Sarah Atherton

Summary

Sarah Atherton
Official portrait of Sarah Atherton MP crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2019
Member of Parliament
for Wrexham
Assumed office
12 December 2019
Preceded byIan Lucas
Majority2,131 (6.4%)
Personal details
Born (1967-11-15) 15 November 1967 (age 54)
Chester, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Nick Corcoran
Children1
Alma materBangor University
Military service
Branch/service British Army
UnitIntelligence Corps

Sarah Elizabeth Atherton (born 15 November 1967) is a British Conservative Party politician, who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wrexham since the 2019 general election.[1][2]

She is the first Conservative to represent the Wrexham constituency since its creation in 1918. In addition, Atherton is the first female MP elected to represent the seat, and became the first female Conservative MP elected to Westminster representing a Welsh constituency.[3]

Early life and career

Atherton was born in Chester in 1967, the daughter of John Atherton and Evelyn Atherton (née Morgan). She left Christleton High School in Chester, a local comprehensive school, at the age of 16.[2]

Atherton joined the army, serving in the Intelligence Corps, before training at Bangor University and becoming a Registered General Nurse. She also studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, receiving a BSc (Hons) in Community Health, and at the University of Liverpool, where she obtained a Diploma in Social Work.[2]

Atherton has worked as a nurse, district nurse and social worker. In addition, she ran her own business, a micro brewery, based on Wrexham Industrial Estate.[4][5] Prior to being elected as the Member of Parliament for Wrexham, she served on Gresford Community Council. She is a member of the Royal British Legion.[2]

Parliamentary career

Atherton was elected as the Member of Parliament for Wrexham in 2019. Wrexham was the first seat to be gained from Labour's "red wall" in North Wales.[citation needed] The BBC described her at the time as "a passionate Brexiteer."[4]

Atherton supports travel discounts for some people who have formerly worked in the British Armed Forces and have been injured.[6] In the House of Commons, she sits on the Defence Select Committee. Atherton is a member of the Armed Forces and Beer All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

In February 2020, Atherton was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart.[7] In June 2020, she supported discussions about sexual abuse in the armed forces being prosecuted in civilian courts rather than military courts.[8]

The same month, it was reported during the coronavirus outbreak that Atherton limited her engagement on the platform Twitter to only her followers, with some Twitter contributors criticising her for a lack of communication.[9] Atherton has been criticised[by whom?] for promoting the re-opening of a McDonald's outlet in Wrexham on her Twitter account, citing childhood obesity and small independent businesses which require help. Whilst it is a locally owned franchise, licence fees are paid to McDonald's UK subsidiary.[10]

In August 2020, Atherton suggested in a Twitter post that the army should be deployed to stop migrants crossing the English Channel. Her tweet was criticised by immigration law specialists, and Atherton was described as displaying a "staggering level of ignorance" by the director of Stand for All, a human rights advocacy group. In response, Atherton said: "I frequently assist people in Wrexham seeking asylum. However what we are seeing in the Channel is little more than exploitation of vulnerable people by human traffickers and gang leaders." She described it as "an abuse of the system, which is blocking the way for those in genuine need of asylum."[11]

Voting record

In January 2020, Atherton voted, with the majority of MPs, against an Opposition amendment, "Proportional Representation to Elect MPs in the House of Commons", on the subject of electoral reform and PR.[12][better source needed]

In February 2020, Atherton voted with the majority of MPs against an Opposition motion on "proper funding of public services along with robust action against tax avoidance and evasion".[13] In the same month she voted with the majority of MPs against an Opposition motion on "a plan to eliminate a substantial majority of transport emissions by 2030".[14][better source needed]

In July 2020, Atherton voted with the majority of MPs against a Green Party amendment to the Trade Bill, which the proposer said "would aim to protect the NHS and publicly funded health and care services in other parts of the UK from any form of control from outside the UK".[15] Quoted after the vote, Atherton said: "I will continue to respect the manifesto upon which I was elected, which clearly stated that 'when we are negotiating trade deals, the NHS will not be on the table. The price the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. The services the NHS provides will not be on the table'."[16]

Personal life

In 2014, Atherton married Nicholas John Daniel Corcoran. She has a son. Her recreations are listed in Who's Who as "lover of real ale, sailing, ski-ing, family, countryside, passionate about Wales".[2]

References

  1. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (13 December 2019). "General Election 2019 result for Wrexham". walesonline. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Atherton, Sarah Elizabeth, (born 15 Nov. 1967), MP (C) Wrexham, since 2019". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 2020. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u294108. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  3. ^ Randall, Liam. "Sarah Atherton: Wrexham elects Conservative MP for first time in history". Leader Live. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Dolphin trainer among first Welsh female Tory MPs". BBC News. 13 December 2019. Archived from the original on 15 December 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  5. ^ "About Sarah". Sarah Atherton. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Wrexham Leader: Calls for cut price train travel for military veterans scheme to be extended to Wales". Sarah Atherton. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Parliamentary Private Secretary Appointment". Sarah Atherton. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Sexual abuse in the armed forces should not be prosecuted by the military". The Times. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Wrexham MP explains why she's started limiting Twitter replies claiming it's 'not the place' to talk to constituents". Leader Live. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Wrexham MP slammed for promoting McDonalds when local independent businesses are struggling". Leader Live. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  11. ^ "MP's call for Army on migrant crossings criticised". BBC News. 19 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Queen's Speech — Programme for Government — Proportional Representation to Elect MPs". They Work For You. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Proper Funding of Public Services — Tax Avoidance and Evasion". They Work For You. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Transport — Eliminate Substantial Majority of Emissions by 2030". They Work For You. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Trade Bill". The Public Whip.
  16. ^ "Wrexham and Clwyd South MPs vote against protecting NHS in post Brexit-trade deal". Leader Live. Retrieved 22 July 2020.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Wrexham
2019–present
Incumbent