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Anna Soubry

Anna Soubry is a British barrister, journalist and former politician. She was the Member of Parliament for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire from 2010 to 2019.

She was first elected as a Conservative before leaving the party to join Change UK in 2019.

She lost her seat to Darren Henry of the Conservative Party in the 2019 general election.

  • Full name: Anna Mary Soubry
  • Profession: British politician
  • Born: 7 December 1956 (age 63 years), Lincoln
  • Nationality: British
  • Partner: Neil Davidson
  • Party: Change UK – The Independent Group
  • Education: University of Birmingham (1979)
  • Previous office: Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom (2010–2019)
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About Anna Soubry

Soubry was born on 7 December 1956 in Lincoln Hospital, Lincolnshire, England. She was born where her mother Frances Soubry (née Coward) worked.

Her father was David Soubry, a Nottinghamshire garage owner. She was brought up in Dunham-on-Trent and Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.

Soubry attended the Henry Hartland Grammar School from 1968 to 1970, in which year it became the Hartland Comprehensive; she remained at the school until 1975, in which year she joined the Conservative Party.

She was involved in student politics in the 1970s, becoming the only Conservative member of the National Union of Students’ executive committee. She graduated with a degree in Law from the University of Birmingham in 1979.

She left the Conservatives in 1981, alongside seven other former student leaders, who said at a press conference that the party remained “class based” and that the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was now the natural home of young people who “wish to see a prosperously united country”.

Career

Soubry was a journalist from 1981 until 1995. She reported on and presented several regional and networked TV programmes, including Central Television’s Central Weekend, Grampian Television’s North Tonight in the North of Scotland and the East Midlands regional news programme, Central News East.

She also presented and reported Granada Television’s This Morning in the late 1980s, and returned to Liverpool’s Albert Dock in October 2013 for the This Morning 25th-anniversary party. Soubry was called to the bar in 1995, and is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.

She was the Conservative Party candidate for the Gedling constituency in Nottinghamshire at the 2005 general election. During the campaign she said she was “ashamed” of living in Nottingham because it had a bad reputation for crime.

She stated she was not ashamed of the people of Nottingham, but was ashamed of what had happened to the city.

Soubry was chosen as an “A-List candidate”, and in 2006 was selected as Conservative candidate for the nearby Broxtowe constituency.

During a debate in front of sixth formers in 2006, she said an honest debate was needed to stop people taking Class A drugs, and that she supported the legalisation of cannabis.

Parliamentary career

Soubry was elected to Parliament at the 2010 general election. She was considered “one of the most formidable communicators of the new intake” by Nicholas Watt of The Guardian, but not a Thatcherite.

In June 2010, Soubry was elected as a Conservative member of the Justice Select Committee.

Soubry sponsored a private member’s bill in June 2010 to provide anonymity to a person who has been arrested but not charged. The second reading took place in February 2011.

Soubry withdrew the bill after its second reading, when Justice Minister Crispin Blunt promised the Attorney General would examine the area of concern.

Soubry was a strong supporter of same-sex marriage in 2013 where she stated that she was “very much in favour of legalising same-sex marriage”. She voted in favour of it at every opportunity.

In February 2016, Soubry spoke in favour of fracking.

In November 2016, Soubry joined the Scottish Affairs Committee. At the 2017 general election Soubry retained her seat with a reduced majority on a record turnout of 75%, despite receiving the highest percentage share and number of votes for a Conservative Party candidate in Broxtowe since the 1992 election.

In the 2019 general election, standing for the Independent Group for Change, Soubry polled 4,668 votes (8%) and finished 3rd thereby losing her seat to the Conservative Party candidate, Darren Henry, who polled 26,602 votes.

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Soubry was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health from 2012 until 2013, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans from 2013 until 2015 and Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise following the 2015 general election, also attending meetings of the Cabinet, but she returned to the backbenches in July 2016.

In February 2019, Soubry resigned from the Conservative Party and joined The Independent Group. She was appointed Leader of Change UK in June 2019.