Anne Milton

Anne Frances Milton[1] (née Turner; born 3 November 1955) is a British politician who served as Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships from 2017 to 2019. She was Member of Parliament (MP) for Guildford from 2005 to 2019. Elected as a Conservative, she had the whip removed in September 2019 and subsequently sat as an independent politician.

Anne Milton
Milton in 2017
Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships
In office
12 June 2017  23 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byRobert Halfon
Succeeded byGillian Keegan
Minister for Women
In office
12 June 2017  8 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byNicky Morgan (2014)
Succeeded byVictoria Atkins
Deputy Chief Government Whip
Treasurer of the Household
In office
11 May 2015  12 June 2017
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded byGreg Hands
Succeeded byJulian Smith
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
14 July 2014  11 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byDesmond Swayne
Succeeded byKris Hopkins
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
4 September 2012  14 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byAngela Watkinson
Succeeded byGavin Barwell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health
In office
11 May 2010  4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byGillian Merron (Minister of State)
Succeeded byAnna Soubry
Member of Parliament
for Guildford
In office
6 May 2005  6 November 2019
Preceded bySue Doughty
Succeeded byAngela Richardson
Majority17,040 (30.7%)
Personal details
Anne Frances Turner

(1955-11-03) 3 November 1955 (age 65)
Sussex, England
Political partyConservative (2005 - 2019)
Independent (2019 - present)
Neil Milton
(m. 1979, divorced)
Graham Henderson
(m. 2000)
Children4, including Nikki Henderson
Alma materHaywards Heath Grammar School
City University
WebsiteOfficial website

She was the Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships in the Second May ministry.

On 5 November 2019, Milton announced she had declined an offer to appeal against the removal of the Conservative whip and would stand for re-election in the 2019 general election as an independent politician, in which she lost to the Conservative Angela Richardson.[2]

Early life and career

Anne Frances Turner was born on 3 November 1955 in Sussex, England to Patrick and Nesta Turner.[3][4] She attended Haywards Heath Grammar School in West Sussex. She trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London and obtained a diploma in district nursing from the London South Bank University. Milton worked for the NHS for 25 years as a nurse which included working in primary care, research and supporting palliative care nurses.[5][6] During the 1980s, she was a shop steward for the Royal College of Nursing.[5]

Milton was a councillor for the Borough of Reigate and Banstead from 1999 to 2004 and was Conservative Group leader on the council from 2000 to 2003 and a member of the South East England Regional Assembly.[5][6] She applied to go on the Conservative Party's list of Parliamentary candidates in 1999 and was shortlisted in the selections for Bexhill and Battle and for Bridgwater but was not selected for a seat for the 2001 general election.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career

Milton as a Whip

Milton was selected to contest the Guildford parliamentary constituency in the 2005 general election, a seat which the Conservatives had unexpectedly lost in 2001 to the Liberal Democrat Sue Doughty with the constituency becoming a marginal.[7] She was elected as the MP for Guildford at the 2005 general election with a margin of victory of 347 votes.[8]

After the election, she was appointed to the Health Select Committee serving till December 2006. During the 2005-2010 parliament, Milton worked as the Shadow Minister for Tourism from November 2006[9] and then the Shadow Minister for Health in July 2007.[10] In February 2006, Milton was among a minority of Conservative MPs to oppose exceptions for private clubs from the proposed Smoking ban in England.[11] Milton had previously announced her opposition to a partial ban, stating it was "the worst possible solution".[12]

Milton held her seat in the 2010 general election and increased her majority to 7,782 votes (14%).[13] In July 2010, Milton suggested that doctors should describe obese patients as 'fat' to encourage them to take responsibility for their condition. This was criticised by campaigners who pointed out that a clinical definition was being replaced with a subjective, pejorative term.[14]

During the 2010-2015 parliament, she served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Health,[15] then, as a result of a ministerial reshuffle in September 2012, Milton was appointed a Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury), Vice-Chamberlain of the Household and later Treasurer of the Household.[10] She abstained on the parliamentary vote on the legalisation of same sex marriage in February 2013 citing a lack of consensus amongst her constituents.[16] In March 2015, she was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom and therefore granted the title The Right Honourable.[17] She voted for the United Kingdom to remain with the European Union (EU) in the June 2016 membership referendum.[18] Milton was re-elected as MP for Guildford in the 2017 snap general election.[19] After the election, she was selected as the Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships and the Minister for Women.[20]

On 23 October 2018, Milton resigned from the Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion, chaired by Commons speaker John Bercow, citing incompetence in Bercow's ability to tackle bullying and sexual harassment problems in Parliament.[21][22][23][24]

On 23 July 2019, Milton resigned as Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships shortly before Boris Johnson was announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party and, thus, Prime Minister. She said that she could not serve in a government which said there was a possibility of the UK leaving the European Union with no deal.[25][26]

Personal life

She married Neil Milton in 1979 in Haywards Heath; the couple later divorced.[citation needed] Her current husband, Dr. Graham Henderson, whom she married in February 2000 in Surrey,[27] is a former local medical director at Virgin Healthcare.[28][29] Milton lives in Surrey and has four children,[6] one of whom is yachtswoman Nikki Henderson.[30]


  1. "Result of General Election - Guildford". Guildford Borough Council. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  2. MP, Anne Milton (5 November 2019). "I wrote to the PM yesterday to tell him I felt unable to be a Conservative Candidate. I have considered very carefully what is best to do and will stand as an Independent Candidate at the next General Election.". @AnneMilton. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  3. "Milton, Anne (Who's Who, online edition)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  4. Robertson, Alix (13 June 2017). "Who is Anne Milton? 11 facts about the new skills minister". FE Week.
  5. O'Hara, Mary (30 September 2009). "Back to the frontline". The Guardian.
  6. "Anne Milton". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  7. "Battering continues for Tories in South". BBC News. 8 June 2001.
  8. "Tories complete Surrey full house". BBC News. 6 May 2005.
  9. "Jenkin axed in Cameron reshuffle". BBC News. 8 November 2006.
  10. "Rt Hon Anne Milton MP". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  11. "In full: How MPs voted". BBC News. 14 February 2006.
  12. Ben Russell, "Partial smoking ban would be 'unfair and unworkable'", The Independent, 20 December 2005
  13. "Guildford". BBC News. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  14. Randeep Ramdesh, "'Doctors should tell people they are fat, not obese, minister says'", The Guardian, 28 July 2010
  15. Her Majesty’s Government Archived 17 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Number 10 (19 May 2010). Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  16. "Gay marriage - Anne Milton letter to consituents". Get Surrey. 7 February 2013.
  17. "Privy Council appointments: March 2015". Press release. Prime Minister's Office. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  18. "EU referendum: Surrey's mixed vote 'reflects divisions'". BBC News. 24 June 2016.
  19. Smith, Joshua (12 June 2017). "General Election: Anne Milton holds Guildford seat for Conservative Party". Get Surrey.
  20. "The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  21. Elgot, Jessica; Perraudin, Frances; (earlier), Alexandra Topping; Elgot, Jessica; Elgot, Jessica; O'Carroll, Lisa (23 October 2018). "Theresa May briefs cabinet on Brexit negotiations – politics live". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  22. "Pressure on John Bercow after three Tory MPs resign from Commons committee he chairs". The Independent. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  23. Yorke, Harry (23 October 2018). "John Bercow thrust back into spotlight over Westminster bullying as three Government members quit his committee". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  24. "MPs quit group because Bercow chairs it". BBC News. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  25. "Johnson and Hunt await Tory leadership result". 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  26. "Anne Milton resigns as Education Minister over no-deal concerns". Evening Standard. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  27. "Disorder, disorder!". The Sunday Times. 3 February 2008. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  28. "Staff keep NHS pensions as Virgin's Surrey deal goes through". Local Government Chronicle. 12 April 2012.
  29. "Graham Henderson". Linkedin. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  30. Adams, Joel (28 July 2018). "Female skipper sails into history as youngest to finish world race". The Daily Telegraph.