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Amber Rudd
Official portrait of Amber Rudd crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2017
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
In office
16 November 2018 – 7 September 2019
Prime Minister Theresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded by Esther McVey
Succeeded by Thérèse Coffey
Home Secretary
In office
13 July 2016 – 29 April 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Theresa May
Succeeded by Sajid Javid
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In office
11 May 2015 – 13 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Ed Davey
Succeeded by Office abolished
Minister for Women and Equalities
In office
24 July 2019 – 7 September 2019
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Preceded by Penny Mordaunt
Succeeded by Liz Truss
In office
9 January 2018 – 30 April 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Justine Greening
Succeeded by Penny Mordaunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Climate Change
In office
15 July 2014 – 11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Greg Barker
Succeeded by Nick Hurd
Member of Parliament
for Hastings and Rye
In office
6 May 2010 – 6 November 2019
Preceded by Michael Foster
Succeeded by Sally-Ann Hart
Personal details
Born
Amber Augusta Rudd

(1963-08-01) 1 August 1963 (age 60)
Marylebone, London, England
Political party Independent (2019–present)
Conservative (until 2019)
Spouses
A. A. Gill
(m. 1990; div. 1995)
Children 2
Parents Tony Rudd
Ethne Fitzgerald
Relatives Roland Rudd (brother)
Education Cheltenham Ladies' College
Queen's College, London
Alma mater University of Edinburgh (MA)
Signature

Amber Augusta Rudd (born 1 August 1963) is a British former politician who served as Home Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2018 to 2019. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Hastings and Rye, first elected in 2010, representing the Conservative Party, and stood down from parliament in 2019. She identifies herself as a one-nation conservative, and has been associated with both socially liberal and economically liberal policies.

Rudd was born in Marylebone and studied History at the University of Edinburgh School of History, Classics and Archaeology. Rudd worked as an investment banker before being elected to the House of Commons for Hastings and Rye in East Sussex in 2010, defeating incumbent Labour MP Michael Foster. Rudd served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2015 to 2016 in the Cameron Government, where she worked on renewable energy resources and climate change mitigation. She previously served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change from 2014 to 2015.

She was appointed Home Secretary in the May government on 13 July 2016, and given the additional role of Minister for Women and Equalities in January 2018. Rudd was the third female Home Secretary, the fifth woman to hold one of the Great Offices of State and the fastest-rising politician to a Great Office of State since the Second World War (before Rishi Sunak was made Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2020). She resigned as Home Secretary in April 2018 in connection with the Windrush deportation scandal.

On 16 November 2018, Rudd was appointed Work and Pensions Secretary by Prime Minister Theresa May, succeeding Esther McVey. She was re-appointed by Boris Johnson on 24 July 2019 and succeeded Penny Mordaunt in her previous portfolio as Minister for Women and Equalities. On 7 September, Rudd resigned from his cabinet and resigned the Conservative whip in Parliament, to protest against Johnson's policy on Brexit and his decision to expel 21 Tory MPs. She announced on 30 October that she would be standing down as an MP at the next general election.

Early life and career

Rudd was born on 1 August 1963 in Marylebone, London, the fourth child of stockbroker Tony Rudd (1924–2017) and magistrate Ethne Fitzgerald (1929–2008), daughter of Maurice Fitzgerald QC (grandson of the judge and Liberal politician John FitzGerald, Baron FitzGerald of Kilmarnock) and Christine (daughter of American émigré Augustus Maunsell Bradhurst). Tony Rudd and Ethne Fitzgerald were married for 56 years. Through her mother, Rudd is a direct descendant of King Charles II and his mistress Barbara Palmer. Her elder brother Roland is a public relations executive, and was a prominent Labour supporter.

She was educated at New Hall School, Cheltenham Ladies' College, an independent school in Gloucestershire, and from 1979 to 1981 at Queen's College, London, an independent day school for girls in London, followed by Edinburgh University where she read History. After graduating from university, she joined J.P. Morgan & Co., working in both London and New York.

Rudd became a director of the investment company Lawnstone Limited at the age of 24 in January 1988, taking over from her sister and brother-in-law. Lawnstone became involved with Zinc Corporation, which was taken over by Monticello in 1999, before going into liquidation in 2001.

Rudd was a co-director of Monticello between 1999 and 2000, but the company was liquidated in 2003. Craig Murray has reported that Monticello “attracted many hundreds of investors... despite never appearing actually to do anything except pay its directors. Trawling through its documents at Companies House, I find it difficult to conclude that it was ever anything other than a share ramping scheme. After just over a year of existence it went bankrupt with over £1.2 million of debts and no important assets.

Between 1998 and 2000, she was also a director of two companies based in the Bahamas, Advanced Asset Allocation Fund and Advanced Asset Allocation Management.

Rudd helped to find extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), for which she was credited as the "aristocracy co-ordinator", and appeared briefly in one of the church scenes in the film.

Parliamentary career

After she had stood at the 2005 general election as the Conservative candidate for the Labour-held seat of Liverpool Garston, Rudd's name was added to the Conservative A-List. Following her selection to contest the Hastings and Rye constituency in 2006, she moved to the Old Town in 2007. In the May 2010 general election, she was elected as the MP for Hastings and Rye with a majority of 1,993 votes. Shortly afterward she was elected to serve as a Conservative member on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

In September 2012, she was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. In October 2013, she became an assistant government whip. In July 2014, Rudd was appointed Minister for the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Following the 2015 general election, where she held her seat with an increased majority, she was promoted as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. In May 2015, she was appointed as a member of the Privy Council.

In March 2015, she published England's first fuel poverty strategy in more than a decade, pledging to improve the Energy Performance Certificate of all fuel poor homes to Band C by 2030. She also passed legislation requiring energy suppliers to provide a £140 discount to certain vulnerable consumers over the winter and install energy efficiency measures.

In November 2015, she proposed that the UK's remaining coal-fired power stations would be shut by 2025 with their use restricted by 2023. "We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century."

In July 2015, Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth accused Rudd of hypocrisy in claiming to want to address climate change while at the same time, in his view, "dismantling an architecture of low-carbon policies carefully put together with cross-party agreement over the course of two parliaments". Rudd replied that "[Government] support must help technologies eventually stand on their own two feet, not encourage a permanent reliance on subsidy."

Rudd participated in ITV's Brexit referendum debate regarding the European Union. She campaigned for the Remain side alongside Nicola Sturgeon and Angela Eagle. They faced Gisela Stuart, Boris Johnson and Andrea Leadsom.

Home Secretary

Woody Johnson and HS Amber Rudd meeting
Rudd met with the US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, in 2017

When Theresa May became Prime Minister in July 2016, Rudd was appointed Home Secretary, thus becoming the fifth woman to hold one of the Great Offices of State, after Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Beckett, Jacqui Smith and May herself.

In October 2016, she negated calls for Australian citizens to obtain easier access to live and work in the United Kingdom following the UK's departure from the European Union, which were supported by British Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Boris Johnson, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Rudd also dismissed the idea that a free movement zone between British and Australian citizens – a measure supported by former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott – would be established upon leaving the European Union, stating "there are no plans to increase immigration from Australia...so I wouldn't envisage any change".

She was reappointed as Home Secretary after the 2017 general election, in which she retained her seat at Hastings and Rye by 346 votes.

In August 2017, Rudd replied to an email hoaxer posing as the recently appointed Downing Street Director of Communications, Robbie Gibb, revealing that "positive announcements" were imminent. The hoaxer used Rudd's public domain parliamentary email address but she replied using her private email, which is not secure.

In September 2017 on The Andrew Marr Show, Rudd accused Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson of trying to undermine the Prime Minister, Theresa May, calling him a 'back-seat driver'. She said to Andrew Marr: "I don't want him (Boris) managing the Brexit process."

On 3 October 2017, during the Conservative Party Conference, it was reported that Rudd had hired Tory pollster Lynton Crosby to help her increase her majority in Hastings and Rye, amid speculation that she was planning to launch a bid for leadership of the party.

In November 2017, after U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted 3 anti-Muslim videos from the far right group Britain First, Rudd criticised Trump for promoting the content and argued that Britain First is a hateful organisation. Rudd further went on that relations between the U.S. and Britain are vital to the safety of both countries and have saved British lives.

On 29 April 2018, Rudd resigned as Home Secretary after misleading the Home Affairs Select Committee on deportation targets. Later in the same day, Sajid Javid was appointed as Home Secretary.

In September 2018, during an interview on BBC Two's Politics Live, Rudd was asked if she planned a comeback, to which she replied that she was "not without ambition".

Internet crackdown

In October 2017, Rudd announced a move by the Conservative government to crack down on what British citizens are permitted to view on the internet. Piloted as part of a campaign against "radicalisation", Rudd stated that the government would be tightening the law so that British citizens repeatedly reading certain forbidden internet content could face up to 15 years in jail for looking at the websites. Rudd stated "I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law.”

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

On 16 November 2018, Rudd returned to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions following the resignation of Esther McVey over opposition to Theresa May's Draft Withdrawal Agreement and the Brexit negotiations.

Following the resignation of Sarah Newton, Rudd took on Newton's responsibilities as Minister for Disabled People.

Brexit

Ahead of the 2016 Brexit referendum, Rudd supported the UK remaining in the EU. From late 2018, Rudd said that a second referendum over Brexit might be appropriate. Rudd said, 'Parliament has to reach a majority on how it's going to leave the European Union. If it fails to do so, then I can see the argument for taking it back to the people again, much as it would distress many of my colleagues.'

While in then Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet, Rudd opposed no-deal Brexit commenting in March 2019 that it could cause 'generational damage' to the economy. However she withdrew her opposition to no-deal Brexit to retain her cabinet position in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet in July of that year. In June, Rudd described the prorogation of parliament in order to deliver Brexit as a 'ridiculous suggestion', and that it was 'outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament. We're not Stuart kings'.

On 7 September 2019 Rudd resigned from the cabinet and surrendered the Conservative whip (became an independent MP). She cited her reason for resigning as she felt that the government's main objective was a no-deal Brexit over leaving with a deal.

Local issues

Rudd has been involved in the campaign for the Hastings fishing fleet. Her maiden speech advocated wholesale reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Rudd campaigned successfully for the construction of the Hastings to Bexhill Link Road. In early 2013, the Government gave the road the go-ahead for construction after ten years of campaigning. Rudd is now spearheading a campaign called Complete The Link to see the final stage of the road get funding for construction. She has supported electrification of the Marshlink Line from Hastings to Ashford International, organising transport decision-makers for a series of rail summits. The line remains unbuilt as of December 2020, but if constructed would extend High Speed 1 into a high speed rail link from the constituency to Central London.

Standing down as MP

On 7 September 2019, Rudd confirmed that she would not be standing in Hastings and Rye because she did not want to divide loyalties in her constituency. However, she openly considered the possibility of standing in a London constituency, with Kensington, Putney and Chelsea and Fulham touted as possible seats. On 30 October 2019, Rudd announced in the Evening Standard that she was not going to contest the upcoming general election even though Prime Minister Boris Johnson had asked her to stand again as a Conservative candidate, although Downing Street denied this. However, she added that she was "not finished with politics", opening the door to a possible return to Parliament. In 2019, Rudd endorsed and campaigned for former Justice Secretary David Gauke who was standing as an Independent in South West Hertfordshire against the Conservative candidate. However, she supported the election of Conservative candidates and endorsed the party nationally.

Career after Parliament

Since leaving Parliament, Rudd was made a senior adviser at Teneo and an adviser to Darktrace. She is also a trustee of The Climate Group.

In July 2020, she began presenting her own show, Split Opinion, on Times Radio, alongside her daughter, the journalist Flora Gill.

In August 2020 her name was given media coverage over her possible undertaking of the role of Chairman of the BBC.

According to her Twitter page, she now works "in the private sector, primarily in energy and cyber security."

In January 2022, British energy and services multinational company Centrica appointed Rudd as Non-Executive Director to the board of the company; she also took a seat on the Safety, Environment & Sustainability Committee and the Remuneration Committee of the company. GMB Union National Secretary Andy Prendergast criticized her appointment while British households and companies are facing unprecedented energy bills, saying that "her business background is questionable and her role as Energy Minister is marked by forcefully pushing for the competition system which has spectacularly failed over the last six months".

Personal life

Rudd married the writer and critic A. A. Gill in 1990 and they had two children, including the journalist Flora Gill. The couple separated in 1995, after Gill entered into a long-term relationship with journalist Nicola Formby. Gill and Rudd later divorced. Rudd was formerly in a relationship with fellow Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rudd is a trustee of the Snowdon Trust, an organisation that helps young disabled people access education. Rudd has been a director of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize since 2003, an annual award for a first-time female playwright in the English language. She also served as a governor of The St Leonards Academy in Hastings.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Amber Rudd para niños

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