Susan Kramer: Wikis


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Susan Kramer MP

Assumed office 
5 May 2005
Preceded by Jenny Tonge
Majority 3,731 (7.3%)

Born 22 July 1950 (1950-07-22) (age 59)
Holborn, London
Political party Liberal Democrats
Alma mater Oxford University
Profession Politician
Religion Judaism
Website Susan Kramer MP

Susan Veronica Kramer (born 22 July 1950) is a politician from the United Kingdom. A member of the Liberal Democrat party, she is currently a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Richmond Park.


Early life

Kramer was born in Holborn, London, in 1950. She was educated at St Paul's Girls' School, before going on to St Hilda's College, Oxford, where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and was President of the Oxford Union in 1971. She then did an MBA at the University of Illinois in the United States.

Business career

Kramer began her career in finance, and rose to become a Vice-President of Citibank in Chicago.

She and her husband then set up International Capital Partners, a firm which advises on infrastructure projects, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe. She remains a director of the firm.

Political career


Previous candidacies

In 1999, Kramer was on the Liberal Democrat party list for the London constituency at the European Parliament elections, though she was not elected. The following year, she stood as the official Liberal Democrat candidate in the election for Mayor of London against the incumbent, Ken Livingstone, and other candidates. She finished fourth with 11.9% of the vote. In March 2003, she again sought the party's nomination for Major of London, but was beaten in a three-way race for the candidacy by Simon Hughes, and given the option to stand for Richmond as a consolation by the party.

Member of Parliament

In September 2003, Kramer was selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Richmond Park in South West London, following the decision of the sitting Liberal Democrat MP, Jenny Tonge, to stand down at the next election. Kramer was then elected as the MP for the constituency at the May 2005 general election.

Kramer was appointed Liberal Democrat Shadow International Development Secretary by the new party leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, in March 2006. She succeeded Ed Davey as Shadow Trade & Industry Secretary nine months later. In 2007 she became the party's Shadow Transport Secretary. When Nick Clegg was appointed as Liberal Democrat Leader, Kramer received a demotion to Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office. She later regained the Transport post in a subsequent reshuffle. In January 2009, she resigned from the party's front bench to defend her seat from a renewed Conservative campaign to regain Richmond. Kramer was one of the contributors to the Orange Book (2004).

In 2009, Kramer was involved in a breach of electoral rules when her son made thousands of pounds worth of donations to her campaign whilst not on the electoral register. Kramer was forced to repay the money. [1]

Voting record and positions

Kramer at a reusable bag launch at Kew Gardens station

Kramer rarely rebels against Liberal Democrat policy in terms of voting. She has voted against the introduction of national ID cards, against the renewal of the Trident defence system, and for an elected House of Lords.[1]

Kramer has particularly taken a keen interest in London transport, in particular regarding high-speed rail and the Thameslink Programme. Despite her initial enthusiasm about the opening of High Speed 1, she became more mixed on the issue, citing in 2007 during a debate with a number of Labour MPs that "significant numbers of business customers in south-west London have been happy to make the easy journey by train to Waterloo, but that they simply jump in a cab to go to Gatwick or Heathrow. It is unfortunate, but their passenger business will largely be lost, as the journey to St. Pancras will be more than an hour longer than the current journey to Waterloo."[2] Kramer's district of Richmond Park is situated in an area served by South West Trains which provides service into Waterloo station rather than the newly opened St Pancras International station which replaced the former as the London terminus for Eurostar; she later argued for possible use of both stations.[2]

In addition, she echoed her discontent with the management of the Thameslink Programme, originally meant to improve cross-Thames rail travel, claiming that it has failed to meet set targets and that its cash flow has been poorly managed.[2] She consistently supported Crossrail and was a member of the Crossrail Bill Committee.[3] Kramer has also voiced her opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport and submitted an early day motion that gained support from 54 MPs, 38 from her own party and 16 from the Labour Party.[4] As early as her maiden speech, Kramer made opposition to the airport's expansion one of her key goals as a Member of Parliament.[5]

On civil rights, Kramer voted for amendments to the Equality Act 2006 that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender reassignment.[6] Along with all other Liberal Democrat MPs, she voted to allow Gurkhas permanent settlement rights in the United Kingdom, overriding previous legislation which denied such rights.[6]

Local Issues

In early January 2009 Kramer stepped down from the Liberal Democrat Front Bench to focus on local issues impacting her extremely marginal constituency. [7] The principal cause stated was to coordinate opposition to further development of Heathrow airport whose incoming aircraft routinely overfly her constituents on their landing approach to the airport. Coincidentally she is also facing a spirited challenge from wealthy career environmentalist and Conservative PPC Zac Goldsmith.

She has also become embroiled in the debate over proposed car park charging in Richmond Park royal park which falls within her constituency. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport who manage the park through the Royal Parks Agency intend to introduce car parking charges to recover the costs of necessary improvements to the public parking facilities within the park. [8] Currently no charge is made for the use of these facilities although charges are levied in other London royal parks. [9]


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jenny Tonge
Member of Parliament for Richmond Park


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