Tessa Munt
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Tessa Munt
Tessa Munt
Tessa Munt pre-MP Birmingham.jpg
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

3 February 2012 - 27 January 2015
David Cameron
Jo Swinson
Ian Swales
Member of Parliament
for Wells

6 May 2010 - 30 March 2015
David Heathcoat-Amory
James Heappey
Personal details
Born (1959-10-16) 16 October 1959 (age 60)
Surrey, England, UK
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Other political
affiliations
Labour (formerly)
ResidenceWedmore, Somerset, England
EducationSutton High School, London
Websitetessamunt.co.uk

Tessa Jane Munt (born 16 October 1959)[1] is a British Liberal Democrat politician. She served as the Member of Parliament for Wells in Somerset from 2010-15 and had previously served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable. Following the appointment of Jo Swinson as PPS to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, Tessa was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable.[2]

Early life

Her paternal grandfather was a politician in Kenya during the 1950s, whilst her uncle was a member of the Church of England synod. Her mother was raised within the Church of Scotland, but her family had mainly Jewish roots.[3]

The eldest of four children born in Surrey, she was educated at a Roman Catholic Convent school until the age of eleven, and then at Reigate County School for Girls and Sutton High School, before finishing her education at an independent college.[3] Munt has told the BBC that as a child, she was a victim of sexual abuse.[4]

Early career

Munt initially joined the international division of Midland Bank, before leaving after a year to join a local firm of solicitors. After three years, she started working for a local hotel, and after two years moved to East Anglia working in the company's sales and marketing team, before moving to personnel and later customer care training.[3]

She then worked in administration for South Essex College at their Southend-on-Sea campus, before moving into teaching. She then worked for a period in social services, working with adults with learning difficulties.[3] She also worked part-time as a volunteer for both Childline and the Environmental Investigation Agency. She married in 1992, and had two children.

She spent time working as the personal assistant to former international cricketer Phil Edmonds.[3] She then started working for a solicitors' firm, before being asked to move by a former company partner to join the team at Forsters solicitors. She also spent five years as a Regional Advisory Panel member for the National Lottery Charities Board.[3]

Political career

Munt had joined the Labour Party in the early-1990s, but left after their election victory in 1997 due to the centralisation of party policy.[3] She then campaigned in the late-1990s in Suffolk to preserve a Victorian school against a proposed development plan, where she met Andrew Phillips, Baron Phillips of Sudbury, and in 1999 after attending a party conference and meeting Norman Lamb, Munt joined the Liberal Democrats.[3]

Munt was the party's candidate for South Suffolk at the 2001 general election, when she finished in third place with a 24.9% share of the votes. She also contested Ipswich at the 2001 by-election following the death of Labour MP Jamie Cann,[5] coming third with 22.4% of the vote.[6]

As her father lived in Wells, Somerset,[3] a few weeks after her defeat, the local party committee offered her the option of standing at the Wells constituency.[3] She stood at the 2005 general election, finishing in second place to sitting MP David Heathcoat-Amory with a 37.8% share of the vote.[7]

Westminster: 2010-2020

Munt was elected as the Member of Parliament for Wells at the 2010 general election with a majority of 800 votes over David Heathcoat-Amory,[8] who admitted that his involvement in the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal played a part in his defeat.[8][9][10]

Munt was a party whip in the House of Commons from 2010 until March 2012, although she threatened to resign from the post if the Trident nuclear missile system was renewed.[11] She was later appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Business Secretary Vince Cable.

In July 2010, newspapers revealed details of an investigation by Sedgemoor District Council into her claims of single person council tax discount while having more than one other adult male registered to vote at her home, including a local GP, the broadcaster Andy Kershaw and the media advisor for the family of Madeleine McCann.[12][13] On 6 September 2010, Sedgemoor District Council said that there were now no criminal proceedings relating to the single person discount on Council Tax and Munt was cleared of any wrongdoing.[14]

On 27 January 2015, Munt resigned as PPS to Cable after she voted for a Commons amendment - not supported by the government - calling for a moratorium on fracking in the UK.[15]

On 7th of May 2015 Tessa lost the Wells parliamentary seat, in a shocking defeat, to the Conservative party candidate James Heappey by 7585 votes. Tessa continued as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Wells in the following two general elections of 2017 and 2019 failing to reclaim the seat on both attempts, seeing the conservative candidate increase his majority to 9991 in 2019.

County Hall: 2017-present

On 5 May 2017, at the 2017 UK local elections, she was elected as a councillor in Somerset, beating Somerset County Council leader, John Osman, by the slim majority of 95 votes.[16]

She is widely expected to contest the seat once more in the county elections in May 2021.

Personal life

Munt lives with her two children from her marriage to Martin Munt, from whom she is now separated, in the village of Wedmore on the Somerset Levels.[17] She is a vegetarian,[17] a governor of Hugh Sexey Middle School in Blackford, Somerset,[18][19] and also a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.[20][21]

References

  1. ^ "Tessa Munt". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ Tessa Munt (27 April 2017). "Tessa Munt". Libdems.org.uk. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sam Macrory (2 July 2010). "Tessa Munt". The House magazine. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Tessa Munt MP: 'I was a victim of sexual abuse'". BBC News. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "Ipswich voters head to the polls". BBC News. 22 November 2001. Retrieved 2010.
  6. ^ "Labour victory in Ipswich by-election". BBC News. 23 November 2001. Retrieved 2010.
  7. ^ "Result: Wells". Election 2005. BBC.
  8. ^ a b "Liberal Democrats beat Heathcoat-Amory in Wells seat". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  9. ^ "Election winner Tessa Munt: 'The work starts here'". 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ Allen, Nick; Rayner, Gordon (12 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: David Heathcoat-Amory dumps 550 sacks of manure on taxpayer". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 2010.
  11. ^ "Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt threatens to quit over Trident 'hot potato'". thisissomerset.co.uk. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ "Burnham-On-Sea MP Tessa Munt faces council tax probe". 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  13. ^ "Under-fire Wells MP Tessa Munt facing fresh questions". 1 August 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ "Wells MP Tessa Munt cleared of council tax fraud claims". BBC News Online. London, UK. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  15. ^ "Lib Dem Tessa Munt quits as Vince Cable aide over fracking". BBC News. 27 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Local elections 2017: Tories make big gains - BBC News". BBC. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Tessa Munt MP - MP for Wells". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 2010.
  18. ^ "MP hopeful dishes up as a dinner lady". Cheddar Valley Gazette. Mid-Somerset Series. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  19. ^ "Welcome to our governors". Hugh Sexey Church of England Middle School. Retrieved 2010.
  20. ^ "SINGING FOR PALESTINIANS". Wells Liberal Democrats. 21 December 2009. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  21. ^ "Lib Dem conference votes to debate Trident". CND. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 2010.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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