Lucy Allan was born in Cheltenham on 2 October 1964, the daughter of a farmer and a teacher, growing up near Totnes, Devon. She is related to the Scottish radical socialist suffragette Janie Allan, whose family owned the Allan Line shipping company.
Allan was educated at Durham University and Kingston Law School. She has a degree in anthropology and a master's degree in employment law.
Allan joined Price Waterhouse as a trainee in 1987, where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant and specialised in business turnaround, and in 1994 she further qualified as a Chartered Secretary in the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
In 1994, she moved into Investment Management, reaching director level, working for UBS Warburg, Gartmore Investment, De La Rue, Mercury Asset Management and First State Investments. While Head of Investment Trusts at First State Investments, which ran the Scottish American Investment Company (SAINTS) and Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust, she was suspended in September 2003 over alleged plagiarism in statements issued by SAINTS. In January 2004 she was made redundant, after First State Investments ceased to manage SAINTS.
In 2004, Allan began her master's degree in employment law and set up her employment law consultancy, specialising in discrimination and maternity issues. In 2009, Allan became a non-executive director of Wandsworth NHS primary care trust. She has served as an employment tribunal panellist.
Allan was elected as a local councillor to Wandsworth London Borough Council in 2006 and served until 2012.
In March 2013, she was selected as the Conservative Party parliamentary candidate to contest the marginal constituency of Telford in the 2015 General Election. She advocated a direct rail link to London from the town and aimed to tackle the high rate of youth unemployment in Telford.
After Allan made a visit to her GP seeking help with symptoms of depression following a family bereavement in 2010, Wandsworth Council launched a child protection investigation, claiming Allan's 10-year-old son was at risk of significant harm. In the wake of the controversy which followed, Allan stood down from the Council, and from her directorship with the NHS. In 2011, following legal action by Allan, social services decided to take no further action.
Based on her family's experience, she founded Family First Group, a lobby group which campaigns to reduce the number of children in state care, for improvements to the UK child protection system and support for families affected by it.
In 2012, Allan fronted a media campaign on child protection injustice, which included an appearance on ITV's This Morning. She used the media coverage to build a political profile for the Family First Campaign, working with Ministers, children's charities, and families to identify and remedy shortcomings in the child protection system. She participated in an edition of ITV's Exposure documentary series on this subject on 15 July 2014, Don't Take My Child.
In December 2015, Allan posted on Facebook an email she said she received from a constituent; the email was edited and ended with the words "unless you die". Allan later acknowledged that she had added those words to the email (saying she had taken them from a different email) – leading to accusations of her faking a death threat. Allan deactivated her Facebook and Twitter accounts following the incident. Allan later apologised for creating a "misleading impression", and said the controversy was not about her use of social media, but due to "activists unhappy they didn't get the MP they wanted".
In December 2015, Allan was accused of bullying members of staff, and leaving a series of voicemail messages to a sick employee allegedly including a threat of dismissal. On 21 December 2015, a statement about the allegations was published on Allan's website but deleted later in the day. The statement apologised for Allan's voicemail messages, which were publicly released, but stated the bullying allegations were unfounded and was critical of a former employee; the London Evening Standard characterised the statement as "a long rebuttal". Later in January 2016, Allan acknowledged sending the voicemails was "stupid" and she regretted shouting at the employee, but denied her actions amounted to bullying.
In April 2016, Allen used Facebook to say: "Hard-working people in Telford don't get why privileged trainee doctors, on course to earn £100,000 plus, will hold NHS to ransom and deprive ordinary people of emergency care. I don't get it either.” Her comments were criticised by junior doctors, with one saying that many of her fellow graduates were still junior doctors who can work “horrific shift patterns” and move hospital every 12 months..
In January 2016, Allan stated that on national issues her approach in general is to advance within parliament the "libertarian agenda", to prevent the increasing influence of the state. For example, she was against a sugar tax that was under consideration by her party. Allan voted to leave the EU in the June 2016 referendum.
In June 2016, Allan introduced a private member's bill to repeal provisions in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to require staff to report possible signs of extremism or radicalisation amongst primary and nursery school aged children, following a number of high-profile cases where the provision was inappropriately used in relation the government's Prevent strategy.
Allan is married to a stockbroker and has a son. They live in Southfields, Wandsworth. Allan also has a constituency house in Lawley Bank, Telford.