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Tessa was the Liberal Democrat MP for the Wells Constituency from 2010-2015. Elected to Parliament in May 2010, Tessa became the first Lib Dem MP to unseat the Tories since Arthur Hobhouse in 1923.

Tessa has been a member of the Education Select Committee and the Administration Committee. Tessa has served on the Committees for both the Education and Energy Bills. She was also appointed as a junior party whip before being promoted to Parliamentary Private Secretary to Vince Cable in March 2012.

One of the first things Tessa raised with Vince was the unfair system of Business rates which hampers our small businesses, and she is now in the early stages of drafting a Bill on this issue.

Tessa's most high profile campaigns include the relentless lobbying of Energy Ministers and National Grid to prevent Pylons being erected across Somerset, leading the way in forcing rethinks on the Forestry sell off and Caravan Tax, supporting local campaigners in their High Court battle to save Somerset's Libraries and standing up for Young Carers in Somerset. Tessa also has an interest in Cancer treatment and has now asked almost 100 Parliamentary Questions of the Department of Health in her campaign to secure better provision for Cancer patients in the South West.

Prior to being elected for Wells in 2010, Tessa was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Suffolk South in the 2001 General Election and was also the candidate for Ipswich in a Parliamentary by-election in November 2001.

Tessa's career prior to being elected included working in hotels, lecturing in a Further Education College, working in Social Services with adults with learning disabilities, training in the UK and abroad, and volunteering for the Environmental Investigation Agency, Childline and Families Need Fathers. She spent five years as a Regional Advisory Panel member for the National Lottery Charities Board.

Tessa has two children and lives in the historic village of Wedmore in Somerset. She lists among her many hobbies; listening to music and radio, walking, cooking for friends, East African history and reading and researching her family's history.