25 Facts About Eleanor Laing


Dame Eleanor Fulton Laing, is a British politician who has been the Member of Parliament for the Epping Forest constituency since 1997.


Eleanor Laing was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, and raised in the nearby village of Elderslie, where her father was a councillor.


Eleanor Laing attended the local fee paying St Columba's School.


Eleanor Laing was the first female President of the Edinburgh University Students' Association.


Eleanor Laing worked as a solicitor in Edinburgh and the City of London.


Eleanor Laing contested Paisley North in the 1987 general election, but was defeated by the Labour incumbent Allen Adams.


Eleanor Laing was later selected for the Epping Forest seat, when the incumbent MP Steve Norris decided to leave the House to focus on his business career.

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When Eleanor Laing was first elected as the MP for Epping Forest at the 1997 general election, the previously safe seat was reduced to marginal status by the Labour landslide.


Eleanor Laing was seen as a rising star in her early career, with good performances in the Commons and strong attacks against Labour.


Eleanor Laing was an opponent of devolution, and criticised the Blair government on many of the details of the transfer of power.


Eleanor Laing has an interest in education, transport, economic policy, constitution and devolution.


In January 2016, Eleanor Laing publicly criticised Tulip Siddiq, who was seven months pregnant at the time, for breaking the customs of the House by leaving a debate shortly after speaking.


Eleanor Laing voted to leave in the 2016 European Union membership referendum and was happy with the result.


Eleanor Laing was re-elected at the 2017 general election and continued in her role as a deputy speaker in the 57th Parliament.


Eleanor Laing was re-elected at the 2019 general election which she described a "very nasty election".


Eleanor Laing stood in the 2019 Speaker election, to replace John Bercow, campaigning on restoring trust to the House of Commons.


Eleanor Laing was critical of Bercow, and called his impartiality into question, pledging to do things differently and bring kindness to the Speaker's chair.


Eleanor Laing lost out to Lindsay Hoyle, but declared her intention to stand to replace him as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.


Eleanor Laing was elected by her fellow MPs, and became the first woman to be the Chairman of Ways and Means.


Eleanor Laing opposed fellow Conservatives such as Nicholas Winterton, who said that "a homosexual act is unnatural", by replying that the Bill did not challenge Christian teaching, and that it would not legalise anything that did not already happen.


Eleanor Laing voted against the repeal of Section 28 in 2003.


Eleanor Laing criticised the manner in which the Marriage Act 2013 was introduced by arguing "social change should come about by evolution, not by diktat from the top of government" and subsequently abstained from voting on it.


Eleanor Laing's constituency is Epping Forest, which is close to London and less than an hour's journey by tube.


Eleanor Laing is a fan of Rangers FC, and is a vice-chairman of the Westminster Parliamentary Rangers Supporters' Club.


Eleanor Laing was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

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