Baroness Stowell of Beeston was Leader of the House of Lords and the Lord Privy Seal until July 2016.
She became an independent, non-affiliated peer in February 2018 when she was appointed Chair of the Charity Commission
Tina Stowell was made a Conservative 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. Not only did the Equal Marriage legislation succeed in the second chamber, 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 Conservatives. She received awards from the Spectator, Stonewall and PinkNews later that year.
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. She was not retained by Mrs May and left the Government for the backbenches in July 2016 and a professional life outside of Parliament.
Before joining the House of Lords Tina Stowell’s career over 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.
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 having attended university, 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, as well as newer posts and articles she has written for other publications. She takes a particular interest in what many refer to as populism, and has a long-held interest in the educational-attainment divide which was starkly exposed by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, but – in her view – is not properly understood by those on the highly-qualified side of the divide.
You can find all her spoken contributions to debates in the House of Lords on a range of matters 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.
Outside of Parliament, and in addition to her position as Chair of the Charity Commission, she now sits on the Boards of ABTA (the travel people) and Impellam Group plc (the recruitment and staffing group of businesses).
From the Blog
Sun 21st January 2018
In the autumn of 2017 I gave a long interview to the Institute for Government for their series “Ministers Reflect”. I talked at length about my time as a Minister in Government – from a junior whip right through to […]
Sun 10th December 2017
I was delighted to accept an invitation from Nottingham University’s Centre for British Politics to wrap-up their 2017 series, How Britain got hung: Exploring the 2017 General Election, Brexit and beyond. Below is the text of my talk, which I […]