Eleanor Laing

Eleanor LaingEleanor Laing has been the MP for Epping Forest since 1997. During sixteen years in Parliament she has had a variety of roles - as Shadow Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Shadow Minster for Equality, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Shadow Education Minister and Opposition Whip.

Currently a member of the influential Political and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee, she has also been elected Chairman of the 1922 Home and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Her experience of parliamentary reform includes membership of the controversial Joint Committee on the House of Lords, the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege and the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission.

A graduate of Edinburgh University, where she was the first woman to be elected President of the Union, Eleanor worked as a solicitor in Edinburgh, in the City and in industry. She is Chairman of the Society of Conservative Lawyers.

During the Thatcher and Major governments, Eleanor was Special Advisor to John MacGregor when he was in the Cabinet, notably as Leader of the House of Commons.

Eleanor lives near Epping with her young son - who was born one week after the 2001 General Election! She lists her hobbies as theatre, travel and golf - but, combining motherhood and parliament, she has little time for anything else.