Bottomley, Virginia (1948–)

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Bottomley, Virginia (1948–)

Scottish social worker, politician and member of Parliament. Born Virginia Hilda Brunette Maxwell Garnett, Mar 12, 1948, in Dunoon, Scotland; dau. of W. John Garnett (CBE); attended Putney High School, Essex University, and London School of Economics; m. Peter Bottomley (MP), 1967.

Behavioral scientist (1971–84); as a Conservative, unsuccessfully contested 1st seat, Isle ofWight (1983); elected to House of Commons for Surrey South West (1984–2001); worked as parliamentary private secretary under Chris Patten, then Geoffrey Howe; served as junior minister of the Department of the Environment (1988–89); named a health minister (1989); became secretary of state for health (1992) and began reforming the National Health Service, closing several hospitals; became secretary of state for National Heritage (1995); left Parliament (2005).