Dame Eleanor Fulton Laing, DBE, MP – Member of Parliament for Epping Forest, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons
Dame Eleanor has been the Member of Parliament for Epping Forest since 1997. She lives near Epping with her son, Matthew, who was born one week after the 2001 General Election.
Eleanor graduated BA LLB from Edinburgh University. She was the first woman to be elected President of Edinburgh University Union. She has practised law in Edinburgh, in the City of London and in industry.
Having been the Conservative candidate in the safe Labour seat of Paisley North in the 1987 General Election, she became Special Adviser to the Rt Hon John MacGregor MP in 1989 when he was Secretary of State for Education and remained his Special Adviser when he was Leader of the House of Commons (1990-92) and Secretary of State for Transport (1992-94).
Her particular political interests are education, transport, the economy and the constitution.
In February 1999, she was promoted to the post of Opposition Whip and in July 2000 she became a Frontbench Spokesman for Constitutional Affairs.
After the 2001 General Election, she was appointed as Frontbench Spokesman for Education and Skills and in 2003 was made Shadow Minister for Children. In March 2004, she became Shadow Minister for Women. After successfully increasing her majority at the 2005 General Election, she was promoted to be Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and also remained Shadow Minister for Women and Equality. From 2007 – 2010 she was Shadow Minister for Justice. In 2013 she was elected Deputy Speaker.
The constituency of Epping Forest comprises Loughton, Epping, Waltham Abbey, Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill, Theydon Bois, North Weald, the surrounding villages and the ancient Forest itself.