year.[32]

Dinenage had ministerial responsibility for the Online Safety Bill,[33] which was published in draft form in November 2021.[33]

As Education Minister, in November 2021 she delivered the government's manifesto commitment of 30 hours' free childcare for 3- and 4-year-olds.[34]

On 7 August 2023, the Guardian reported that Dinenage, chair of the select committee that scrutinises the British television industry, had recently hosted a drinks event in parliament for the news channel GB News.[35]

On 20 September 2023, after allegations of sexual misconduct had been made against Russell Brand,[36] Dinenage wrote to the social media platform Rumble on a House of Commons letterhead, expressing her committee's concern that "he [Brand] may be able to profit from his content on the platform", and enquiring "whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand's ability to earn money on the platform".[37] Rumble issued a response on X, expressing their support for "a free internet" and rejecting what they saw as "the UK Parliament's demands", adding that it was "deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so".[38]

Dinenage was again re-elected at the 2024 general election, with a decreased vote share of 40.3% and a decreased majority of 6,066.[39][40]

Personal life

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Dinenage has two children with her first husband Carlos Garreta, a Royal Navy officer. In February 2014, she married Mark Lancaster, Baron Lancaster of Kimbolton, a former MP and now member of the House of Lords, giving Dinenage the title Lady Lancaster, although she does not use this professionally.[41]

She has made a parachute jump and abseiled off Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower[42] to raise funds for the MS Society. A patron of Conservatives against Fox Hunting,[43] she was named one of Queen guitarist and animal welfare campaigner Brian May's Heroes of 2010.[44]

References

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  1. ^ "Gosport Parliamentary constituency". Retrieved 8 July 2024.
  2. ^ "Dame Caroline Dinenage". UK Parliament.
  3. ^ Dinenage, Caroline. "MPs and Lords". UK Parliament.
  4. ^ "Election result for Gosport (Constituency) – MPs and Lords – UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Political Honours conferred: January 2022". Gov.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  6. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8742.
  7. ^ "Caroline Dinenage MP". BBC News. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Caroline Dinenage, Conservative, Gosport". Daily Echo. 4 April 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Caroline Dinenage MP, Gosport". TheyWorkForYou.
  10. ^ "Archive | Archive of stories uploaded to the Daily Echo website". Daily Echo. 8 April 2003. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Gosport". BBC News. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Gosport's HMS Daedalus site to become an Enterprise Zone". Portsmouth.co.uk. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Select Committee Membership – UK Parliament". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage pushes for medals for Arctic Convoy vets". Daily Echo. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Transport secretary is stuck in traffic on visit to Gosport – Portsmouth News". Portsmouth.co.uk. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Campaign starts to get new bypass built before 2026 – Portsmouth News". Portsmouth.co.uk. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  19. ^ "'Critical' bypass wins government approval". BBC News. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  21. ^ "County councillor stands against Tory MP". Portsmouth.co.uk. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  22. ^ "Baby ashes scandal: Shropshire campaigners hail Caroline Dinenage MP for work". Shropshire Star. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  23. ^ "Gosport parliamentary constituency". BBC News.
  24. ^ Dhillon, Aran (7 April 2017). "How David Mowat made the move from MP to minister". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  25. ^ Davis, Billy (26 May 2017). "Remedying a sector in crisis: The case for reinstating a Social Care Minister". PoliticsHome. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Charity wants '˜stability' after Gosport MP takes on social care minister job". The News. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Carers Action Plan" (PDF).
  28. ^ "Gosport Royal Navy base HMS Sultan safe from closure until 2029, says MoD in estates U-turn". www.portsmouth.co.uk. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Mandatory Learning Disability Autism Training". www.homecare.co.uk. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Gosport Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  31. ^ "Government launches Changing Places consultation – Muscular Dystrophy UK". www.musculardystrophyuk.org. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  32. ^ "Changing Places toilets for severely disabled people to be compulsory in new public buildings". GOV.UK. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Written questions and answers – Written questions, answers and statements – UK Parliament". questions-statements.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  34. ^ "Draft Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) Regulations 2016 – Monday 5 December 2016 – Hansard – UK Parliament". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  35. ^ "Caroline Dinenage MP". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  36. ^ Murray, Jessica (17 September 2023). "A timeline of sexual assault allegations against Russell Brand". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  37. ^ "Attached is the letter from the UK Parliament". X (formerly Twitter). Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  38. ^ "Rumble rejects MP's 'disturbing' letter over Russell Brand income". BBC News. 21 September 2023. Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  39. ^ "Gosport - General election results 2024". BBC News. Retrieved 15 July 2024.
  40. ^ "Gosport's 2024 local election results". Gosport Borough Council. Retrieved 15 July 2024.
  41. ^ "Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage weds fellow politician at House of Commons chapel". Portsmouth News. 17 February 2014. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  42. ^ "Caroline Dinenage to abseil down Spinnaker". ITV News. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  43. ^ "About Us". Conservatives Against Fox Hunting. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  44. ^ "Brian May: Conservatives Against Fox Hunting: when animal welfare beats party loyalty". The Guardian. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Gosport

2010–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Position established Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years
2015–2017
Position abolished
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance
2017–2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Social Care
2018–2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Digital and Culture
2020–present
Incumbent