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Caroline's Biography

Dr Caroline Jackson is a Conservative politician, now retired and reinvigorated as a military historian.

She was born in 1946 in Penzance, Cornwall, and educated in Penzance and at St Hugh's College and Nuffield College Oxford. She studied Classics and History and holds an Oxford Doctorate in Philosophy with a thesis on 19th century politics. She is a former research Fellow of St Hugh's College.  She is married to Robert Jackson, former MP for Wantage and Minister for Higher Education. Outside politics her main interests are music (playing the piano) and gardening.

She served as a Conservative MEP from 1984 to 1999, representing Wiltshire North and Bath, and from 1999 to 2009 as one of the Conservative MEPs for the South West of England ( ) She

had previously fought Birmingham Erdington in the February 1974 General Election.

From 1999 to 2004 she was Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety – one of the largest and busiest of the legislative committees of the Parliament ( ). During this time she directed the committee particularly towards  the issue of the Member States' with the EU laws they had adoptedl It was pointed out that at that time she was ‘the most powerful Conservative in Europe’, since she had much more power to decide the environmental agenda than Opposition spokesmen in London. Legislation passed during her chairmanship included the proposals on the control of chemicals (the REACH programme) and the first producer responsibility directives concerning waste.

She acted as rapporteur on the Landfill Directive in 1998 and on the Waste Framework Directive in 2008. This EU legislation ultimately led to considerable changes in Biritsh practise, and to a much greater emphasis on re-cycling. She also steered through the Parliament the first directive on the protection of animals used in experiments, and directives on product safety, food additives, and better protection for package tourists.

Outside the Parliament she was Chairman of the Institute for European Environment Policy, which has offices in London and Brussels ( She was also a member of the Advisory Board of SITA UK plc ( ).

In 2010 she discovered the military diaries of General James Primrose (181`9-18`92).These recorded the General's service in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where the British were fighting the native tribes bordering the Kei river in the early 1850s. They also recorded the General's time as Governor of Kandahar in Afghanistan in 1880. This was when the British suffered a heavy defeat there at the battle of Maiwand. Primrose himself became the principal scape-goat for British failures and was only re-habilitated in 1885.


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