Villiers was a well known Eurosceptic MEP for the London region before entering the Commons in 2005 as MP for Chipping Barnet. Just seven months after her election, Villiers joined the shadow cabinet as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury. She was given the transport portfolio in July 2007.
WHAT IS HER BACKGROUND?
She grew up in north London and was educated at the independent Francis Holland School in central London. Villiers gained a first-class law degree from the University of Bristol and went to work as a barrister and lecturer before becoming an MEP.
WHERE DOES SHE SIT POLITICALLY?
She may be a strong Eurosceptic but Villiers is also seen as a moderniser. She was one of the first 20 MPs to back Cameron's leadership bid in 2005.
IS SHE SOMEONE TO WATCH?
Upon her election in 2005, Villiers was billed as a rising star of the party. She was promoted to the shadow cabinet within months but did not last very long as part of George Osborne's shadow treasury team. Villiers' admirers say that she is charming and intelligent; others wonder whether her star is now fading.
SOMETHING I MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN
Villiers is part of an old English political family and is said to be related to the 1st and 2nd Dukes of Buckingham.