Caroline has drawn on her own experience of running a successful local business to support economic growth, and has forged a reputation for championing SMEs, UK industry, and skills training in Parliament. As a previous member of the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee, she brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.

In 2013, Caroline was appointed Small Business Ambassador for the South by the Prime Minister, becoming part of a team of MPs hearing from business owners about how changes to government legislation could help them to flourish; this information helped to inform the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill announced in the Queen's Speech in 2014.

Caroline showed her commitment to supporting the manufacturing industry as Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Group for manufacturing. In this role, she worked hard to ensure that we put growth, innovation and high-end skills training at the heart of Government policy.

Gosport's proud military heritage underpins Caroline's commitment to the Armed Forces. As a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, she witnessed first-hand the day-to-day work and challenges faced by our service personnel. Her visits to the Falklands and Afghanistan, along with UK military sites, have helped her to stand up for the Forces in Parliament– over the Covenant, war widows' pensions, R&R time and a host of other welfare issues. Caroline spent 4 years as Vice-Chairman (Navy) of the APPG for the Armed Forces, where she took steps to highlight the particular challenges faced by the Naval Service.

Caroline welcomed the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which clearly committed to investing over £178 billion in buying and maintaining military equipment over the next decade. This includes a new squadron of 24 F35 Joint Striker aircraft, which will be fully operational on our two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers by 2023. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is now in service and based at Portsmouth Naval Base with the HMS Prince of Wales under construction. Caroline believes that this excellent news for the Solent region and will help protect local jobs because Portsmouth Naval Base will be home to the two aircraft carriers. But most importantly, Caroline knows that the 2015 SDSR will ensure our Armed Forces and security services have the versatility and means to keep Britain safe in an increasingly uncertain world.

Annual reports on the ongoing implementation of the SDSR have taken place and you can find the 2018 version here.

Caroline has long been a vocal campaigner for voters to have the right to decide on our what form our future relationship with Europe should take, backing the vote calling for a referendum on our membership of the EU in 2011 and opposing the previous rise in the EU budget in 2010.

She was therefore pleased that the Government delivered on the 2015 Conservative Manifesto promise to hold an in/out Referendum on Britain's continued membership of the European Union. Caroline believes it was fundamentally right that the British people had a vote to decide whether we stayed in or left the EU on 23 June 2016.

Following the results, Caroline released a statement here.

You can read what Caroline said following the High Court judgement against Government on Article 50 here.

In July 2018, the Prime Minister announced the Chequers Agreement, which can be found here. This White Paper on Brexit sets out the Governments proposed approach towards leaving the EU in March 2019. This includes ending the free movement of people, leaving the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies, ending our large annual contributions to the EU, leaving the jurisdiction of the European Courts of Justice and taking control of our laws.

You can read Caroline's statement on the Withdrawal Agreement here.

Caroline also released a statement regarding her recent votes in Parliament here.

Caroline has consistently voted against a delay to Brexit. So the Prime Minister now continues to engage with Parliamentarians to see how the deadlock can be broken. Meanwhile Caroline hopes that Brexit is delivered as soon as possible.

She has released another update here.

Caroline strongly believes that is right to act now to ensure we leave our Britain cleaner and greener for our children.

In 2018, Caroline took part in the #GiveUpPlasticForLent campaign, where she learnt about the reliance of single-use plastic but also the small changes an individual can make which can make a big difference.

Caroline, along with Environment Minister, Thérèse Coffey, launched a new recycling initiative for paper coffee cups in Gosport – the first of its kind in the UK. Created through a partnership between Gosport Borough Council and paper cup manufacturer Huhtamaki, the scheme will pilot a collection and recycling service for used coffee cups for residents and businesses.

She is a keen supporter of Gosport groups who carry out beach cleans and litter picks, such as Surfers Against Sewage and the Gosport Wombles, and can regularly be seen supporting the events. Caroline has also organised a beach clean with the Marine Conservation Society.

Caroline wholeheartedly supports the Plastic Waste Plan, strategy for a cleaner, greener Britain by eliminating all avoidable plastic waste within the next twenty five years. She strongly welcomes the proposal for a bottle-deposit scheme and fully backs the 5p plastic-bag charge which has reduced use by over 9 billion bags!

Caroline welcomed the ban on microbeads which she believes is another step to tackle the large number of plastics which are choking marine life.

In addition to working closely alongside local GPs and healthcare professionals to improve healthcare in Gosport, Caroline has taken part in a number of valuable national initiatives to improve public health.

With the launch of British Heart Foundation's Public Access Defibrillators scheme in October 2015, Caroline called on local groups to take advantage of the defibrillator kits and CPR training on offer. The campaign garnered significant public attention locally and as a result, life-saving equipment is which has been installed at a number of locations across the constituency.

Caroline has actively raised awareness on behalf of diabetes and cancer charities both locally and nationally in recognition of their valuable work to tackle these dreadful diseases and support those affected. She joined in the WearAHatDay event with children from Alverstoke Infant School to help raise the profile of the Brain Tumour Research charity.

In May 2014, Caroline abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower and has also completed a parachute jump to raise funds for the Gosport & Fareham branch of the MS Society.

Caroline is part of a group of local MPs and healthcare professionals working to find solutions to the existing problems at QA and is campaigning to improve the A&E at the hospital.

Caroline has visited a number of nursing homes within the constituency to meet residents, staff and owners to ensure that Social Care can work for everyone.

Caroline is committed to supporting people living with dementia so back in 2015, she became a Dementia Friend and has held a number of training sessions in her local office. She is now a Dementia Friend Champion, meaning she can train other people, and participated in the local 2018 Memory Walk.

In January 2018, Caroline was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health & Social Care. You can find out more information about her responsibilities here.

For almost a decade, Caroline campaigned to secure a medal for the veterans of the Arctic Convoys. While these heroic men endured dangerous and freezing conditions in WWII to keep the supply lines with Russia open, for over 70 years it remained the only major sea campaign of the war to not have received a specific medal. Caroline's campaign saw her lobby the Prime Minister, the Defence Secretary and various Defence Ministers, while also leading a debate on this issue in Parliament and contributing to Sir John Holmes' Military Medals Review.

Caroline was delighted when the Government announced the award of the Arctic Convoy Star medal, during PMQs on 19th December 2012 - bringing a triumphant end to her fight for recognition on behalf of the veterans. Surviving veterans received their medals at the beginning of 2013 and widows and family members have since received medals on a rolling basis.

Caroline is a firm believer in the principle of English votes for English issues. During the last Parliament she set up an online petition calling for the people of England to be able to decide its own priorities on issues such as health, education and local government, just as the people of more devolved parts of the UK are able to do. Almost 400 local people signed the petition, which Caroline then formally delivered to the Speaker in the Chamber of the House of Commons.

The hard work paid off and on 21 October 2015, the Government's proposals to address the West Lothian Question became law. The changes provide a fair balance by giving England more control over decisions which it alone is affected by, while ensuring that Westminster continues to be a place where those from across the UK govern in the best interests of those living within the Union.

Caroline wants all children get the best possible start in life. She fought to protect Sure Start Children's Centres in Parliament so it's there for the people it was designed to help – the most vulnerable in society. As Caroline understands that children are often held back by a lack of aspiration, she has campaigned to raise self-belief among young people. She participated in a debate on confidence for girls in school, and took part in the campaign to keep children safe online as a member of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Safety Online.

In July 2016, Caroline was appointed Minister for Women, Equalities and Early Years at the Department for Education. Caroline was the Minister responsible for the implementation of 30 hours free childcare, which came into force in September 2017.

Through her engagement with Gosport based reading programme 'We Can Read', Caroline developed a passion for boosting basic skills among the adult population. She led a landmark debate in the House of Commons on the importance of literacy and numeracy and played a key role in securing a BIS Select Committee Inquiry into literacy and numeracy issues. She also formed an All Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy with cross party support and stood as Co-Chair of the group.

Caroline is a strong supporter of CEMAST (Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training) which trains over 950 learners, apprentices and employees in specialised engineering and manufacturing solutions. She also took Skills Minister, Anne Milton, to the Civil Engineering Training Centre to see their unique offer of intensive 20 week construction and groundwork apprenticeships.

Caroline has always been a committed champion of women's issues. In particular, she has strived to inspire more women and girls to become business and career women and keenly encourages girls to take up STEM subjects in school. She hosted an event at Bridgemary School, designed to inspire and encourage schoolgirls to become Enterprising Women. In 2013 she stood up in the House of Commons to celebrate the success of the so-called 'Mumpreneurs' who work from home and contribute approximately £7 billion a year to the economy.

In 2014 Caroline called on the Government to do their utmost to support victims of sexual abuse.

In April 2014, Caroline was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, who was Minister for Women and Equalities at the time. This enabled Caroline to play an important role in championing women's issues in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

From May 2015 to July 2017 Caroline was appointed Minister for Women and Equalities. In this role, she implemented the gender pay gap reporting regulations which came into force in April 2017.

Caroline is involved in a number of marine issues, inspired by Gosport's peninsula location and the potential for the wider Portsmouth Harbour area for driving jobs, skills and economic prosperity through marine expansion. She welcomed the news that Sir Ben Ainslie's £90m Americas Cup Race Team HQ would be based in the area. She has taken part in the influential Marine Sector Advisory Group, and was instrumental in the formation of the Gosport Marine Scene group, which seeks to highlight Gosport's status as a world class destination for sailing & yachting.

Caroline has met with successive Transport Ministers to make the case for necessary improvements to legislation governing the use of Personal Water Craft (PWC), such as jet skis and RIBs.

Existing legislation fails to protect the users of PWCs and other water users, as was clearly demonstrated by the death of Ryan McKinlay, a Gosport resident tragically killed in a PWC collision in the Solent, in 2015. The driver of the PWC involved was found not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence, despite admitting to having consumed alcohol.

This underlines the difficulties in mounting a successful prosecution under current laws, which do not enable police to breathalyse after an incident. As well as rules enabling police to breathalyse, Caroline urged the Minister to consider model legislation recommended by the Personal Watercraft Industry Association, which would include mandatory education for all operators. She also emphasised the potential security risks posed by PWCs approaching large vessels, including warships. Many countries require a distance to be observed between both PWCs and other vessels, and PWCs and the shore.

Caroline's most recent meeting with the current Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, proved positive and the Minister was very keen to look at this further.

Caroline works to support and improve policing, meets regularly with both Gosport's Chief Inspector and the Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary, has been out on patrol with local Police traffic cops and took part in the parliamentary debate on elected Police Commissioners. She has met with the Home Secretary on a number of occasions to raise issues surrounding policing reform and action on immigration and has campaigned for tougher measures on drug and alcohol abuse, recognising the harm this causes to local people and communities.

As part of Scams Awareness Month, Caroline held a Scam Smart Event to educations constituents on how to avoid being scammed. A number of national organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority, Victim Support and Barclay's attended the event.

Caroline has previously raised concerns about the maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving, urging the Secretary of State for justice to review the existing limit. The Secretary of State listened to her concerns and in January 2016 announced that he was launching a full review of sentencing policy across all offences in the criminal justice system with a special focus on driving offences. In October 2017 the government announced, confirmation on plans to introduce tougher sentences for those whose irresponsible driving devastates lives. For more information about this please click here.

From May 2015 – July 2016 Caroline was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Family Justice. Her responsibilities included family justice and mediation, female offenders, mental health, mental capacity, criminal offences gateway, coroners, burials, cremation and inquiries policy. 

As a committed supporter of animal welfare, Caroline served as an honorary Vice-Chairman of the RSPCA. This enabled her to work with them on a number of national campaigns and join the local inspector on her rounds in Gosport. She fully supports the increase in the maximum sentence that animal abusers who commit the most heinous crimes can receive.

Caroline actively backs the Hunting Ban and is committed to opposing any amendments that would weaken the ban. As a supporter of the League Against Cruel Sports and Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, she has worked hard to ensure this cruel practice remains outlawed, and was even chosen as rockstar Brian May's 'Hero of 2010' for her work in this area.

Caroline welcomes the UK ban on Ivory Sales, which is the toughest in Europe and amongst the toughest in the world – helping to protect elephants for future generations. Caroline also strongly supports the tight regulations of the importation of fur products.

Caroline has been hugely concerned about the high energy and fuel prices that are hitting individuals and businesses hard. She has met with major energy companies and lobbied ministers for action to tackle rising prices, standing up in the House of Commons on a number of occasions to express her opposition to fuel duty increases. She supported the 'Fair Fuel' campaign, which successfully secured a freeze on the fuel duty increase, to ensure that the fuel prices harming families and companies are kept under control.

Contact Caroline directly

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