Member of Parliament for Meriden
Second Church Estates Commissioner
Born in 1958, she was educated at Herts and Essex Grammar School before reading European Studies at Queen Mary College, University of London. Caroline is fluent in French and German and worked for the sugar beet industry for fifteen years before entering politics.
Caroline was first elected as an MP in 1997. In opposition she has held a number of posts including shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, International Development and Spokesperson for Health. She was also Chairman of the Conservative Party. From 2010 to 2012 she was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
In her constituency, Caroline has consistently campaigned to protect the greenbelt, introducing a private members’ bills to prevent garden grabbing in 2008, as well as compensation for property blight in 2013, and a bill to improve end-of-life care in 2009. She has helped to set up two charities in the Meriden constituency; one which helps rehabilitate people with drug addictions through training and employment opportunities, and another dedicated to victims of domestic abuse.
In 2010, Caroline was appointed to the Cabinet as Environment Secretary. She introduced the first White Papers on both the Natural Environment and Water for twenty years. Caroline successfully concluded UN agreements on Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development Goals in 2012. Caroline is now working on increasing job security in the West Midlands, and improving healthcare.
Following the 2015 General Election, Caroline was asked to take up the unpaid role of Second Church Estates Commissioner in the House of Commons, providing a link between Government and the established Church.
Once a month, Caroline answers both oral and written questions from MPs in the House of Commons about Church of England matters. It is also her duty in this role, as a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee, to steer Church of England legislation through the House of Commons.
Through this role Caroline is also an ex-officio member of the Church of England's General Synod.