Political party Labour
Spouse Edward Miliband (m. 2011)
Party Labour Party
Name Justine Thornton
|Born 25 September 1970 (age 45) (1970-09-25) Manchester, Lancashire, England|
Alma mater Robinson College, Cambridge
Education Robinson College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge
Similar People Edward Miliband, David Miliband, Ralph Miliband, Marion Kozak
Political leaders' wives: Justine Miliband in 60 seconds
Justine Thornton, QC (born 16 September 1970) is a British lawyer specialising in Environmental law.
- Political leaders wives Justine Miliband in 60 seconds
- Early life and education
- Personal life
She is married to Ed Miliband, former Leader of the Labour Party, and is a former child actress who appeared in Dramarama and Hardwicke House.
Early life and education
Thornton was born in Manchester to Labour-voting professionals, Margaret and Dr Stewart Thornton. Her mother was born in Wales, and her orthopaedic surgeon grandfather, who was based in Ammanford, was a speaker on social affairs. The family moved to Nottingham, where Justine was educated at West Bridgford School.
As a pupil at West Bridgford Comprehensive School, she appeared to be heading for an acting career. Thornton was a member of the Central Junior Television Workshop at the age of 16. In 1987 she starred as Erica, a rebellious schoolgirl, in the hour-long pilot episode "The Visit" of Hardwicke House, an ITV sitcom that was later pulled from the schedules after only two episodes had been transmitted following a backlash over its content. In 1988, she appeared as "Chrissie" in an episode of the long-running children's programme Dramarama titled "Snap Decision", which was aired in January 1989.
Putting her acting career behind her, Thornton read Law at Robinson College, Cambridge, graduating in 1992. She became a barrister in 1994. Thornton was appointed Queen's Counsel in January 2016.
Thornton practises in Environmental Law, now at 39 Essex Chambers. The 2010 edition of Legal 500, the lawyers’ directory described her as “first class”.
She was appointed an Advisor to the British Government on Biotechnology and the Environment under New Labour in 2000, a role she held until 2005 and was later on the Attorney-General's C Panel. She was later Chairwoman of SERA, Labour's Environment campaign. She has also acted on behalf of the Welsh Assembly, and in 2009 was shortlisted for Chambers and Partners "Environmental and Planning Junior of the Year".
Thornton has worked on several law-related publications, as general editor of Sweet and Maxwell's Encyclopedia of Environmental Law, and a co-author of Sweet and Maxwell's textbook on Environmental law. She also co-authored the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 Law Society Legislation Guides.
She became an Associate Governor of Brookfield Primary School in 2009.
Thornton's husband is former Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband MP. They met in 2002, and live together at Dartmouth Park in North London. The couple were engaged in March 2010, and married at Langar Hall near Nottingham on 27 May 2011. They have two sons – Daniel (b. 2009) and Samuel (b. 2010).
Thornton has been a long-term friend of The Hon. Frances Osborne, the wife of former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne, whom she met whilst studying for the Bar in London.