Fringe Box



Guildford’s Re-elected MP, Anne Milton, Appointed Education Minister

Published on: 14 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 14 Jun, 2017

Anne Milton campaigning during the general election

Guildford’s MP Anne Milton has been appointed as a minister of state in the Department of Education where, it has been reported, she will hold the portfolio for new apprenticeships and skills.

Milton’s move was announced as part of the government ministerial appointments that are following the post-election cabinet reshuffle.

She will serve under the re-appointed Education Secretary, Justine Greening.

Milton, first elected as Guildford’s MP in 2005, was previously a junior health minister, appointed by David Cameron after the 2010 election. It was a role, as a former nurse, she was known to have coveted, so although stoic she was disappointed when she was moved to the whips’ office in September 2012.

But she soon became regarded as an effective operator there, highly regarded for her powers of persuasion, and gained promotion to a more senior whip’s position Vice Chamberlain of the Household in July 2014.

In March 2015 she was appointed to the Privy Council allowing her to use the prefix Rt Hon.

In May 2015, after the general election which saw her majority in Guildford rise to 22,000 and the Conservatives win a surprising parliamentary majority, she was appointed as the government’s deputy chief whip.

She could regularly be seen on television broadcasts standing to the left of the speaker’s chair (as viewed) surveying the government benches during prime minister’s question time and important debates.

In last week’s general election she gained a vote of 30,295, 55% of the votes cast in Guildford. Her vote share declined by only 2% despite gains by the Lib Dem and Labour candidates.

Asked immediately after the declaration whether she expected to stay on as the deputy chief whip she said her future as the deputy chief whip was in the hands of the prime minister “whoever that might be”.

And when asked what was the important issue now facing the Guildford constituency, Milton said, “Housing: how many houses, where they should be built and what sort, plus the infrastructure required to go with them. And that’s true of Guildford and Cranleigh.”

Her critics have accused her of sitting on the fence over the housing issue, especially over the protection of the green belt. And some were disappointed with her neutral stance during the EU referendum in June 2016. It was only after the polls closed that she disclosed that she had voted Remain.

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