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Nicky Morgan, New Education Secretary: Everything You Need To Know About Michael Gove's Replacement

14/08/2014 17:03 | Updated 20 May 2015

Nicky Morgan, the new Education Secretary: Everything you need to know about Michael Gove's replacement

'Pale, male and stale' Education Secretary Michael Gove has been replaced by dark-haired, female and fresh Nicky Morgan.

Never heard of her? No, neither had we.

Critics say her promotion - and that of other female MPs - is a cynical and tokenistic gesture by David Cameron to capture the hearts and minds of female voters before next year's General Election (does he really think they're that daft?).

Others point to the fact that, in addition to her new duties, Mrs Morgan will retain her role as Women's Minister, raising the question of just how important the Prime Minister regards the women's issue brief.

So who is Nicky Morgan and what do we know about her views? Here's everything you need to know about the woman who will determine your children's future.

• Nicky Morgan is 41 years old and a mum to six-year-old Alex. She's married to Jonathan, an architect.

• Mrs Morgan was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, and grew up in Surbiton where she attended the independent Surbiton High School before studying Jurisprudence (nope, us neither!) at St. Hugh's College, Oxford.

She qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and worked as a corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions before advising on corporate law matters.

• She was a school governor for eight years and in her spare time Mrs Morgan runs, attends her local church and enjoys cooking, skiing and the cinema.

• She joined the Conservative Party in 1989, becoming the MP for Loughborough in 2010 with a majority of 3,744 votes.

• In the past year, she has enjoyed an extremely swift rise, becoming economic secretary to the Treasury in October 2013.

• She became women's Minister in April 2014, succeeding Maria Miller, and was given the right to attend cabinet as women's minister and financial secretary.

• She is regarded as a loyalist and safe pair of hands, having spent time in the whips' office.

• Mrs Morgan is a trustee of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and voted against same-sex marriage partly because she could not reconcile it with her faith.

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson caused much hilarity by referring to Nicky Morgan as the new education sextary on Twitter. He quickly amended it:

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Because she is such a fresh face, her views on education are few and far between, but here is a selection of her feelings on the issues of student fees, gay marriage and her colleagues in the Conservative party....

MRS MORGAN'S VIEWS ON....STUDENT FEES

Four years ago, Mrs Morgan appeared on The Politics Show with the Loughborough Students' Union Present, Lucy Hopkins, to discuss student fees. She said student numbers were unsustainable and it was fair to ask people to invest in their own education and people should ask more questions about how courses would improve prospects.

She also said university wasn't a rite of passage and that there were other ways of continuing education and she herself had taken eight years to pay her debts.

MRS MORGAN'S VIEWS ON....SAME SEX MARRIAGE

In 2013, Mrs Morgan voted against the introduction of same sex marriage in England and Wales, arguing that marriage could only be between a man and a woman. And she defended her opposition by saying 'teachers' had concerns about the same-sex marriage act.

She told the Leicester Mercury: "First, this is a very big social change. There have been plenty of little changes down the years but what's never been changed is that the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman.

"I think that was one of the issues people, especially those who asked me to vote against, found hardest to accept and it also tied in with my own Christian faith too. I totally support civil partnerships and that same-sex relationships are recognised in law. But marriage, to me, is between a man and a woman.

"The second reason is that people have become a bit cynical about consultations about policy changes at national and local government level. And in this case, I felt the question was not whether the change should be made, but how it should be made and I think we forgot that step of asking if it should be made.

"And the third reason was legal aspects of the bill. For instance, if we have gay marriage, should civil partnerships now also be opened up to heterosexual couples too? Or should we just get rid of civil partnerships altogether?"

These views have led some observers, such as Pink News, to wonder whether she will champion equality in schools.

MRS MORGAN'S VIEWS ON....HER CONSERVATIVE COLLEAGUES

Mrs Morgan isn't afraid to speak up for what she believes in.

Criticising some of her party, she told the Conservative Bright Blue think tank earlier this year: "We're against this, we're anti-that, we don't like them, we don't want them here, we don't want them doing this.

"If we talk about what we hate all the time, we're not talking about we like and what we want to do to help people who want to do well.

"We never say actually we are on the side of these people, we want this to happen and we think this is great."

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