Who is Anne-Marie Trevelyan?

Conservative Cabinet minister says she was once ‘pinned up against a wall’ by a male MP as new sexual harassment furore grips Westminster

Joe Sommerlad
Saturday 30 April 2022 00:58
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Tory minister says male MP pinned her against wall and told her she 'wants him'

A series of “Westminster sleaze” allegations have again rocked the Houses of Parliament, casting fresh light on the sexism and sexual harassment female MPs and aides are all too commonly subjected to at the heart of government.

Conservative MP Neil Parish has been suspended from his party after being accused of watching a pornographic video on his smartphone in the Commons in full view of colleagues, while a female Labour MP has complained of “vulgar sexual comments” made about her by a member of her own party.

Those unsavoury episodes follow on from the “Pestminster” allegations made against 36 MPs in 2017, The Sunday Times’ recent report that 56 MPs, including three Cabinet ministers and two Shadow Cabinet members, are under investigation over claims of sexual misconduct and The Mail on Sunday’s controversial story about Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, carrying allegations from an unnamed Tory about her actions in the Commons.

In the latest development, the Conservative Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan revealed in an interview with LBC that she was once “pinned up against a wall by a male MP – who is no longer in the House I’m pleased to say – declaring I must want him because he was a powerful man.”

Elaborating in another interview on Sky News, the international trade secretary said: “All of us as women in Parliament have been subjected to inappropriate language, to wandering hands… It doesn’t change.

“There are a few for whom too much drink, or a view that somehow being elected makes them god’s gift to women, that they can suddenly please themselves.

“It’s never OK anywhere. It’s not OK in Westminster either. If you’re a bloke – keep your hands in your pockets. Behave as you would if you had your daughter in the room.”

Ms Trevelyan, 53, was born in London in 1969, attended school in Hammersmith and graduated from Oxford Brookes University.

She first worked as a chartered accountant for PriceWaterhouseCooper, specialising in corporate finance, before relocating to Northumberland in 1996 to serve as governor of the Northumbria Healthcare Trust and of Berwick Academy.

Watching porn in Commons 'completely unacceptable', says Tory minister

Ms Trevelyan ran unsuccessfully to become a Conservative MP in the region in 1999, 2003 and 2010 before winning in Berwick-upon-Tweed in 2015, succeeding Sir Alan Beith.

She was parliamentary under-secretary of state for defence procurement between July and December 2019, minister of state for the armed forces between December 2019 and February 2020, secretary of state for international development between February and September 2020 and minister of state for business, energy and clean growth between January and September 2021.

Ms Trevelyan returned as secretary of state for international development last September and also serves as president of the Board of Trade.

Known for her work in support of the British military and its veterans, she is also a Brexiteer and Eurosceptic, an opponent of fox hunting bans and in favour of fracking and once admitted to the BBC, with commendable honesty, that her own teenage son would have been unlikely to vote for her in the 2017 general election had been old enough to cast his ballot.

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