Name: Heather Whitmore
Avatar: Keira Knightley
Age: 38 (born December 12 1977)
Ethnicity: White British
Marital Status: In a domestic relationship, two children
Party: Conservative and Unionist Party (2000 - present)
Fine Gael (1995 - 2000)
Political Outlook: Progressive conservative, liberal, unionist
Constituency: Watford (2010 - Dec. 2015)
Hertford and Stortford (Dec. 2015 - present)
Year Elected: December 2015 (previously elected MP for Watford 2010, May 2015)
Education: BA Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology, Trinity College Dublin
MPhil Politics (European Politics and Society), Magdalen College, Oxford
Heather Louise Whitmore is an Irish-born British politician, serving as Member of Parliament for Hertford and Stortford since the 2010 general election.
Born in Dublin to two English parents, architect James and housewife Margaret, Whitmore was the eldest of three girls, and was raised in the Dublin suburb of Clontarf, attending Mount Temple Comprehensive School for the first few years of her secondary education. In 1992 at the age of 14, James Whitmore’s work called him back to Britain, and the family settled in their old home of Watford, where Whitmore completed her secondary education at Watford Grammar School for Girls. In 1995, after graduating, Whitmore made the decision to return to her hometown for university, studying PPES at Trinity College Dublin, where her extracurricular interests included hurling, football and student radio. Following her graduation in 1999, she moved back to England, where she gained her masters in European Politics and Society at Oxford University. From 2002 until 2005, she worked as a political researcher for the Centre for European Reform, a think tank focused on European Union integration and reform.
A lifelong liberal conservative, Whitmore joined Fine Gael upon her return to Ireland in 1995, where she was an active member of the party and considered by many of her peers to be a promising future candidate for the Dail. However, soon after her arrival in the UK, Whitmore decided to stay, leaving the party and joining the Conservatives instead. She was firmly on the liberal, pro-Europe side of the party, and in 2005 was a strong supporter of Ken Clarke in his bid for leader, eventually supporting and campaigning for David Cameron over David Davis. Coming to the attention of Tory politicians during the campaign, in 2006 she left the CER to join Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Duncan as an adviser, continuing in this position until 2009. David Cameron placed her on the Conservative A-List of prospective candidates, leading to her eventual nomination as the Conservative candidate for her home town of Watford. In the 2010 election, Whitmore gained the seat, unseating Labour minister Claire Ward.
Following her election, Whitmore spent the first four years of her parliamentary career on the backbenches, but in 2012 she was appointed Minister for Sport and Tourism, holding that position until the election of James Manning as Conservative leader after the May 2015 general election, in which she retained her seat. She was not appointed a minister by Manning, or his successor Lady Holland, and was once again passed over for a ministerial appointment by Patricia Carmichael. She attracted controversy in late 2015 by announcing her resignation from Parliament at the upcoming election, before reversing that decision and winning the nomination for the safer seat of Hertford and Stortford, which she won in the December 2015 election whilst Watford fell to the Liberal Democrats.
Whitmore lives in Hertfordshire with her partner, Lee Bustard, and the couple have two children: Grace (b. 2009) and Aoife (b. 2010). She is a football fan, formerly holding a season ticket at Shelbourne FC when she lived in Dublin, and is known to be a supporter of Watford FC and the Irish national team. Whitmore enjoys hiking and playing the violin in her spare time.
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