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.
Among others, Cheryl has held the positions of:
- 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
Cheryl is currently:
- Member of the Political Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee (PACAC)
- Vice Chairman of the 1922 Committee
- Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism
- Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Electric & Autonomous Vehicles
- Assistant Chairman of the International Democrat Union
- 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
- Member of the Conservative Party Board
- President of Buckinghamshire CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England)