Amber Rudd

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The Right Honourable
Amber Rudd
342303320 Amber Rudd MP.jpg
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Assumed office
11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Ed Davey
Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Climate Change
In office
15 July 2014 – 11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Gregory Barker
Succeeded by Andrea Leadsom (as Minister of State)
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
10 September 2012 – 7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Sajid Javid
Succeeded by Rob Wilson
Member of Parliament
for Hastings and Rye
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Michael Foster
Majority 4,796 (9.4%)
Personal details
Born (1963-08-01) 1 August 1963 (age 55)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) A. A. Gill (Divorced)
Children Flora
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Website Official website

Amber Rudd (born 1 August 1963) is a British Conservative Party politician who was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the East Sussex constituency of Hastings and Rye at the May 2010 general election, defeating the incumbent Labour MP Michael Foster.

Early life and education

Amber Rudd was born in London on 1 August 1963.[1] Her brother is the public relations executive Roland Rudd,[2] and her mother was briefly styled Marchioness Conyngham while married to Frederick Conyngham, 7th Marquess Conyngham.[3]

She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College, an independent school in Gloucestershire,[4] and from 1979-1981 at Queen's College, London,[5] an independent day school for girls in London, followed by the Edinburgh University where she read history.

Business career

After graduating from university, Rudd joined J.P. Morgan & Co., working in both London and New York. She then worked in venture capital in London, raising funds for small businesses. After working as a financial journalist, she founded specialist executive search and human resources consultancy Lawnstone Ltd,[6] with clients in financial services and in business media.[7] She helped to find extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral for which she was credited as the "aristocracy co-ordinator", and appeared briefly in one of the church scenes in the film.[8][2]

Political career

At the 2005 general election, Rudd was the Conservative candidate for the Labour-held seat of Liverpool, Garston.

Her name was subsequently added to the Conservative A-List and selected to contest the Hastings and Rye constituency in 2006, moving to the old town in 2007.[8] In the 2010 General Election, Rudd was elected as the MP for Hastings & Rye with a majority of 1,993 votes. Shortly afterwards, Rudd was elected to serve as a Conservative member on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

Rudd is vice-chair of the Parliamentary committee on Female Genital Mutilation, which has campaigned against FGM and called for tougher legal penalties in the area. She has championed the cause of sex equality as chairperson of the APPG for Sex Equality,[9] which published a report on women in work. Rudd chaired a cross-party enquiry into unplanned pregnancies which called for statutory sex and relationships education in all secondary schools.[10] She has also called for a higher proportion of women in Cabinet.[11]

In September 2012, she was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.[12] In October 2013, she became an assistant government whip. In July 2014, Rudd was appointed Minister for the Department for Energy and Climate Change.[13][14]

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Following the 2015 general election, she was promoted as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.[15] In May 2015 she was appointed as a member of the Privy Council.[16]

In July 2015, Private Eye reported that Rudd faces a potential conflict of interest because she is to decide on the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station whilst her brother Roland is chairman (and founder) of Finsbury, which represents a construction company with a £100m contract to help build the nuclear plant. The Private Eye report noted that despite the MPs’ register of interests including a new category of 'family members engaged in lobbying' Rudd "makes no mention of her brother or his interests", and added, "The Eye asked the Department of Energy & Climate Change if Rudd had told its permanent secretary about Roland and Finsbury (another conflict of interest procedure) but it did not reply".[17]

The links between decisions to be taken by the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Rudd’s brother’s lobbying interests had previously been reported in the Daily Mail. In May 2015, the newspaper’s chief political correspondent, Daniel Martin, reported that Rudd would not be making a decision on plans by Halite Energy Group to store natural gas in underground caves in Lancashire. Halite is represented by the lobbying firm Rudd’s brother chairs. Martin reported: "It is one of the first big decisions in Energy Secretary Amber Rudd’s in-tray – but she won’t be making it. Last night Miss Rudd conceded that she would play no part in the decision. But the Department for Energy and Climate Change insisted that this was not because of any conflict of interest. A spokesman said the decision was never due to have been made by her, and that it would be down to a junior minister. But last night officials were unable to say which minister would make the decision."[18] On the 18 November 2015 she proposed the UK's remaining coal-fired power stations originally conceived by Sir Christopher Hinton, Baron Hinton of Bankside will be shut by 2025 with their use restricted by 2023. "We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century." [19]

In November 2015 a leaked letter showed that the government was not on course to deliver its Mandatory renewable energy target, leading to accusations from The Ecologist that Rudd had knowingly misled Parliament.[20]

In July 2015, Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth accused Rudd of hypocrisy in claiming to want to address climate change while at the same time, in his view, "dismantling an architecture of low-carbon policies carefully put together with cross-party agreement over the course of two parliaments". Rudd replied that "[Government] support must help technologies eventually stand on their own two feet, not encourage a permanent reliance on subsidy."[21][22]

Comments about Hastings

In April 2013, a profile of Rudd appeared in the Financial Times[8] which caused upset to some in her constituency as it reported her referring to "people who are on benefits, who prefer to be on benefits by the seaside...moving down here to have easier access to friends and drugs and drink". She responded by stating that "I am incredibly optimistic about Hastings. I described the well-known problems that Hastings has to the Financial Times but I also talked about the incredible investment in the town, the fact that unemployment is going down and that there are many positive things to say about it."[23]

Local issues

Rudd has been actively involved in the campaign for the local fishing fleet in Hastings. Her maiden speech advocated wholesale reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)[24]

Rudd has also campaigned successfully for the construction of the Hastings to Bexhill Link Road. In early 2013 the Government gave the road the go ahead for construction after ten years of campaigning,[25] and Rudd is now spearheading a campaign called Complete The Link to see the final stage of the road get funding for construction.[26]

Personal life

Rudd married the writer A.A. Gill in 1990.[27] Rudd and Gill have two children, Flora and Alasdair.[28] The couple separated in 1995 and later divorced.[27][28][29]

Rudd is a trustee of the Snowdon Trust, an organisation that helps young disabled people access education.[30] Rudd has been director of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize since 2003, an annual award for a first-time female playwright in the English language. She also serves as a governor of The St Leonards Academy in Hastings.[31]

External links


  1. "Amber Rudd". The Argus. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Energy secretary burns with ambition for other women", Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times, 17 May 2015, p. 17.
  4. Norwood, Graham (2 October 2015). "Highly fancied". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 6 December 2015.  (subscription required)
  5. "Former pupils - Amber Rudd". Queen's College, London. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  6. "Banking & Finance Graduate Careers Jobs & Opportunities - News Information & Advice". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  7. "Amber Rudd, Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye". Conservative Party. Archived from the original on 11 May 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "The Battle for Hastings". Financial Times. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  9. "All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sex Equality". Parliament UK. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  10. Stratton, Allegra (19 December 2012). "MPs call for compulsory relationship education". BBC News. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  11. Roberts, Yvonne (25 November 2012). "Has the drive towards sexual equality gone into reverse?". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  12. "Amber Rudd MP in new role with Chancellor". Hastings Observer. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  13. Gosden, Emily (15 July 2014). "Cabinet reshuffle: Chancellor's allies Matt Hancock and Amber Rudd join energy department". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  14. "Reshuffle at-a-glance: In, out and moved about". BBC News Online. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  15. "Cabinet reshuffle: Amber Rudd and Sajid Javid promoted". BBC News Online. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  17. "Amber Warning". Private Eye (1396). 10 July 2015. p. 12. 
  18. Martin, Daniel (29 May 2015). "The Energy Secretary, her brother and an explosive decision she WON'T be making". Mail Online. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  19. Rudd, Amber. "Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change". BBC. Retrieved 24 November 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  20. Tickell, Oliver. "Leaked letter: Rudd admits 25% green energy undershoot, misled Parliament". The Ecologist. The Ecologist. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  21. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd criticised ahead of climate speech. Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 24 July 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  22. COP21: UK under fire on climate policy. Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 6 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  23. "Sussex MP blasted for drugs comment". 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  24. "Fairer deal for fishermen in maiden speech". Amanda Rudd. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  25. "Final funding approval for Bexhill-Hastings link road". 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  26. "Complete the Link". Amber Rudd. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Barber, Lynn (6 January 2004). "The secret diary of Adrian Gill, aged 45". The Guardian. London. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 Kay, Richard (8 October 2006). "A novel way to find your long-lost son". Daily Mail. London. 
  29. Gill, AA (21 August 2005). "Tugga". The Times. London. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  30. "The Snowdon Trust". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  31. "St Leonards Academy". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Foster
Member of Parliament
for Hastings and Rye

Political offices
Preceded by
Ed Davey
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change