Meet Caroline Spelman, British Tory chairman who is under investigation for using public funds to pay for her children’s nanny. Read her biography and see photos and a video below.

Westminster’s sleaze watchdog announced yesterday that Tory chairman, Caroline Spelman, will be investigated for using part of her taxpayer funds to pay for a nanny for her children. The alleged nanny pay sleaze is being referred to as ‘Nannygate’.

The investigation is the result of Spelman using her secretary for nanny duties during her first years in Parliament. Mrs. Spelman reported the situation herself and asked for a full investigation in order to clear her name. She does not have a reputation for wrongdoing and many people feel she is innocent of willful wrongdoing in this case.

She reported that during 1997 and 1998 she employed Tina Haynes to perform secretarial duties and paid her out of her expenses. When her children were out of school Haynes performed nanny duties. At the time, the head of the Tory party at the time told her that, while the situation was legal, it could be open for misinterpretation.

It was brought out over the weekend that Haynes was paid for a little longer than Spelman had suggested. Spelman also failed to be clear about the fact that Haynes lived in the home with the Spelmans in Kent which is over 140 miles from the MP’s constituency in the West Midlands, where she was supposed to be working.

The normal deadline for these sorts of investigations is seven years. However, there are several circumstances in this case that warrant a full investigation in spite of it being an eleven year old case. In particular, the Tory party leader has just assigned Mrs. Spelman as a ‘sleazebuster’ to monitor the perks of Tory MPs. This followed the forced resignation of Giles Chichester last week after it was discovered he had used more than £400,000 of his staff expenses for his family company.

Caroline Spelman Biography

Caroline Alice Cormack was born on May 4, 1958 in Bishop’s Stortford. She attended Herts and Essex High School for Girls. She graduated from the University of London’s Queen Mary Collegen with a BA First Class in European Studies.

She married Mark Spelman on April 25, 1987. He is a senior partner at Accenture. They have two sons and a daughter.

Spelman was Sugar Beet commodity secretary for the National Farmer’s Union from 1981 – 1984. From 1984 – 1989 she served as deputy director of La Confédération Internationale des Betteraviers Européens CIBE in Paris. She was a research fellow for the Center for European Agricultural Studies from 1989 – 1993. She also has served as the Director of Spelman, Cormack and Associates since 1989. She has been the MP for Meriden, West Midlands since 1997. She has been the party chairman since July 2007.

Caroline Spelman – Video