I'm Michelle Donelan and I’m the Member of Parliament for the Chippenham Constituency. It was an honour to be first elected to serve our community in 2015, and then re-elected in 2017, and again in 2019. Our constituency includes Chippenham, Corsham, Bradford on Avon, Melksham and the surrounding villages.
Before going into politics, I worked in the media and entertainment industry, having started my career in Australia for Pacific Magazines, and then going on to work for The History Channel. I later worked for WWE as an International Marketing Communications Manager – this proves a bit too popular in the democracy workshops I run in local schools!
People often say that getting into politics is about who you know, but I think my experience is proof that this is certainly not the case – I went to a state school and was the first in my family to attend University. Whilst my family were not especially political, what they did teach me was to work hard and make the most of every opportunity that came my way. It is something which I have carried with me at every stage of my career, and it is certainly something I have never taken for granted.
Broadening skills and opportunities is something I am truly passionate about – it is the reason why I entered politics, and it was the theme of my Maiden Speech in Parliament in 2015. I believe an MP’s job should be to knock down barriers, open doors and create opportunities for all.
I have always believed in people - but we need to ensure everyone has the choices and chances to succeed. I want to help make this a reality for all – a country where there is not just a safety net to catch those who fall, but also ladders out to help people thrive, no matter what background they came from.
I am passionate about our community – I never take for granted the trust that you have bestowed upon me. Regardless of how you voted in previous elections, I am here to help and to do my level best for our towns and villages.
I am very much aware that people do not always think of contacting their Member of Parliament when there is something they need help with. That is why I try to be as accessible as possible, with pop up surgeries in supermarkets, pubs and cafes, as well as having stands at village fetes and running street stalls.
In my time in Parliament, I have served on the Education Select Committee for three years, and entered Government in the Whips Office in 2018. I then spent three years in the Department of Education, first as Children and Families Minister, then Minister of State for Universities. In 2021 I was promoted to Higher and Further Education Minister attending cabinet in 2021, and was sworn into the Privy Council.
I don’t get very much spare time, but when I do I enjoy taking my beautiful dog Bella for walks across our stunning Wiltshire countryside.