Who is Amber Rudd? The Home Secretary who went from 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' to Theresa May's Cabinet

She says she joined politics to 'get a grip on her life'

Shaun Commolly
Thursday 14 July 2016 14:44 BST
Who is Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd has enjoyed a steep elevation in status from working as "aristocracy co-ordinator" on Four Weddings And A Funeral to running Britain's counter-terrorism efforts, police forces, and immigration policies.

The former investment banker, venture capitalist, and financial journalist, 52, decided to enter politics in her 40s in order to get "a grip on her life".

"I decided to take my life back. In my 20s I was leaving university, getting married or having a baby. And then, in my 30s, I was just keeping my head above water. When I hit 40 I thought I have got to get a grip of my life and really point it in the direction I want it to go rather than just swim hard against the current," Ms Rudd told the FT.

David Cameron put Ms Rudd on his controversial A-list of candidates and she took Hastings and Rye back from Labour in 2010, and then enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks serving as parliamentary private secretary to Chancellor George Osborne two years later, before being promoted to junior minister at the Energy and Climate Change department in 2014, then entering Cabinet as secretary of state for the same brief just last year.

Ms Rudd's time at the Climate Change department has often been a stormy one as when she piloted fracking legislation through the Commons as its junior minister she was accused by the opposition of reneging on pledges not to let the controversial gas extraction process occur in national parks by announcing that drilling would be allowed underneath such protected areas if it began outside their surface boundaries.

And after becoming secretary of state at the department her attitude to renewable energy was strongly criticised by environmentalists.

Ms Rudd was a committed Remain campaigner who raised eyebrows with the highly personalised attacks she launched on her now Cabinet colleague Boris Johnson during a live TV clash in which she declared: "Boris is the life and soul of the party, but he is not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening."

She then came to Theresa May's aid in the short-lived, but bruising, run-off campaign with Andrea Leadsom as she slapped down her own junior minister at the Energy Department by questioning Ms Leadsom's experience.

The ex-Cheltenham Ladies' College pupil, and Edinburgh University history graduate, has a son and a daughter from the five years she was married to columnist AA Gill, who used to refer to her as "the silver spoon" in his restaurant reviews.

Four Weddings And A Funeral director Richard Curtis said he gave Ms Rudd, who is believed to briefly appear in a church scene in the film, the job of casting extras for the movie, because: "She knew a lot of dukes and earls."

In-coming Prime Minister Mrs May clearly thinks Ms Rudd knows a lot about law and order as well.

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