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Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom is a British Conservative politician who served as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from 2019 to 2020, and has served as Member of Parliament for South Northamptonshire since 2010.

Leadsom served as the Leader of the House of Commons from 2017 to 2019.

  • Full name: Andrea Jacqueline Leadsom
  • Profession: British politician
  • Born: 13 May 1963 (age 56 years), Aylesbury
  • Spouse: Ben Leadsom (m. 1993)
  • Office: Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom since 2010
  • Education: University of Warwick (1987)
  • Previous offices: Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (2019–2020), MORE
  • Children: Freddie Leadsom, Charlotte Leadsom, Harry Leadsom
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About Andrea Leadsom

Leadsom was born on 13 May 1963 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England. She is the daughter of Richard and Judy Salmon (née Kitchin).

She attended Tonbridge Girls’ Grammar School, then read Political Science at the University of Warwick.

Career

After graduation, Leadsom began a career in the financial sector as a debt trader for Barclays de Zoete Wedd, then the investment bank division of Barclays Bank.

For Barclays itself, she served as Deputy Director in the Financial Institutions team from 1993; this involved the maintenance of contractual relationships with other banks.

In this role, she said she was given a “ringside seat” in the collapse of Barings Bank. Leadsom clashed with the head of Barclays Investments who tried to persuade her to return to full-time work soon after a pregnancy, and she left the company in 1997.

Later, in July 2016, she submitted a CV which showed that she had served as Deputy Director.

From 1997 to 1999, Leadsom served as Managing Director of De Putron Fund Management (DPFM). In 1998 she was promoted to board director for marketing.

Leadsom was Head of Corporate Governance and a Senior Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual from 1999 to 2009.

Her role was to work (sometimes part-time) on “special projects”, mostly for the Chief Investment Officer, which included negotiating pay terms for senior fund managers.

Towards the end of her time, she advised on a number of governance issues, but she had no-one reporting to her in either role.

A former colleague, knew Leadsom when she was working in corporate governance. Approval for individuals to manage funds or deal with clients is needed from the financial services regulator (then the Financial Services Authority), which Leadsom held from December 2002 to February 2003.

Leadsom has never claimed to have personally been a fund manager, and Bob Yerbury, former Chief Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual and Leadsom’s former manager, dismissed the controversy about how she described her time there and described her as “totally honest”.

Leadsom was a Councillor on South Oxfordshire District Council between 2003 and 2007.

She contested the safe labour seat of Knowsley South constituency in the 2005 general election unsuccessfully and finished in third place, despite this, the incumbent Labour MPs majority was reduced significantly. She was subsequently placed on the Conservative A-List and later chosen to represent the newly created seat of South Northamptonshire.

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Leadsom was a prominent member of the Leave campaign during the 2016 EU referendum, and gained standing in referendum TV debates.

On David Cameron’s resignation, Leadsom became one of five candidates in the election for the leadership of the governing Conservative Party, and thereby for the role of Prime Minister.

In the second round of voting by MPs, she came second to Theresa May. May appointed Leadsom as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Leadsom served in the May Government as Environment Secretary from 2016 to 2017. She had previously served in the Cameron–Clegg coalition as Minister of State for Energy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2015 to 2016, and Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister from 2014 to 2015.

Following the snap election of 2017, Leadsom was appointed Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons.

On 22 May 2019, she resigned in protest at May’s Brexit strategy. Two days later, May announced her resignation as party leader, taking effect on 7 June.

She stood to be leader of the Conservative Party in June 2019 but was eliminated in the first round of voting, finishing 8th out of 10 candidates with 11 votes.