Gillian Shephard, Baroness Shephard of Northwold

Gillian Shephard, Baroness Shephard of Northwold

Gillian Patricia Shephard, Baroness Shephard of Northwold, PC (born January 22, 1940, Cromer) is a British Conservative politician; she was the Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk, and a former Secretary of State and is now Parliamentary President of the Conservative Friends of Israel. []

Early life and career

Born Gillian Patricia Watts, the daughter of Reginald and Bertha Watts, she was educated at North Walsham Girls' High School on "Park Lane" in North Walsham, and St Hilda's College University of Oxford, gaining an MA in Modern Languages, after which she became a school teacher and a worked as an Education Inspector for Norfolk County Council from 1963-75. From 1975-77, she worked for Anglia Television. She was elected to Parliament in 1987, and became PPS to Peter Lilley in 1988. She was made Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Social Security in 1989, and then in 1990, Minister of State at HM Treasury. In 1991, she was given the additional role of Deputy Chairman of the Party. She married Thomas Shephard on December 27, 1975. They have two stepsons.

Ministerial career

After the 1992 general election, she was made Secretary of State for Employment, then Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1993. She moved to Secretary of State for Education in 1994, and stayed at the department when the Department for Employment merged into it in 1995. She remained in this position until the 1997 general election.

In opposition

After the defeat of the Conservatives, William Hague made her Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, and then Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in 1998. She returned to the backbenches in 1999, and stepped down from the House of Commons at the 2005 general election.

Life peerage

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

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