Rebecca Harris has been serving Castle Point as the Member of Parliament since 2010, covering South Benfleet, Hadleigh, Thundersley, Daws Heath and Canvey Island. In her current role as Comptroller of HM Household she is working in Parliament to deliver on the Conservative Party 2019 Manifesto promises, ensuring they become law. She continues to support a range of local causes across the constituency.
She was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2010 with a majority of 7,600, and was re-elected in 2015, 2017 and 2019 respectively. Rebecca received 76.7% of the vote share in 2019 and boosted her majority to 26,634, beating her previous majority by 7,762 votes. Prior to the General Election in May 2015, Rebecca was named as the Member of Parliament with the 4th highest voting record in the country and has maintained one of the highest attendance ratings in Parliament since.
Rebecca has spent the majority of her working life in business, principally with Phillimore & Co who are specialist publishers of local British history and have published titles on Hadleigh, Thundersley, Canvey Island, and Daws Heath. At Phillimore, Rebecca started as a delivery driver and worked her way up through the company until she joined the Board as Marketing Director in 1997, a position she held until the sale of the firm in 2007.
Having been an employer, Rebecca believes that now more than ever, the House of Commons needs people with her sort of practical business experience. Through using her negotiation skills, she has achieved a cross party consensus on issues of local importance such as preventing Deans School from closing in 2014 and securing higher levels of Police funding.
Rebecca also has experience of local government having been a councillor for four years. She is strongly committed to "localism" believing that turnouts in local elections will be higher, and decisions will be better if local councils exert more power over the decisions that affect their residents. She has built and maintained effective relationships with local councillors, regardless of party affiliation, which facilitates great results for constituents on local issues.
Rebecca has successfully fought to save green belt sites in Castle Point from development.
Before being elected to represent Castle Point in 2010, Rebecca was the Political Special Adviser to the Shadow Secretary of State for the Department of Trade and Industry, Health, Education, Transport, and Environment respectively. She also worked as a Caseworker part-time in the House of Commons to get a “solid grounding in the role of an MP, a job for which there isn’t any formal training”.
Rebecca is a keen supporter of small businesses, from her background at Phillimore, and campaigned to make sure the Government was doing all it can to ensure support for small enterprise. One issue in particular that Rebecca campaigned on is Business Rates, and she frequently contributed to enquiries on this matter in her role as a member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee. Before the Autumn Statements and Budget days in 2013, Rebecca had correspondence with the Chancellor and was pleased to see him cap small business rates to 2% in December of that year.
Rebecca was a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Visteon Pensioners, the co-chair of the APPG for Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency, and the Chair of the APPG for Brain Tumors. Following the tragic story of Danny Green, an 11 year old Canvey resident who died from a brain tumor, Rebecca campaigned for more funding for Brain Tumor Research and was very pleased in 2018 when the Department of Health and Social Care and Cancer Research UK pledged an additional £45 million for the cause.
After being successfully re-elected in 2015, Rebecca was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Theresa Villiers), and in 2016 was appointed as the PPS to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid).
As a long time Eurosceptic, Rebecca worked hard in the Whips Office to deliver the result of the 2016 Referendum, and represent her constituents of which 72.7 per cent (37,691 people) voted to end the UK’s membership of the EU. Rebecca voted in support of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement at every stage and in favour of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement reached with the EU in 2020. She also voted in favour of the Windsor Framework which replaced the broken Northern Ireland Protocol.
In June 2017, Rebecca was delighted to be appointed to the Government Whips Office, a role which she continues to perform. In July 2022, she was appointed as the first ever female Comptroller of HM Household in over 600 years. This is a senior position within the Whips Office responsible for ensuring all Government legislation progresses through Parliament and into law. In addition, Rebecca is also the Foreign Office Government Whip and the Private Members’ Bills Whip.
Through her role, Rebecca is ensuring that all the policies from the Conservative Party Manifesto are implemented. This includes all the Brexit legislation, but also key domestic reforms whether that be the world-leading Environment Act, safer streets through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, stopping the boats through the Nationality and Borders Act and Illegal Migration Act or support for the cost of living through the Energy Price Guarantee and Cost of Living Payments. Rebecca was also the Whip in charge of the Domestic Abuse Act and was proud to see greater protections for victims become law. She has also ensured all the sanctions against Russia for their barbaric illegal invasion of Ukraine have come into force.
As Private Members’ Bills Whip, Rebecca has been incredibly successful in supporting a record number of backbench MPs bringing forward their proposals to change the law. Some of the most recent legislation includes the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act banning cosmetic procedures for children, the British Sign Language Act to promote the use of BSL and further world-leading animal welfare legislation such the Glue Traps (Offences) Act, Animal (Penalty Notices) Act, Shark Fins Act and Animals (Low Welfare Activities Abroad) Act.
By custom, senior Government Whips are also ceremonially appointed to positions within the Royal Household and so she took part in the procession for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral and King Charles III’s Coronation, both of which she found a true honour. In addition, she also accompanies The King, The Queen and other members of the Royal Family to certain diplomatic and social events.