Justine Greening is a British former politician who served as Secretary of State for Education from 2016 to 2018 and as the Member of Parliament for Putney from 2005 to 2019.
First elected as a Conservative MP, Greening had the Conservative whip removed on 3 September 2019 and sat as an independent MP after that.
Greening served in the Cameron Government as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Transport, prior to being appointed Secretary of State for International Development in September 2012.
From 14 July 2016 to 8 January 2018, she served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities in the May Government.
She resigned as Education Secretary in the January 2018 Cabinet reshuffle. On 3 September 2019, Greening announced she would not be standing as a Conservative at the next general election and subsequently had the whip withdrawn.
- Full name: Justine Greening
- Profession: British politician
- Born: 30 April 1969 (age 50 years), Rotherham, London
- Height: 1.57 m
- Party: Conservative Party
- Education: London Business School, University of Southampton, Oakwood High School, Thomas Rotherham College
- Previous offices: Secretary of State for Education of the United Kingdom (2016–2018), MORE
- Organization founded: Right to Vote
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About Justine Greening
Greening was born on 30 April 1969 in Rotherham, England.
She attended Oakwood Comprehensive School. She studied Business Economics and Accounting at the University of Southampton, graduating with a first class honours degree in 1990.
She obtained an Executive MBA from the London Business School in 2000.
Before entering parliament, she trained and qualified as an accountant, working as an accountant/finance manager for, amongst others, PricewaterhouseCoopers, GlaxoSmithKline and Centrica.
She contested the constituency of Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush in 2001; Greening finished second with a reduced share of the vote for the Conservatives.
Greening gained the seat of Putney from Labour 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.
Greening 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 focused on transport and local community benefits.
In March 2010, she was put in charge of co-ordinating the Conservative campaign for the 2010 general election in London. She held the post of Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 13 May 2010 to 14 October 2011.
In 2018, she established the Social Mobility Pledge upon returning to the backbenches, a new scheme aimed at broadening social mobility and opportunity in Britain.
Later that year, she became the first senior Conservative to come out in favour of a new EU referendum, arguing that Parliament was unable to make a decision on Brexit and therefore it had to be put back to the people.
In October 2018, in an interview on Good Morning Britain she was asked if she would be interested in launching a leadership bid.
Greening said: “Well, things need to change, don’t they, and people need to have some hope for the future that Britain can be a country that runs differently and more fairly.” Questioned again on whether she would stand for the Conservative leadership if there were a vacancy, Greening said: “I might be prepared to, but I’m more interested in the Conservative party actually showing what it can do for this country.”
In early 2019, she co-founded the group Right to Vote alongside Dominic Grieve and Phillip Lee calling for a new referendum.
After the formation of The Independent Group, Greening suggested that she could resign the Conservative whip if there was a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
In April 2019, Greening indicated again that she would run for the Tory leadership if a ‘centrist’ did not run.
She also unveiled possible policies such as scrapping tuition fees in favour of a graduate tax and increasing the number of Opportunity Areas.