Baroness Stowell of Beeston was Leader of the House of Lords and the Lord Privy Seal until July 2016.
Tina Stowell was made a peer by David Cameron in January 2011 and joined the Government in September the same year. Whilst a junior minister she was involved in several pieces of legislation and, most notably, led the landmark Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act through the House of Lords in 2013. Against all expectations, not only did the Equal Marriage legislation succeed, the margin of peers voting in favour was higher than that of MPs in the Commons and the bill was backed by the majority of Conservative peers. This was recognised by awards from the Spectator, Stonewall and PinkNews.
David Cameron promoted her to the Cabinet as Leader of the House of Lords and the Lord Privy Seal in 2014 and re-apppointed her to the same post when the Conservatives returned to power after the 2015 General Election. The Cameron government’s full programme of legislation was delivered during the first session of the 2015 Parliament even though it was the first time the Conservatives have been in power without a majority in the House of Lords.
Before being appointed a peer and joining the House of Lords Tina Stowell’s career for the previous 25 years crisscrossed government, politics and the media.
Until September 2010, she was the BBC’s Head of Corporate Affairs. Throughout her nine years at the BBC she worked at the heart of the organisation and was as an adviser to three BBC chairmen (Gavyn Davies, Michael Grade and Michael Lyons).
Before joining the BBC in November 2001 she ran William Hague’s office when he was Leader of the Conservative Party and was responsible for coordinating the work of teams across Conservative HQ to deliver political and campaign strategy.
Before that, she spent two years away from the world of government and politics from 1996 to 1998 working in a range of places, including a short spell at Granada Media and working for Sir David Frost at Paradine, his own independent television and film production company.
She was a civil servant for ten years, working at the Ministry of Defence in London, the British Embassy in Washington and the 10 Downing Street Press Office from 1991 to 1996 when John Major was Prime Minister. She left the Civil Service at the age of 28 and was awarded the MBE in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List.
She has also worked independently and – since leaving the Government with David Cameron, George Osborne et al in the summer of 2016 – offers strategic and communications advice through her own consultancy, Tina Stowell Associates. She takes a particular interest in what is now commonly referred to as populism. For her, the key questions are: what is causing the major social divides which events like Brexit are exposing; and what needs to change for us to bridge those divides? She seeks opportunities to work with people interested in the answers.
Tina Stowell was born and brought up in Beeston, just outside of Nottingham. She attended a local comprehensive and moved to London aged 18 to join the civil service as a secretary. She talked briefly about her family and route from Beeston to the House of Lords in her maiden speech and how her experiences motivate her own priorities. Not a university graduate herself, she was especially proud in December 2016 – a few months after she left the Cabinet – to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Nottingham University (which is only a mile away from where she grew up).
Before she joined the Government as a minister in 2011 she was an occasional blogger. All her posts are still available on this site and now she’s no longer in Government she blogs occasionally and writes for other publications (links to which are on the blog). She has been on Twitter since 2009 and you can follow her @tinastowell
You can find her spoken contributions to debates in the House of Lords here, and information about the offices she has held in the House of Lords and her entry in the Register of Interests is available here.
From the Blog
Wed 26th July 2017
In this piece for Huffington Post (19th July 2017), my point is that political and business leaders who want more flexibility to get the best Brexit deal have got to work even harder to build public confidence. When I argue […]
Tue 11th July 2017
I wrote a piece for the New Statesman website which they published on 3rd July 2017. The full article (no paywall) is available here.