Minister for small business

Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business

Anna Soubry is the UK’s first minister for small business, but what do we know about her and what are her business credentials?

Thank Paul Lancaster. When Director quizzed David Cameron for our March cover story, the Plan Digital founder and IoD 99 member proposed a “new minister for micro-business”. And here she is.

Director would love to think it was our member’s idea which inspired Cameron, but we do know that Anna Soubry’s role as the UK’s inaugural small-business minister is sorely needed.

Soubry – Conservative MP for Broxtowe since 2010 – is responsible for promoting competitiveness and growth in our 5.2 million SMEs. But who is she? What are her business credentials? And what did she say about Nigel Farage’s derrière? Here’s the need-to-know…

She was once Judy Finnigan’s stand-in

In the late 1980s, Soubry was an occasional presenter on ITV’s This Morning. Her previous life as a journalist brought her stints as a newspaper reporter and presenter of regional news shows North Tonight (on Grampian) and Central News East. In 1995, her career underwent a radical change when she was called to the Bar, serving the next 15 years as a criminal barrister in Nottingham.

Work gave her pneumonia

Since stepping onto the parliamentary treadmill in 2010, self-styled “tough old bird” Soubry has hardly stopped. As public health minister, she lambasted retailers for unhealthy food merchandising and backed HIV home-testing kits and the legalisation of assisted suicide for the terminally ill. More recently, as a junior defence minister, she suffered a bout of pneumonia, the result, she believes, of her “seven-day-a-week” job.

She’s outspoken

In her short time as an MP, Soubry has described Nigel Farage as looking like “somebody has put their finger up his bottom and he really likes it” and was accused of shouting “the foulest word” at Ed Miliband during a Commons debate (a charge she denies). In 2013, she even claimed boss David Cameron gave her the health minister job because it is seen as the “soft, bloody girly option”.
To email Anna Soubry, click here

About author

Christian Koch

Christian Koch

Alongside his work for Director, Christian has written features for the Evening Standard, The Guardian, Sunday Times Style, The Independent, Q, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, ShortList and Glamour in an eclectic career which has seen him interview everybody from Mariah Carey to Michael Douglas through to Richard Branson with newspaper assignments including reporting on the Japanese tsunami and living with an Italian cult.

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