British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to move or sack at least six members of her cabinet in a reshuffle today designed to refresh her top team. An aide is reported in the Times as saying she wants to “make sure the government reflects the modern and diverse country” we live in.
Among those tipped for promotion are Suella Fernandes, leader of the backbench Eurosceptics, whose parents came to Britain from Kenya and Mauritius in the 1960s.
After arriving in the UK, her 18-year-old mother was recruited by the NHS and worked as a nurse for 45 years, while her father was employed by a housing association.
Her family proudly served their local community in Wembley, North West London, through local politics. Suella’s mother was a Councillor for 16 years and her father campaigned for local people.
Born in 1980 in Harrow, Suella grew up in Wembley and attended a local state school before her parents decided to send her to a local independent school where she won a scholarship to help with school fees. From there, she gained a place to read Law at Cambridge University, a Masters at the Sorbonne in Paris and sat the New York Bar exams, qualifying as an Attorney. This gave her an insight into the social and legal frameworks of Europe and the USA.
Fernandes was elected to the House of Commons as the MP for Fareham in 2015 with 56.1% of the vote and a majority of 22,262 and gave her maiden speech on 1 June 2015.
Between 2015-17, Fernandes was a member of the Education Select Committee and the Education, Skills and the Economy Sub-Committee. Between November 2015 to February 2016 she was a member of the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill.
Fernandes chaired the All-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People from September 2016 to May 2017. She led a Parliamentary inquiry and launched a report into the provision of financial education in schools (Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On – Job Done?) and campaigned for better financial education in schools, working with the charity Young Enterprise and the moneysaving expert, Martin Lewis.
She is a Commissioner on the Social Market Foundation commission on inequality in education, a cross-party initiative which is examining the causes and effects of inequality in education at primary and secondary levels in England and Wales.
Fernandes joined the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme in 2016, graduating from the scheme in 2017. She has visited the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada, the Royal Marines for Arctic Warfare Training at Asegarden Camp in northern Norway, the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham and the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers in Rosyth.
She led a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons on the failings of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and has chaired meetings with the Trust’s executives along with other MPs on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hampshire to question issues of poor care quality and the deaths of patients. She is a member of the panel of an inquiry led by think tank British Future to examine how the government can protect rights of EU citizens in the UK.
Fernandes campaigned to leave the European Union in the 2016 EU membership referendum; a majority (55%) of her constituents voted to leave. She is Chair of the European Research Group a pro-leave group of Conservative MPs’ which works to support the Government and campaigned for the UK to leave the European Customs Union and the Single Market.
Following the 2017 General Election, Fernandes was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to HM Treasury Ministers.