Virginia Hilda Brunette Maxwell Bottomley, Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, PC, DL (néeGarnett, born 12 March 1948) is a British Conservative Party politician. She was a Member of Parliament(MP) in the House of Commons from 1984 to 2005. She was raised to the peerage in 2005. Considered to be a “One Nation Conservative“, Bottomley is a Life Member of the Tory Reform Group.
irginia Hilda Brunette Maxwell Garnett was born in Dunoon, Scotland to W. John Garnett, former director of what was then called The Industrial Society, and Barbara Rutherford-Smith, a teacher and elected Conservative member of the Inner London Education Authority. Her paternal aunt was LabourGreater London Council Member Margaret (Peggy) Jay. She first met Peter Bottomley, her future husband, when she was 12 years old; they wed in 1967.
Bottomley was educated at Putney High School, an independent school for girls in Putney in south-west London, before going up to the University of Essex (BA). She later graduated from the London School of Economics with the degree of Master of Arts (MA). She began her working life as a social scientist, researcher for Child Poverty Action Group, social worker, magistrate (Justice of the Peace), and Chairman of the Inner London Juvenile Court.
She was a member of the Supervisory Board of Akzo Nobel NV from 2000–12, an NED on BUPA 2007–2013 and currently Smith and Nephew and a Trustee of The Economist Newspaper. As part of her pro-bono activities, Virginia is Chancellor of the University of Hull and Governor of the London School of Economics. She is a member of the UK Advisory Council of the International Chamber of Commerce. She has been Chair of the Board Practice at executive head-hunting firm Odgers Berndtson since 2000