Gillian Shephard
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Gillian Shephard


The Baroness Shephard of Northwold

Official portrait of Baroness Shephard of Northwold crop 2.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions

1 June 1998 - 15 June 1999
LeaderWilliam Hague
Norman Fowler
John Redwood
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

11 June 1997 - 1 June 1998
LeaderWilliam Hague
Alastair Goodlad
George Young
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

11 June 1997 - 1 June 1998
LeaderWilliam Hague
Michael Heseltine
George Young
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment

2 May 1997 - 11 June 1997
LeaderJohn Major
David Blunkett
Stephen Dorrell
Secretary of State for Education and Employment

5 July 1995 - 2 May 1997
John Major
Herself (Education)
Michael Portillo (Employment)
David Blunkett
Secretary of State for Education

20 July 1994 - 5 July 1995
John Major
John Patten
Herself (Education and Employment)
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

27 May 1993 - 20 July 1994
John Major
John Gummer
William Waldegrave
Secretary of State for Employment

10 April 1992 - 27 May 1993
John Major
Michael Howard
David Hunt
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal

21 June 2005
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for South West Norfolk

12 June 1987 - 11 April 2005
Paul Hawkins
Christopher Fraser
Personal details
Born (1940-01-22) 22 January 1940 (age 80)
Cromer, United Kingdom
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Thomas Shephard (1975-present)
Alma materSt Hilda's College, Oxford

Gillian Patricia Shephard, Baroness Shephard of Northwold, PC, DL (née Watts; born 22 January 1940) is an English Conservative politician. She was the Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk[1] and served as a Cabinet Minister, and is now Chairman of the Association of Conservative Peers.

Baroness Shephard is currently the chair of the Alumni Association of Oxford University. She was the chair of the Council of the Institute of Education until 2015 and deputy commissioner of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission until 2017.

Early life and career

The daughter of Reginald and Bertha Watts, she was born in Cromer, Norfolk, and spent her early years in Mundesley on Sea, her father being a haulier with a small garage at the western end of Water Lane. She was educated at North Walsham Girls' High School and St Hilda's College, Oxford,[2] from which she gained an MA in Modern Languages. She became a schoolteacher and then worked as an Education Inspector for Norfolk County Council from 1963 to 1975. From 1975 to 1977 she worked for Anglia Television. She was elected to Parliament in 1987, and became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Peter Lilley in 1988.[1] She was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Social Security in 1989,[3] and then in 1990, Minister of State at HM Treasury.[4] In 1990 she was given the additional role of Deputy Chairman of the Party.[3] She married Thomas Shephard on 27 December 1975 and has two stepsons.

Ministerial career

After the 1992 general election, she was appointed Secretary of State for Employment,[1] then Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1993.[3] She moved to Secretary of State for Education in 1994, and stayed at the department when the Department for Employment merged into it in 1996.[3] She remained in this position until the 1997 general election.[4]

Shephard was one of two women promoted to John Major's Cabinet in 1992; the other was Virginia Bottomley. The two believed the media was looking for stories of Ministerial "catfights" and made a pact to work together, despite differences in backgrounds and working styles. In an interview, Shephard said, "We said that we would never give anybody the chance to say that we were criticising the other. We would be supportive; end of. And we were."[5]

Gillian Shephard provided considerable information regarding her role as Secretary of State for Education in interviews conducted by Brian Sherratt in October 1994 and March 1996 [6]

In opposition

After the defeat of the Conservatives, William Hague made her Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and later Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.[4] She returned to the backbenches in 1999[7] and stepped down from the House of Commons at the 2005 general election.[4] Her memoirs Shephard's Watch: Illusions of Power in British Politics were published in 2000.[7]

In 2013 following the death of Margaret Thatcher, Shephard published a memoir, The Real Iron Lady, of her time working with the former prime minister.[8]

Life peerage

On 13 May 2005 it was announced that she would be created a life peer,[9] and on 21 June 2005 the peerage was created as Baroness Shephard of Northwold, of Northwold in the County of Norfolk.[10]

She is currently Chairman of the Association of Conservative Peers.[11] She was Deputy Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission[12] until 2017, when she resigned in frustration with Prime Minister Theresa May's lack of action.[13]

Arms

Adopted
2006
Coronet
Coronet of a Baroness
Escutcheon
Quarterly Azure and Or three pairs of Ears of Barley in pale Or each pair fesswise leaved and with slips inwards and conjoined all counterchanged
Supporters
On either side a Hare Azure gorged with a Coronet attached thereto a Chain reflexed over the back Or
Motto
SERVO ERGO SUM
Symbolism
These Armorial Bearings reflect rural Norfolk with blue for the Conservative party.

Honours

References

  1. ^ a b c "Gillian Shephard". BBC News Online. 17 October 2002. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ "Shephard's scars". Times Higher Education. 20 September 1996. Retrieved 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d "Shephard plans to step down as MP". BBC News Online. 17 September 2004. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d "Full list of new life peers". BBC News Online. 13 May 2005. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^ Reeves, Rachel, 1979- (7 March 2019). Women of Westminster : the MPs who changed politics. London. ISBN 978-1-78831-677-4. OCLC 1084655208.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Radical Educational Policies and Conservative Secretaries of State, Ribbins, P and Sherratt, B, Cassell, 1997, pp 200-225
  7. ^ a b "Hague was wrong to rubbish old guard, says Major loyalist". The Independent. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 2010.
  8. ^ Gillian Shephard (18 March 2013). The Real Iron Lady: Working with Margaret Thatcher. Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84954-562-4.
  9. ^ "New peers make Labour giant in Lords". Manchester Evening News. 13 May 2005. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "No. 57684". The London Gazette. 24 June 2005. p. 8245.
  11. ^ "All courtesy titles could go in reform of honours". The Times. 29 December 2007. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ "New appointments to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk.
  13. ^ Harley, Nicola (2 December 2017). "'Little hope of fairer Britain': Theresa May's social mobility tsar quits in frustration as Government focuses on Brexit". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2018-07-16/honorary-degrees-to-be-given-to-three-former-cabinet-ministers/
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Hawkins
Member of Parliament
for South West Norfolk

1987-2005
Succeeded by
Christopher Fraser
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Howard
Secretary of State for Employment
1992-1993
Succeeded by
David Hunt
Preceded by
John Gummer
Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
1993-1994
Succeeded by
William Waldegrave
Preceded by
John Patten
Secretary of State for Education
1994-1995
Succeeded by
Herself
Preceded by
Herself
as Secretary of State for Education
Secretary of State for Education and Employment
1995-1997
Succeeded by
David Blunkett
Succeeded by
Michael Portillo
as Secretary of State for Employment
Preceded by
David Blunkett
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment
1997
Succeeded by
Stephen Dorrell
Preceded by
Alastair Goodlad
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
1997-1998
Succeeded by
George Young
Preceded by
Michael Heseltine
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1997-1998
Preceded by
Norman Fowler
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
1998-1999
Succeeded by
John Redwood

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