Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan, DBE, MP FCIM entered Parliament in 1992 and is currently the longest serving woman MP on the Conservative benches. Cheryl is married to Jack Leeming and was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 2010 and Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2018. From a background in marketing, law and international management, Dame Cheryl was a front bench spokesman for 20 years, covering a great range of detailed policy areas, first as an Education and Employment Minister and as a Shadow Cabinet and then Cabinet Minister.
Dame Cheryl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff and was the first woman to serve as Secretary of State for Wales. Her duties on the international scene have included representing the UK on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe, she is also Deputy Chair of the International Democratic Union.
In the House of Commons, Dame Cheryl serves on the Political Administration and Constitutional Affairs select committee. She is Vice Chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, and a Conservative Party Board member. She serves on The Speaker’s Independent Parliamentary and Standards Committee and is a member of the Panel of Chairs.
Dame Cheryl has links with several charities in her constituency, such as the Rotarians, a local young people’s theatre group and one working with people with epilepsy. She is honorary president of the Buckinghamshire Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Having introduced the first ever disability-specific Private Member’s Bill in 2009, Cheryl will be celebrating ten years of the Autism Act this year and has championed advances for people with autism and their families. Chairing the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, Dame Cheryl looks forward to bringing about fresh innovations.
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