The Right Honourable Dame Cheryl Gillan DBE MP FCIM DipM was first elected Member of Parliament for Chesham and Amersham at the 1992 General Election. In 2017, Cheryl was again returned with a majority of 22,140 and she is the longest serving Conservative female MP currently in Parliament.
Cheryl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff and educated at Cheltenham Ladies College, the University of Law and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. In 1985 she married Jack Leeming.
Her business career has included working for Mark McCormack at the International Management Group 1977-84; Director of British Film Year 1984-86; Senior Marketing Consultant, Ernst and Young 1986-91, Marketing Director, Kidsons Impey 1991-1994 and other individual consultancy work.
Joining the Young Conservatives in 1968, she has held several offices in Conservative organisations, eventually becoming Chairman of the Bow Group 1987-8 (only the second woman to be elected to the Chair). In 1989 she contested Greater Manchester Central in the European Parliamentary Elections.
Her Parliamentary career includes:
· Member of the Select Committees on Science and Technology 1992-1995; Procedures 1994 -1995; Public Accounts Committee 1995-1996 and Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee 2013 to date
· Director of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 1995-1996
· The British Islands and the Mediterranean representative on the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) 2000-2003 and the first woman elected International Treasurer of the CPA 2003-06
· Former Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
· Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Lord Privy Seal, Leader of the House of Lords 1994-1995.
· Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for schools, employment, women and equal opportunities at the Department for Education and Employment 1995-1997.
· Shadow Minister Department of Trade and Industry 1997-1998
· Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Minister 1998 – 2001
· Opposition Whip, 2001 – 2003
· Shadow Minister for Home, Constitutional and Legal Affairs, 2002 – 2005
· Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, 2005- 2010
· Secretary of State for Wales, 2010-2012
· Representative of the UK on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe 2012-present; Vice President of the Political Affairs and Democracy Committee 2014-2015 and Rapporteur on the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development 2014-2016
· Vice Chairman of The 1922 Committee, 2015 to date
· Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism
· Vice Chair of All Party Parliamentary Groups on Ancient Woodland; Environment; Trade and Investment; Gardening and Horticulture; Epilepsy; Dermatology; and Timber
· Trustee and Treasurer of the Parliament Choir, 2012 to date