Claire grew up in North Somerset and was educated at an excellent local school, Nailsea Comprehensive. In 1982 she went to Brasenose College Oxford and left with a degree in Geography in 1985. Claire was the first person in her family to stay on at school beyond the age of 16 and as a result she is passionately committed to ensuring all children receive the best possible education that can be provided. At Oxford Claire was also awarded two rowing Blues.
After University Claire worked for Bank of America for three years and then went to Harvard Business School where she received a Masters in Business Administration in 1990. Claire then had a business career in the United States and Britain working for McKinsey and Company and Credit Suisse and she also started her own small company offering financial advice for women. Claire moved with her family to Wiltshire in 2000 when she stopped paid work to bring up her (then) small children but remained actively involved in fundraising for local schools, theatres and hospitals. In 2007 Claire began working for George Osborne, now Chancellor of the Exchequer, as a Political Adviser and continued in that role until May 2010 when she was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Devizes Constituency with a majority of more than 13,000 and over 55 per cent of the vote.
Since coming to Westminster Claire has been elected by fellow MPs to the Justice Select Committee, represented Britain at the Council of Europe and in October 2011 was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence. Claire also leads a Parliamentary team conducting a review of online child protection, is chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Connecting Communities, Vice-Chair of the APPG for Penal Reform and is a member of many other APPGs, including for the Armed Forces, Child Protection, International Development, Churches and Historic Places of Worship, Rural Affairs and Save the Pub. Locally, Claire is a Governor both of St. Johns school in Marlborough and the Wellington Academy in Ludgershall.
In Claire’s free time, she likes to read, walk and cycle with her family.