Sheryll Murray

Sheryll Murray
Member of Parliament
for South East Cornwall
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Colin Breed
Majority 17,443 (32.8%)
Personal details
Born (1956-02-04) 4 February 1956
Millbrook, Cornwall, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Jon Whitehall (divorced)
Neil Murray (deceased)
Children 2
Residence Millbrook, near Torpoint
Website Official website

Sheryll Murray (née Hickman; born 4 February 1956)[1][2] is a Conservative Party politician. She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for South East Cornwall at the 2010 general election.

Early life

Sheryll Murray was born on 4 February 1956 in the village of Millbrook, Cornwall, to Cornish parents, her mother's family lived at Millbrook and her father's family originated from the village of Calstock.[2][3] Her early education was at Millbrook Primary[4] and Torpoint Community College.[5] Murray left the latter at the age of 16 with only 5 O-Levels and worked for the South Western Electricity Board. She then worked for an insurance underwriter and later as a medical receptionist at a GP surgery.[6] She served as a Governor of Torpoint School for nine years until 2008, before standing down to concentrate on campaigning for the forthcoming general election.

Murray prior to her parliamentary career, represented Rame as a Cornwall County Councillor[6] before losing her seat in 2005, and served as Leader of the Conservative Group on Caradon District Council, when a councillor for Millbrook, prior to its abolition in 2009.[6]

Parliamentary career

Murray was selected to contest South East Cornwall in 2010 and gained the seat with a majority of 3,220 and a 9% swing from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives. Murray was the constituency's first ever female MP. In May 2012, she was elected to the 1922 Committee by her Conservative Parliamentary colleagues.[7]

Also in May 2012, she came 12th in the private member's bill ballot.[8] Her Bill, the Marine Navigation (No.2) Bill received Royal Assent as the Marine Navigation Act 2013 in April 2013. In May 2013, she came 4th in the ballot, and introduced a Bill which received Royal Assent as the Deep Sea Mining Act 2014 in May 2014.[9]

Murray has served on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in the House of Commons. Her main policy interests are the environment and tourism; she has campaigned on fisheries issues as a spokesperson for Save Britain's Fish and is a member of the Fishermen's Association.

Murray supported Brexit in the 2016 European Union Referendum.[10]

During the 2017 general election campaign in early June, Murray said at a hustings meeting: "If for instance somebody had moved house, or if their financial situation had changed while they're going through the reassessment and their benefits are delayed, then sometimes they need to call upon the food banks. But I am really pleased we have food banks in south east Cornwall". These controversial comments angered some at the meeting who booed her. Murray in response gestured with her hand towards the group booing her and commented to the rest of the audience, "... and let's ignore these people". This resulted in gasps in the audience and one woman stood up to condemn her. Murray then threatened to call the police to remove the woman from the hustings after she refused to leave of her own accord. Later, she clarified her comments: "Nobody is saying a person going hungry is a good thing and everything must be done to stop this. Whilst we work to eradicate hunger however the food banks themselves do provide a good service".[11][12] After her re-election, Murray called for greater regulation of social media content and protection of MPs from intimidation after claiming that during the campaign she was personally subjected to sustained abuse from users on social media.[13][14]

Personal life

Her first marriage was to Jon Whitehall, a geologist. They divorced after seven years.[6] Murray then married trawlerman Neil Murray, who died in a fishing accident on 24 March 2011.[15] A search by local fishermen and the emergency services discovered his body on board his boat Our Boy Andrew.[16] Murray has one daughter and one son. Her daughter Sally from her first marriage works is an officer in the Royal Navy. Her son Andrew from her second marriage works in marine electronics.[6][17] Her long term partner since 2013 is her campaign manager and office manager Robert Davidson.[18][19][20]

See also


  1. "Sheryll Murray". MyParliament. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. 1 2 "MP explores family's past at archive centre". Cornish Guardian. 11 December 2013.
  3. "Seven in battle for seat". Tavistock Times Gazette. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. "MP congratulates couple on their 65th wedding anniversary". South East Cornwall Conservatives. 30 September 2016. Archived from the original on 22 February 2017.
  5. "Sheryll Murray MP celebrates her old school's 50th Birthday party". South East Cornwall Conservatives. 30 October 2013. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "The 'Cornish Iron Lady' on why we need communities". Plymouth Herald. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  7. Archived 17 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "Result of the Private Members' Bill ballot: Session 2012–13". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 17 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 May 2013.
  9. "Deep Sea Mining Bill: Session 2013–14". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 19 June 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  11. Peyer, Robin de (5 June 2017). "'I'm pleased we have foodbanks': Tory candidate faces backlash after comments filmed at hustings". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 5 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  12. Mortimer, Caroline (6 June 2017). "Tory candidate heckled for saying she's 'pleased' there are food banks". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  13. Horton, Helen (28 June 2017). "'I've had swastikas carved into posters and urination on my office door': Tory MP reveals abuse from the hard left". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017.
  14. "Cornish MP calls for election intimidation clampdown". BBC News. 28 June 2017. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017.
  15. "MP's husband, Neil Murray, dies in fishing accident over night". Plymouth Herald. 25 March 2011. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011.
  16. "Neil Murray husband of Cornwall MP dies on fishing trip". BBC News Online. BBC. 25 March 2011. Archived from the original on 27 March 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  17. Daly, Patrick (7 May 2015). "South East Cornwall: meet your candidates". Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  18. "Register of Members' Financial Interests as at 23 October 2017" (PDF). p. 370. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  19. Swift, Natasha (22 May 2013). "Love again for local MP". St Austell Voice. Archived from the original on 11 November 2017.
  20. Hope, Christopher; Wilkinson, Michael (29 June 2015). "One in five MPs employs a family member: the full list revealed". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 April 2017.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Colin Breed
Member of Parliament for South East Cornwall
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