Stacy Eloise Silverman (born December 5, 1961) is an English politician and current Prime Minister of England. When she became Prime Minister in 2006 she was the youngest Prime Minister since 1884 (a record later surpassed by Tony Miller).
She graduated from the Birmingham School of Economics in 1986, working initially for the investment bank Winton Chequers. In 1990 she began working at the Institute for Market Reform, a think-tank closely associated with Megan Taylor. She became closely associated with the group, becoming the institute's director in 1994. She was elected to Parliament in 1996 as the National Party MP for Billericay, and entered cabinet as Energy Secretary in 2001. She supported Megan Taylor when challenged for the leadership, playing a role in her unsuccessful campaign.
Silverman held several cabinet posts under Taylor Richard Palmer, including Minister without Portfolio (1999-2001), Environment Secretary (2001-2002), Trade Secretary (2002-2004) and Chancellor of the Exchequer (2004-2006). In 2003 she was elected Deputy Leader of the National Party, and appointed Deputy Prime Minister. In February 2006 she challenged Richard Palmer for the National Party leadership, defeating him.
In January 2008 she was challenged for the National Party leadership by Felix Trevelyan, losing by a narrow margin. She was re-elected to parliament at the 2008 election, but returned to the backbenches. Silverman built up a career as a media personality and political commentator.
Silverman made a surprise return to frontline politics in June 2013, being re-elected leader of the National Party. She led the National Party to victory at the 2014 general election, becoming the first former Prime Minister to return to office since 1932. She was re-elected at the 2017 general election with an increased majority.
Stacy Silverman was born on December 5, 1961 in Chelmsford, Essex. She attended Chelmsford Grammar School for Girls from 1978 to 1983. She then studied Economic Theory and Practice at the Birmingham School of Economics, graduating in 1986. She worked at Whiteheads Interntional Investment Bank from 1986 until 1990. From 1990 until 1996 she worked at the Institute for Market Reform, a free market think tank that had a major influence on National Party economic thinking through the 1990s and was to become closely associated with Megan Taylor.
Silverman joined the National Party in 1983 whilst at university, although was not immediately active in campaigning. She was placed on the approved list of potential candidates by National Party HQ in 1990, but declined to put herself forward as a candidate, despite urgings from senior party officials.
She was selected for the safe National Party seat of Billericay in June 1995, however she was unable to spend much time actively campaigning due to her role as director of the Institute for Market Reform. She was easily elected, but with a substantially reduced majority.
Member of Parliament 1996-1999
Silverman built up a reputation on the backbenches as a government loyalist, and held regular meetings with cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister herself, acting as an informal advisor. She consistantly voted with the government, and was one of the least rebellious National MPs. In 1997 she joined the government as Undersecretary in the Department of Trade and Industry.
Silverman was comfortably re-elected in her Billericay constituency at the 1999 election with an increased majority, in the face of a national swing against the government, largely due to boundary changes.
The day after the election she was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio, making her the youngest member of the cabinet. She was granted special responsibility for internal cabinet office reform, and was responsible for the sale of several cabinet office owned buildings. Silverman was considered one of Megan Taylor's most loyal supporters, and a possible successor following Taylor's retirement.
When, in November 2001, Richard Palmer challenged Megan Taylor for the National Party leadership she was a strong supporter of Taylor, and acted as one of the prominent organisers of her campaign. Following the sucession of Richard Palmer to the premiership Silverman was reshuffled to become Environment Secretary responsible for reforming local government.
After the 2002 general election she became Trade Secretary, pursuing a policy of regulation removal, repealing five regulations for every new one implemented. The policy was considred a gimmick by some but proved very popular within the National Party, and built up her reputation as the darling of the Taylorite right wing.
In 2003 she was elected Deputy Leader of the National Party, with the support of Richard Palmer. It was thought the Palmer-Silverman duo would create a united ticket between the centrist Palmer and the radical Silverman. Despite being Deputy Leader however Palmer refused to appoint Silverman Deputy Prime Minister, something that did draw some criticism.
In March 2004 she was promoted to become Chancellor of the Exchequer, the first woman to hold the position. She used her 2004 budget to significantly reduce income tax, and increase public spending on healthcare and education, benefitting from a strong economy.
National Party Leadership Election
Despite the government's re-election at the 2005 general election, the result saw the National Party lose a considerable number of seats and votes. Leadership tensions began to rise, and speculation began almost immediately after the election that Richard Palmer would be replaced as National leader before the next election, due by 2008.
Silverman remained publicly loyal to Palmer, and during her speech to National Party conference in October 2005 went as far as to say "An enemy of Richard is an enemy of mine". However the situation within the government declined over the christmas period. The Prime Minister privately blamed Silverman for the defeat, believing she was too hesitant to relax controls on public spending, and even mooted the idea to aides of reshuffling her to become Home Secretary.
On February 9th 2006 Silverman announced her intention to challenge Palmer for the National Party leadership, and quickly gained the support of a significant number of backbenchers and former cabinet ministers. Almost all of the cabinet supported Palmer.
First Premiership 2006-2008
On February 15th 2006 Silverman entered office as Prime Minister of England for the first time, at the age of 44, making her the youngest Prime Minister since 1884.
Contrary to expectations Silverman did not stand down at the 2008 election, comfortably holding her Billericay seat despite National losing the election nationwide. In July 2008 she signed a deal with Channel 3 News to appear as a talk panellist and commentator. In January 2009 she was given her own weekly politics discussion programme Silverman on Sunday. She became a noted critic of Felix Trevelyan's leadership style.
She was re-elected MP for Billericay at the 2011 general election, during the campaign period she did not appear on Silverman on Sunday. During the election campaign a reality television series Stacy's Britain, was created, showing Silverman's personal life and struggles during the election campaign. In October 2011 she released her book Changing Places setting out her view about changing Britain, in a move widely seen as releasing her personal manifesto. During this period there was much speculation that she would challenge Felix Trevelyan for the National Party leadership. In 2012 she underwent something of an "image makeover", including allegations of cosmetic surgery, with her bleach blonde hair leading to some making obvious comparisons to newly elected Scottish Prime Minister Karen King.
Return to leadership 2013-2014
On June 23rd 2013 after days of speculation Silverman announced her intention to challenge Felix Trevelyan for the National Party leadership. She received significant public support almost immediately, including the backing of former Prime Minister Megan Taylor. On June 26th in a surprising move Defence spokesman Owen Sinclair announced he too would run for the leadership against Silverman and Trevelyan. Sinclair had long been seen as a centrist figure and Trevelyan loyalist.
The first ballot held on 1st July 2013 resulted in Silverman winning 159 votes to Trevelyan's 78 and Sinclair's 50, resulting in a clear victory for Silverman on the first ballot. In doing so she became the first former National Party leader to serve non-consecutive terms.
Silverman announced a major shadow cabinet reshuffle over the following week, sacking prominent members such as Shadow Chancellor Iain Gruber. The National Party suddenly took a significant lead in the polls, a lead that was to be maintained up to the 2014 general election.
On April 11th 2014 Silverman revealed the National Party manifesto, promising increased investment in the police, the armed forces, and a tougher stance on immigration. The party also promised significant tax cuts, and the sale of unecessary public buildings.
Second Premiership 2014-present
Silverman was appointed as Prime Minister by Queen Charlotte II at 3pm on May 2 2014.
2017 General Election
In March 2017 Silverman announced, as expected, that the next general election would take place on June 4th, 2017. The National Party had been ahead in the polls for most of the 2014-17 parliament, and when the election was called expectations were for a landslide National victory, possibly winning as many as 390 seats.
The election resulted in the National Party gaining 30 seats, winning 361 seats in the new parliament. This was only the second time since 1972 that an incumbent government had increased its majority.
Silverman first married Alexander Kane on July 3rd 1988, although retaining her maiden name. They divorced in 1999.
In 2004 she married businessman Damon Tyncroft. They separated in 2010 and divorced in 2012.