Tracey Elizabeth Anne Crouch [2] (born 24 July 1975) is a British Conservative politician. She is Member of Parliament (MP) for Chatham and Aylesford, having gained the seat from Labour at the 2010 general election. [5]

Early life and career

Born in Ashford, Kent, Crouch was educated at Folkestone School for Girls and graduated from the University of Hull with a law and politics degree in 1996. [5]

Crouch was a parliamentary researcher from 1996 to 1998 before working in PR for Harcourt Public Affairs from 1999 to 2000. She returned to Westminster and held posts as chief of staff to three shadow ministers, including the shadow Home Secretary between 2003 and 2005. [5] Crouch was then employed by the Aviva insurance company where she was the head of public affairs between 2005 and 2010. [5] [8] Before becoming a minister, she coached a junior girls' football team. [7]

Parliamentary career

Crouch was elected as the Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford with a majority of 6,069. She won with a 46.2% share of the vote - a swing of 9.4% to the Conservatives. The Daily Telegraph listed her as one of their "pragmatic, Eurosceptic" new MPs who seeks to "anchor the [Conservative] party to the right of centre". [8] Crouch describes herself as a "compassionate, One-Nation Conservative" [9]

Crouch is a vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on dementia, [10] alcohol misuse [2] and athletics. [5] In February 2011, Crouch was elected to the 1922 Committee executive. [5]

On 9 December 2010, Crouch abstained in the vote to raise university tuition fees. She was one of two Conservative MPs to abstain, while six voted against the proposals. [2] Crouch voted against the badger cull, speaking during the debates on the subject in October 2012 and June 2013. She congratulated other Conservative MPs for voting against or abstaining on the vote, describing the cull as "barbaric and indiscriminate". [9] She has also rebelled against the government in voting against press regulation and in support of mesothelioma victims. [9] She voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. Following the 2015 general election, when she retained her seat with a 50.2% vote share, she was made Minister for Sport on 12 May 2015 .

She is an opponent of fox hunting, and is among those Conservative MPs who oppose relaxation of the Hunting Act 2004. [2]

In January 2018, Crouch was appointed minister of loneliness to add to her existing portfolio . [27]

Personal life

Crouch is a qualified FA football coach [2] and manages a youth girls' football team. [5] [9] She is a keen Tottenham Hotspur fan. [2]

Crouch had always wanted to be sports minister, but had a miscarriage during the 2015 general election campaign, leaving her initially uncertain as to whether to take up David Cameron's offer of the post. She gave birth to her first child in February 2016 with her partner Steve Ladner, and became the first Conservative minister ever to take maternity leave. [7] [2]