Dame Eleanor Laing DBE has been the MP for Epping Forest since 1997. She was elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in October 2013.
She was honoured as Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2018 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Before becoming Deputy Speaker, Eleanor was a member of the influential Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee and Chairman of the 1922 Home and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Always deeply involved in parliamentary reform, she was a member of the controversial Joint Committee on the House of Lords, the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege and the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission. She has also held a variety of opposition spokesman roles – as Shadow Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Shadow Minister for Equality, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Shadow Education Minister and Opposition Whip.
A graduate of Edinburgh University, where she was the first woman to be elected President of the Union, Eleanor worked as a solicitor in Edinburgh, in the City and in industry. She was until recently Chairman of the Society of Conservative Lawyers.
Eleanor has supported St Clare Hospice by choosing us as her Christmas card charity, and by continuing to campaign on local issues on our behalf.