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Claire Louise Perry O’Neill[4] (born 3 April 1964) is a Conservative politician in the United Kingdom who has represented the Devizes constituency since 2010. She was appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the Second May ministry, after the June 2017 reshuffle.[5] After the cabinet reshuffle of January 2018 she has attended the Cabinet of the United Kingdom as part of her ministerial role.[6]


Claire Perry O’Neill

Claire perry.jpg
Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth
In office
12 June 2017 – 24 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byNick Hurd
Succeeded byKwasi Kwarteng
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Transport
In office
15 July 2014 – 14 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byStephen Hammond
Succeeded byPaul Maynard
Member of Parliament
for Devizes
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byMichael Ancram
Majority21,136 (41.7%)
Personal details
Born (1964-04-03) 3 April 1964 (age 55)
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England[1]
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
  • Clayton Perry
    (m. 1996; div. 2013)
    [2][3]
  • William O'Neill (m. 2018)
Children3
Alma materBrasenose College, Oxford,
Harvard University
OccupationMP for Devizes
ProfessionInvestment banking
Websitewww.claireperry.org.uk

Perry also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Philip Hammond when he was the Secretary of State for Defence, and as Government Assistant Whip. Subsequently, she served as Rail minister from July 2014 to July 2016.

Early lifeEdit

The youngest of three children of David and Joanne Richens, Perry was brought up in North Somerset. She was educated at Nailsea School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where she read geography, graduating in 1985. One of her contemporaries at Brasenose was George Monbiot, who described her in his column for The Guardian as at the time "a firebrand who wanted to nationalise the banks and overthrow capitalism".[7] She later gained an MBA at Harvard University.

Perry worked for Bank of America, McKinsey & Company and Credit Suisse.[8]

After joining the Conservative Party in 2006, she worked for the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne.[9]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Perry was selected in November 2009 as a Conservative candidate after Michael Ancram announced his intention to stand down from Devizes, a safe seat for her party.[10] In her maiden speech she was critical of the previous Labour government's management of the rural economy, adding: "we do not get as many jobcentres per head of the population in rural Britain". She also paid tribute to the Armed Forces, as Devizes is home to 11,000 soldiers.[11]

In October 2011, Perry was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence.[8][12] She held this role until October 2013, when she became a Government Assistant Whip. On 15 July 2014, Perry was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, with responsibility for rail fares, rail franchising, freight and logistics and transport agencies.[13] She resigned from this position on 14 July 2016, at the time of the reshuffle, when Theresa May became Prime Minister, the day after saying in a debate she was "often ashamed to be the Rail Minister".[14][15]

Perry campaigned for improvements in online safety, and in 2011 led an Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection, with a particular focus on online pornography.[16] She was subsequently appointed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, as an adviser on preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of children.[17]

Perry argued for blocks on pornography for all internet users unless they opt out of it, citing the need to protect children.[18][19] In July 2013, hackers placed pornographic images on Perry's own website. Perry accused political blogger Paul Staines – known for his Guido Fawkes blog – of sponsoring the attack,[20][21] while Staines threatened to sue her for libel if the claim was not removed.[22] After Internet filters started to be rolled out, news agencies reported that a wide range of non-pornographic websites were now being censored by UK ISPs as a result of false-positive results for blocked phrases, including Perry's own website, as a result of her frequent use of words such as "porn" and "sex" in web posts about her pro-censorship campaign.[23][24]

In 2012, Perry mistakenly stated that the national debt and national deficit were the same thing in a discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live.[25][26][27]

Perry campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU during the 2016 membership referendum, and argued after the vote that some members of her party were "like jihadis" in their support for a "hard Brexit" and said the tone of the debate on leaving the European Union "borders on the hysterical".[28] She was one of only seven Conservative MPs to vote for an amendment arguing that Parliament should have the final say on any deal to leave the EU.[29] She subsequently voted with her party in approving the decision to invoke Article 50.

During the January 2018 cabinet reshuffle, Perry was appointed by Theresa May as Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, with the right to attend cabinet.[30]

Perry attracted criticism from political commentators in December 2018 when in an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live she could not answer an early question from presenter Emma Barnett asking how much money had been allocated to her department for Brexit. Perry replied: "If I'd known I was going to be asked the question, I would have come to you with the number.".[31]

In November 2018 the PCS, FDA and Prospect unions raised concerns with senior officials at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that Perry had been accused of swearing and shouting at staff. The shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said that the unions had raised "serious allegations" and urged officials to "look into them carefully."[32]

In September 2019, Perry announced she would not stand again at the next general election.[33]

Personal lifeEdit

Perry has three children from her former marriage.[2]

The Daily Telegraph newspaper revealed in May 2019 that she was claiming £9,843 per year taxfree in Parliamentary expenses for her three children, two of whom are now adults, on top of her salary as MP and Minister of State for Energy totalling £111,148 and her standard taxfree "second home allowance" of £22,760. She did not deny the report, but said that she had not broken any Parliamentary rules.[34]

She currently lives in Pewsey Vale in Wiltshire.[35]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Staff writer (2013), "PERRY, Claire Louise", Who's Who 2013. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries that are in the UK)
  2. ^ a b Walker, Tim (21 March 2013). "'Cameron cutie' Claire Perry gives up on 'difficult' marriage". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  3. ^ Cowen, Lewis (21 March 2013). "Devizes MP Claire Perry reveals that her marriage is over". Gazette and Herald. Wiltshire. Archived from the original on 29 December 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  4. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8746.
  5. ^ Collier, Hatty (12 June 2017). "Theresa May sacks four ministers including Robert Halfon as Cabinet reshuffle continues". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Reshuffle: Greg Clark to remain as Business Secretary". Archived from the original on 14 January 2018.
  7. ^ Monbiot, George (31 March 2015). "'Wealth creators' are robbing our most productive people". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b Perry, Claire. "About Claire". claireperry.org.uk. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  9. ^ Barltrop, Paul (6 November 2009). "Claire Perry chosen for Devizes". Politics Show West. BBC. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  10. ^ Isaby, Jonathan (1 November 2009). "Claire Perry selected to fight Devizes". ConservativeHome. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  11. ^ Claire Perry, Member of Parliament for Devizes (10 June 2010). "Tackling Poverty in the UK". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 511. United Kingdom: House of Commons. col. 555–558. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017.
  12. ^ Isaaman, Gerald (2 November 2011). "The Euro is going to continue to struggle for a long time, warns Claire Perry". Marlborough News Online. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Claire Perry MP". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Southern: Claire Perry 'often ashamed' to be rail minister". BBC News. 13 July 2016. Archived from the original on 17 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Rail minister Claire Perry resigns". BBC News. 15 July 2016. Archived from the original on 16 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  16. ^ "MPs call for better porn filters to protect children". BBC News. 18 April 2012. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  17. ^ Staff writer (2 March 2013). "Intrusive parenting 'damages children's lives' says Claire Perry, David Cameron's adviser on childhood". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  18. ^ Davies, Caroline (19 December 2010). "Broadband firms urged to block sex websites to protect children". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 February 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  19. ^ "MP calls for pornography 'opt-in' to protect children". BBC News. 23 November 2010. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  20. ^ "Net block MP Claire Perry in spat over porn hack" Archived 25 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 24 July 2013
  21. ^ Doctorow, Cory (24 July 2013). "Technologically illiterate MP who masterminded UK porn blocker gets hacked, threatens reporter for writing about it (blog)". boing boing. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  22. ^ Halliday, Josh (24 July 2013). "Guido Fawkes blogger threatens to sue Tory MP over hacking accusation". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  23. ^ Worstall, Tim (25 December 2013). "The best story yet about the UK's online porn filters". Forbes. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  24. ^ "FSC's Duke Argues Against Censorship at UK Roundtable". Adult Video News. 7 March 2014. Archived from the original on 20 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Former banker Tory MP claims debt and deficit are the same thing". Political Scrapbook. 8 October 2012. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015.
    On Radio 5 this morning:
    Victoria Derbyshire: What is puzzling is, under Labour debt equals bad, under the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats national debt equals?
    Claire Perry: We have cut Labour's deficit Victoria by a quarter
    Derbyshire: I’m talking about debt
    Perry: Well it is the same thing
    Derbyshire: It is not the same thing
  26. ^ Bryant, Ben (26 October 2012). "Question Time: as it happened 26th October". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  27. ^ McSmith, Andy (8 October 2012). "If it's worth saying George, say it thrice". The Independent. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  28. ^ England, Charlotte (8 February 2017). "Hard Brexiteers are like jihadis, says Tory MP". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  29. ^ Hughes, Laura (7 February 2017). "Brexit debate and vote: MPs reject rebel amendment calling for parliament to have final approval on EU deal". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  30. ^ Murray, James (9 January 2018). "Climate Minister Claire Perry awarded cabinet role". BusinessGreen. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  31. ^ https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-minister-tells-radio-host-13756884
  32. ^ Walker, Peter (19 November 2018). "Energy minister Claire Perry accused of swearing and shouting at staff". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  33. ^ Forrest, Adam (6 September 2019). "Boris Johnson news – live: PM grapples with bull, declines to rule out quitting and suffers damning attack for 'misleading' police chief". The Independent. Archived from the original on 6 September 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  34. ^ Mikhailova, Anna; Young, Charles (10 May 2019). "MPs claim expenses for adult children: allowances topped up under rule originally intended to help young families". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  35. ^ "Claire Perry, MP for Devizes – Fascinating to find out what changes are afoot". thisiswiltshire.co.uk. Newsquest. 24 October 2013. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Ancram
Member of Parliament for Devizes
2010–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Hammond
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Paul Maynard