Dr Thérèse Coffey
Coffey in 2019
|Secretary of State for Work and Pensions|
|Assumed office |
8 September 2019
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||Amber Rudd|
|Minister of State for Environment and Rural Opportunity|
17 July 2016 – 8 September 2019
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||Rory Stewart|
|Succeeded by||Rebecca Pow|
|Deputy Leader of the House of Commons|
11 May 2015 – 17 July 2016
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Tom Brake|
|Succeeded by||Michael Ellis|
|Member of Parliament |
for Suffolk Coastal
|Assumed office |
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||John Gummer|
Thérèse Anne Coffey
18 November 1971
Billinge, Lancashire, England
|Alma mater||Somerville College, Oxford|
University College London
Thérèse Anne Coffey (born 18 November 1971) is an English Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Suffolk Coastal constituency since the 2010 general election. She retained her seat at successive elections in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Coffey currently serves as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, since her appointment in September 2019.
Early life and career
Coffey was born on 18 November 1971 in Billinge, Lancashire, and grew up in Liverpool. She attended St Mary's College, Crosby, St Edward's College, Liverpool, Somerville College, Oxford, and then University College London, where she was awarded a PhD in Chemistry in 1998.
In the European Parliament elections in June 2004, Coffey stood for election to the European Parliament for the South East region of England. The Conservative Party won 35.2% of the vote, giving it four seats, but Coffey was seventh on the list in this proportional representation system, meaning that she failed to be elected.
In 2009, at the next European elections, Coffey was living in Andover, Hampshire; she missed out by one place on being elected to the European Parliament for the South East region. The Conservative Party won 34.79% of the vote, giving it four seats, but she was fifth on the party list.
After being selected on 6 February 2010 to stand as Conservative candidate in the Suffolk Coastal constituency, Coffey moved from Hampshire to Westleton. The Rev. David Miller, vice-chairman of the local Liberal Democrats, raised questions over the status of her residency there, claiming with reference to her Westleton property that "The address at which Ms Coffey currently resides is a holiday let". She owns a flat and partly owns a house, both in Hampshire, and has the tenancy of a house in Westleton.
At the general election on 6 May 2010 she won the Suffolk Coastal seat, becoming the constituency's first female Member of Parliament. Coffey received 25,475 votes (46.4% of the vote), an increase of 1.8% on John Gummer's 2005 campaign. She is a supporter of the Free Enterprise Group.
On 6 July 2011, she defended Rebekah Brooks over the News of the World's involvement in the news media phone hacking scandal. She said a "witch hunt" was developing against Brooks, and that simply to say Brooks was editor of the newspaper at the time was not enough evidence against her. Coffey became a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee inquiry into the hacking scandal in 2012. In that committee, she declined to support any motions critical of Rupert and James Murdoch. However, she later joined the majority of her party in voting for exemplary damages to be a default consequence to deter press misbehaviour.
Coffey was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee from July 2010 to October 2012, when she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Energy. In July 2014, she was appointed an Assistant Government Whip.
Coffey's decision to author a paper for the Free Enterprise Group recommending pensioners should be forced to pay National Insurance provoked a backlash among older constituents, who claimed that in an already tough economic environment, it was wrong to tax pensioners further. However, she said that she had "no regrets writing about National Insurance" and that it was "a policy proposal – it is by no means, at this stage, anymore than that."
Coffey also faced criticism from Suffolk residents over her support for the Government's proposal to sell off forestry and woodland in public ownership, in 2011. Protestors argued that "previous experience shows us that when private landowners come in they close car parks and make access as difficult as possible." Coffey voted for the bill, but the proposal was afterward dropped by the government.
In October 2016, she was criticised by the then Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron for accepting hospitality worth £890 from Ladbrokes after supporting the gambling industry in parliament as part of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Coffey denied that she had been "influenced in her considerations on matters of related policy by any hospitality received".
In January 2016, an amendment intended to force rented homes to be maintained as "fit for human habitation" was defeated in parliament. Coffey was one of the 72 MPs voting against it who were themselves landlords who derived an income from a property.
An avid football fan, she supports Liverpool F.C., and signed the Early Day Motion set down by Labour Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram requesting a knighthood for Kenny Dalglish. She is a keen fan of the rock band Muse.
- She was sworn in as a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council in 2019 upon her appointment as Work and Pensions Secretary in the Johnson ministry. This gave her the Honorific Title "The Right Honourable" for Life.
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (2016–July 2019)
- Anon (2011). "Coffey, Dr Therese Anne". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U251482. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
- "Therese Coffey MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Celebrated Alumni". St Marys College. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
- [dead link]
- Coffey, Therese Anne (1998). Structural and reactivity studies of Bis(imido) complexes of molybdenum. jisc.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University College London (University of London). OCLC 557362689. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.286225.
- "Biodata on Coffey". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012.
- "Politics section Therese Coffey: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian.
- "2004 Election Candidates". European Parliament Liaison Office.
- "European elections 2009: South East region". 26 May 2009 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "Biodata on Coffey, ibid". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012.
- "WESTSUSSEXCONSERVATIVES – Sida 14".
- "Therese Coffey selected for Suffolk Coastal". ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog.
- Dines, Graham. "Tory hits out in row over her home address". Ipswich Star.
- "Property holdings". Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "BBC News - Election 2010 - Constituency - Suffolk Coastal". news.bbc.co.uk.
- "Free Enterprise Group".
- The Guardian 2 May 2012
- The Public Whip Retrieved 26 March 2013
- "Dr Thérèse Coffey MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- "Thérèse Coffey". www.conservatives.com. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- "Therese Coffey MP, Suffolk Coastal". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- "Liz Truss handed equalities ministerial role". 10 September 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- "Thérèse Coffey MP – GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- "Therese Coffey". Parliament UK. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- Porrit, Richard. "Suffolk Coastal: MP stands by proposals to force pensioners to pay NI". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Robinson, Craig. "MP faces criticism at heated forest meeting". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Therese Coffey MP, Suffolk Coastal voted strongly for the policy Sell England's Public Forests". Public Whip. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "'No sell-off' for public forests". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Lo, Joseph (27 October 2016). "Tory MP Criticised After Accepting Trips To Horse Racing From Ladbrokes". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". The Independent. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- "Commons call for Kenny Dalglish knighthood". BBC News. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
- "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 30 Jan 2014 (pt 0001)". www.publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- ThereseCoffeyMP.com constituency website
- ThereseCoffey.com political blog
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Suffolk Coastal
| Secretary of State for Work and Pensions