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Justine Greening (born 30 April 1969) is a British Conservative Party politician who served as Secretary of State for Education from 2016 to 2018, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney since 2005.


Justine Greening

Official portrait of Justine Greening crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Education
In office
14 July 2016 – 8 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byNicky Morgan
Succeeded byDamian Hinds
Minister for Women and Equalities
In office
14 July 2016 – 8 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byNicky Morgan
Succeeded byAmber Rudd
Secretary of State for International Development
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byAndrew Mitchell
Succeeded byPriti Patel
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
14 October 2011 – 4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byPhilip Hammond
Succeeded byPatrick McLoughlin
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
In office
13 May 2010 – 14 October 2011
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byIan Pearson
Succeeded byChloe Smith
Shadow Minister for London
In office
19 January 2009 – 13 May 2010
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byBob Neill
Succeeded byTessa Jowell
Member of Parliament
for Putney
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byTony Colman
Majority1,554 (3.3%)
Personal details
Born (1969-04-30) 30 April 1969 (age 50)
Rotherham, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of Southampton
London Business School
WebsiteOfficial website

Greening served in the Cameron Government as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Transport, prior to being appointed Secretary of State for International Development in September 2012.[1] From 14 July 2016 to 8 January 2018, she served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities in the May Government. She resigned as Education Secretary in the January 2018 Cabinet reshuffle.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Greening was born in Rotherham, where she attended Oakwood Comprehensive School.[2] She studied Business Economics and Accounting at the University of Southampton, graduating with a first class honours degree in 1990.[3] She obtained an Executive MBA from the London Business School in 2000.[4]

Before entering parliament, she trained and qualified[5] as an accountant, working as an accountant/finance manager for, amongst others, PricewaterhouseCoopers, GlaxoSmithKline and Centrica.[6] She contested the constituency of Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush in 2001; Greening finished second with a reduced share of the vote for the Conservatives.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Greening gained the seat of Putney from Labour in the 2005 general election on 5 May 2005. Greening won 15,497 votes (42.4% of the vote) giving her a majority of 1,766 (4.8%). She unseated Tony Colman, who had held the seat for Labour since defeating David Mellor in 1997.

As the first Conservative elected on the evening of the election, her victory was the first real sign that the Conservative Party was to reduce the Labour Government's majority and begin to recover from the landslide defeats of the 1997 and 2001 general elections. Michael Howard, who had visited Putney to give a speech on his first day as Conservative Leader, returned there on the morning after the election to congratulate Putney Conservatives and give the speech in which he announced his intention to step down. Greening was the youngest female Conservative MP in the House of Commons[7] until Chloe Smith was elected to Parliament on 12 October 2009.

Greening was appointed a vice-chair (with responsibility for youth) of the Conservative Party on 15 December 2005, having earlier that year been appointed a member of the Work and Pensions Committee. In July 2007, following a shadow ministerial reshuffle, she was promoted to be a Junior Shadow Minister for The Treasury.

In January 2009, following a further shadow ministerial reshuffle, Greening was promoted to Shadow Minister for London, within the Communities and Local Government Team with responsibility for Local Government Finance. Within this brief, she focused on transport and local community benefits.

In March 2010, she was put in charge of co-ordinating the Conservative campaign for the 2010 general election in London.[8] She held the post of Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 13 May 2010 to 14 October 2011.

In 2018, she established the Social Mobility Pledge upon returning to the backbenches, a new scheme aimed at broadening social mobility and opportunity in Britain. Later that year, she became the first senior Conservative to come out in favour of a new EU referendum, arguing that Parliament was unable to make a decision on Brexit and therefore it had to be put back to the people. In October 2018, in an interview on Good Morning Britain she was asked if she would be interested in launching a leadership bid. Greening said: "Well, things need to change, don't they, and people need to have some hope for the future that Britain can be a country that runs differently and more fairly." Questioned again on whether she would stand for the Conservative leadership if there were a vacancy, Greening said: "I might be prepared to, but I'm more interested in the Conservative party actually showing what it can do for this country."[9]

In early 2019, she co-founded the group Right to Vote alongside Dominic Grieve and Phillip Lee calling for a new referendum.[10] After the formation of The Independent Group, Greening suggested that she could resign the Conservative whip if there was a 'no deal' Brexit. In April 2019, Greening indicated again that she would run for the Tory leadership if a 'centrist' did not run. She also unveiled possible policies such as scrapping tuition fees in favour of a graduate tax and increasing the number of Opportunity Areas.[11]

Transport SecretaryEdit

In October 2011, she was appointed Secretary of State for Transport and was sworn of the Privy Council.[12]

Greening represents the London constituency of Putney and had always campaigned against a third runway at Heathrow Airport. In the run up to the 2012 Cabinet reshuffle, Greening said it would be difficult to serve in a Cabinet which was in favour of a third runway.[13]

In her role as Secretary of State for Transport, Greening oversaw the award of new rail franchises, including the award of the Intercity West Coast franchise to First Group in 2012. In October 2012, Greening announced that the government was cancelling the franchise competition for the InterCity West Coast franchise after discovering significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted, reversing the decision to award it to FirstGroup.[14] A report by the Transport Select Committee found fault with Greening and revealed that the cost to the taxpayer of the flawed franchise process was at least £40 million.[15]

International Development SecretaryEdit

 
Secretary of State Greening meets actress Geena Davis at the Millennium Development Goals Countdown event at the Ford Foundation Building (24 September 2013)
 
Greening and actor Idris Elba at a Defeating Ebola virus conference (2014)

On 4 September 2012, she was replaced by Patrick McLoughlin at the Department for Transport and became Secretary of State for International Development.[1] The move was strongly criticised by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson who believed it was linked to her opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.[16] As Secretary of State for International Development, Greening became a member of the National Security Council.

Education SecretaryEdit

Greening was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities by Theresa May on 14 July 2016, replacing Nicky Morgan in both roles. During her time in these posts, she announced the creation of social mobility 'opportunity areas', and the approval of additional free schools.[17][18] She has also spoken in favour of creating new grammar schools and retaining university tuition fees.[19][20]

In the June 2017 general election, after which the Conservatives formed a minority government, she held her Putney constituency with a reduced majority and a loss in vote share of 9.7%.[21] She remained Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities after the election until her resignation from government on 8 January 2018, during a cabinet reshuffle: it was reported that she had rejected the post of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, interpreted variously as the offer of a "sideways move" or a demotion.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

In June 2016, Greening revealed on Twitter that she was in a "happy same-sex relationship". Referring to the EU membership referendum, she added: "I campaigned for Stronger In but sometimes you're better off out!"[23] Greening was previously in a relationship with Mark Clarke, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate for Tooting who was expelled from the party for his involvement in a bullying scandal of young members.[24][25]

StylesEdit

  • Miss Justine Greening (1969–1987)
  • Ms Justine Greening (1987–2005)
  • Ms Justine Greening MP (2005–2011)
  • The Right Honourable Justine Greening MP (2011–present)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Full post-reshuffle list of Conservative Cabinet Ministers". ConservativeHome. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Justine Greening: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Southampton graduate appointed Secretary of State for Education". University of Southampton website. 14 July 2016. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Notable alumni: The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP". London Business School website. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Welcome to ICAEW.com". ICAEW. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  6. ^ "LSCA member holds seat at general election". Justine Greening, Education Secretary, MP for Putney and LSCA member, was among a number of accountants who were successful in the general election, while others failed in their election bids. ICAEW. 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  7. ^ "BBC News". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 15 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Weaver, Matthew (29 October 2018). "Justine Greening hints at Conservative leadership bid". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  10. ^ Lee, Phillip (19 March 2019). "Letter to the Prime Minister from Dr Phillip Lee MP" (pdf) (Letter). Letter to Theresa May. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijrWlcA4RHg[better source needed]
  12. ^ "Orders for 17 October 2011" (PDF). Privy Council Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 March 2016.
  13. ^ Hope, Christopher (28 August 2012). "Heathrow third runway: Transport Secretary threatens to resign". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Announcements – GOV.UK". www.dft.gov.uk.
  15. ^ Watts, Robert (9 January 2018). "Justine Greening to face criticism over West Coast Main Line fiasco". The Daily Telegraph.
  16. ^ "Boris Johnson condemns Justine Greening 'demotion over Heathrow'". Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Greening announces social mobility 'opportunity areas'". BBC News website. 4 October 2016. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Next wave of free schools approved". BBC News website. 12 April 2017. Archived from the original on 11 May 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Greening pledges grammar 'meritocracy'". BBC News website. 12 September 2016. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Justine Greening: Labour's free tuition plan 'threat to access'". Times Higher Education website. 12 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Putney Parliamentary constituency – Election 2017". BBC News website. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  22. ^ Ashtana, Anushka (8 January 2018). "Theresa May's reshuffle in disarray as Justine Greening quits". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  23. ^ Saul, Heather (25 June 2016). "Pride 2016: Tory MP Justine Greening announces she is in a same-sex relationship". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Justine Greening Embroiled in Clarke Sex Scandal -". Guido Fawkes. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Revealed: Andrew Feldman campaigned with Tatler Tory Mark Clarke – The Commentator". www.thecommentator.com. Retrieved 3 July 2018.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tony Colman
Member of Parliament
for Putney

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Ian Pearson
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Chloe Smith
Preceded by
Philip Hammond
Secretary of State for Transport
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Patrick McLoughlin
Preceded by
Andrew Mitchell
Secretary of State for International Development
2012–2016
Succeeded by
Priti Patel
Preceded by
Nicky Morgan
Secretary of State for Education
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Damian Hinds
Minister for Women and Equalities
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Amber Rudd