British Conservative Party Politician, Education Secretary
Justine Greening MP (born 30 April 1969) is a British Conservative Party politician who was appointed Secretary of State for Education in 2016. She has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney since 2005. In 2013, she was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.
Greening was first elected as a member of parliament (MP) at the 2005 general election. She was appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury in May 2010, and became Secretary of State for Transport in October 2011. In September 2012, she was replaced by Patrick McLoughlin at the Department for Transport, and became Secretary of State for International Development. She was appointed Secretary of State for Education in Theresa May’s first ministry on 14 July 2016.
Greening was born in Rotherham, where she attended Oakwood Comprehensive School. She is a graduate of the University of Southampton, where she studied Economics, and has an MBA from the London Business School. Before entering parliament, she trained and qualified as an accountant, before working as an accountant/finance manager for, amongst others, Price Waterhouse Coopers, GlaxoSmithKline and Centrica.
Greening contested the constituency of Ealing, Acton & Shepherd’s Bush in 2001, finishing second with a reduced share of the vote for the Conservatives. She won the seat of Putney in the 2005 general election on 5 May 2005. Greening won 15,497 votes (42.4% of the vote) giving her a majority of 1,766 (4.8%). She unseated Tony Colman, who had held the seat for Labour since defeating David Mellor in 1997.
As the first Conservative elected on the evening of the election, her victory was the first real sign that the Conservative Party was to reduce the Labour Government’s majority and begin to recover from the landslide defeats of the 1997 and 2001 general elections. Michael Howard, who had visited Putney to give a speech on his first day as Conservative Leader, returned there on the morning after the election to congratulate Putney Conservatives and give the speech in which he announced his intention to step down. She was the youngest female Conservative MP in the House of Commons until Chloe Smith was elected to Parliament on 12 October 2009.
Greening was appointed a vice-chair (with responsibility for youth) of the Conservative Party on 15 December 2005, having earlier that year been appointed a member of the Work and Pensions Committee. In July 2007 following a shadow ministerial reshuffle, she was promoted to be a Junior Shadow Minister for The Treasury.
In January 2009 following a further shadow ministerial reshuffle, Greening was promoted to Shadow Minister for London, within the Communities and Local Government Team with responsibility for Local Government Finance. Within this brief, she focussed on transport and local community benefits.
During the 2009 expenses scandal, Greening was ranked as the 9th best value for money MP in research carried out by the free-market think tank, the Adam Smith Institute, and of all her expenses claims she was the 599th lowest out of the 645 MPs. In March 2010 she was put in charge of co-ordinating the Conservative campaign for the 2010 general election in London. She became Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
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