She served as a senior Cabinet Minister under David Cameron in both of his governments, responsible for Education, Women and Equalities, having previously worked alongside George Osborne at the Treasury, as Economic, then Financial Secretary dealing with the European Union economic ministers, 2012 Autumn Statement, and 2013 Budget.
During her time in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education, and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky oversaw the publication of the 2016 Education White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, led negotiations for the Department’s 2015 Spending Review settlement and 2015 and 2016 Budget allocations, which at over £50 billion per annum, was one of the government’s largest.
She championed schools becoming academies, curriculum reforms which ensured young people are prepared for the world of work, the setting up of the Careers & Enterprise Company, the first Department for Education Character Awards and ensured there was specific ministerial responsibility, within education, for children’s mental health. She also led work by the Government Equalities Office on the introduction of the gender pay gap regulations, getting more women on the boards of listed companies and policies to address transphobic, biphobic and homophobic bullying in schools.
Prior to this she was a Government Whip in the Coalition Government and worked with Lib Dem colleagues to ensure the Government got its legislation through the House of Commons.
At the start of the 2010 Parliament she was elected by her peers to be a member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee before being appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Universities Minister.
Before she became a Minister Nicky led a ground-breaking general debate in 2012 on mental health in the House of Commons. In her constituency she has worked with a group of volunteers to set up the Loughborough Wellbeing Café Project.
Nicky was originally elected as the Member of Parliament for the Loughborough constituency in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015 with a significantly increased majority and largest vote swing of any of her Cabinet colleagues.
She studied Law at Oxford University and spent 16 years as a solicitor in the City of London, mainly working in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. She trained at Theodore Goddard, spent almost 5 years at Allen & Overy and then worked as a professional support lawyer at Travers Smith.
Nicky and her husband have one son, but when she isn’t with them, or working, she enjoys nothing more than a nice, long, run and completed the London Marathon in 2013 – pipped to the post by Ed Balls by only 13 seconds!