Caroline Dinenage is the Parliamentary Candidate for Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head. She was elected in May 2010 with a majority of 14,413 votes. She was re-elected in 2015 with an increased majority of 17,098 votes. She was re-elected in 2017 with a further increased majority of 17,211 votes.
Prior to her election, Caroline ran a successful local business and served as an effective member of Winchester Council. After contesting the Portsmouth South seat in 2005, she was selected in one of only two all-postal ballot Open Primary selection process to be the Conservative candidate for Gosport.
Since her election, Caroline has forged a strong reputation on a wide variety of local and national issues.
Caroline in Parliament
Caroline has over 20 years of experience as a small business-owner, having established her own manufacturing company aged 19. A strong supporter of small and medium-sized enterprise, UK industry and skills training in Parliament, Caroline uses her expertise as a member of the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee to champion these issues. In June 2013, she was appointed the Small Business Ambassador for the South by the Prime Minister.
Caroline is passionate about boosting literacy and numeracy in the UK, and called for the BIS Select Committee to launch a landmark inquiry into the country's basic skills gap. She also formed the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Maths and Numeracy.
Caroline has a keen interest in defence issues, served as the Vice-Chairman (Navy) of the APPG for the Armed Forces for 4 years and successfully campaigned to secure a medal for the Arctic Convoy veterans of WW2. She has regularly spoken up on Forces welfare issues, such as the effect of the airbridge from Afghanistan on R&R times, where she secured a key concession.
In April 2014, Caroline was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP.
From May 2015 to July 2016, Caroline was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and Minister for Women and Equalities.
In July 2016, Caroline was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years at the Department for Education.
In July 2017, Caroline was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance at the Department of Work and Pensions.
In January 2018, Caroline was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health & Social Care. You can find out more information about her responsibilities here.
As a truly local candidate, who has lived in South Hampshire her whole life, Caroline stands up for what matters to her constituents. She has helped secure a number of considerable investments for the local area, including over £50 million for the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus and over £50 million for infrastructure upgrades between Fareham and Gosport. In addition, Caroline helped secure a £25.7m package from central government to complete the long-awaited Stubbington Bypass, a much-needed new access route to the Gosport peninsula.
Caroline also kick-started a campaign to reinvigorate Gosport High Street as part of her commitment to generating growth and jobs locally. Having built up a glowing track record of supporting enterprise and innovation locally, Caroline played a key role in the creation of the Solent Enterprise Zone at the disused military airfield HMS Daedalus and instigated the successful 'Bridging the Gap' Regional Growth Fund programme for new and growing businesses in Gosport, Portsmouth & Havant.
Making the most of her constituency's prime coastal location, Caroline has worked hard to promote the area as a world class hub for the marine and sailing industry and formed the Gosport Marine Scene in 2011 to promote the interests of local maritime businesses.
Caroline is dedicated to reaching out to all her constituents with her regular surgeries and street stalls. She's met with hundreds of local businesses and voluntary groups and has succeeded in visiting all 41 constituency schools at least once.
With two young sons to keep her busy, Caroline enjoys making the most of Gosport's fantastic coastal location in her rare moments of spare time, she is qualified to drive powerboats, sail yachts and in PADI open water diving. She has risked both a parachute jump and an abseil of Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower to raise funds for local charities. She also enjoys skiing, horse racing and set up the first ever parliamentary netball group!