Victoria Mary Boswell Prentis (born 24 March 1971) is a British Conservative politician serving as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Farming, Fisheries and Food since 2020. She has been the Member of Parliament for Banbury since 2015. She was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to junior ministers in the Department for Transport between July 2016 and June 2017. Prentis was the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Leader of the House of Commons from June 2017 until February 2020.
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Farming, Fisheries and Food|
|Assumed office |
14 February 2020
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||George Eustice|
|Member of Parliament|
|Assumed office |
7 May 2015
|Preceded by||Tony Baldry|
|Born||24 March 1971|
|Father||Lord Boswell of Aynho|
|Alma mater||Royal Holloway, University of London|
Downing College, Cambridge
Early life and career
Prentis was born Victoria Boswell, in Banbury, and grew up on the family farm in nearby Aynho. She has two sisters. She was educated at Royal Holloway, University of London and Downing College, Cambridge, from where she received degrees in English and Law respectively. She is the daughter of Tim Boswell, Baron Boswell of Aynho, who was MP for Daventry from 1987 to 2010.
Prentis qualified as a barrister in 1995. She joined the Civil Service in 1997, leaving in November 2014. Her last job for the government was leading the "Justice and Security team" at the Treasury Solicitor's Department.
In November 2014, Prentis was selected as the Conservative candidate for the Banbury constituency at the 2015 general election. She retained the safe seat for the Conservatives (held by them since 1922). In Parliament she sits on the Justice Select Committee and the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments. Prentis is an opponent of High Speed 2, believing it will affect her constituency. She rebelled against the Conservative government when the HS2 Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons in March 2016.
Prentis was a founding supporter of Conservatives for Reform in Europe, a group which campaigned in support of the UK's membership of a reformed European Union. Accordingly, she declared that she would vote remain in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.
Prentis supported Theresa May's candidacy during the 2016 Conservative leadership contest. She was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to junior ministers in the Department for Transport in July 2016.
In May 2019, she endorsed candidate Rory Stewart for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
In February 2020, Prentis joined the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Farming, Fisheries and Food.
In January 2021, Prentis said during an interview that her jaw did not drop when she read the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement which includes farming, fisheries and food because she was "very busy organising the local nativity trail". She voted in favour of the agreement in-line with government policy.
Prentis is married to Sebastian Prentis, a judge in the Insolvency and Companies Court, whom she met when they were both students at the University of Cambridge. The couple have two daughters and live in Somerton, Oxfordshire.
- "Banbury parliamentary constituency 2015". BBC News Online. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Wallace, Mark (8 November 2014). "Victoria Prentis selected in Banbury". ConservativeHome.com. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Banbury Guardian: Top government lawyer chosen as Conservative candidate for Banbury". North Oxfordshire Conservatives. 8 November 2014. Archived from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Victoria's views". victoriaprentis.com. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "Victoria Prentis to vote against HS2". victoriaprentis.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Victoria's Views | Victoria Prentis". victoriaprentis.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- "Victoria back Theresa May". victoriaprentis.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Banbury parliamentary constituency 2017". BBC News Online. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- Alex Chalk and Victoria Prentis (7 October 2019). "We voted Remain but believe in democracy: now let's leave". ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 28 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- EU Environment Sub-Committee, Meeting (13 January 2021). "EU Environment Sub-Committee". ParliamentLive. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- "About Victoria". Victoriaprentis.com. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "General election update: Prentis says Banbury MP role is an 'extraordinary privilege'". Banbury Guardian. 8 May 2015. Archived from the original on 15 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.