Anna was born on 7th December 1956, in Lincoln County Hospital where her mother worked as a radiographer. Her father had garages at Ranby and Worksop and until she was 8, Anna lived at Dunham-on-Trent. Anna and her family then moved to Clumber Park where they lived for many years until Anna's parents moved to Tuxford. Before his death, Anna's father worked at Bell Fruit in Nottingham and until her retirement Anna's mother worked for forty years in the NHS as a radiographer. Anna has two younger brothers; Charlie has worked at the QMC for over twenty years and the youngest (William) lives with his family in Hucknall and works as a car auctioneer.
Anna went to Dunham Primary School, Lorne House in Retford and the Hartland Comprehensive School in Worksop. After her A levels, Anna read Law at University of Birmingham and went on to train as a barrister. Anna first joined the Conservative Party at university (after a short spell as a member of the Liberal Party) and was involved in student politics. Anna went on to be elected as the first female Conservative to the National Union of Students Executive.
Student politics took Anna to Scotland as she was elected as Honorary president (Rector) of Stirling University. In need of a job and having always harboured an ambition to work in radio and television. Anna worked as a trainee reporter on the Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser. After a year Anna sucessfully applied for a job at Grampian TV in Aberdeen as a reporter and presenter on North Tonight. After two years at Grampian, Anna joined Central TV as a reporter on Central News East.
During her time at Central, Anna was the shop steward of the National Union of Journalists. At Central, Anna worked on a number of programmes: notably Central Weekend Live and Heart of the Country. Towards the end of Anna’s time in television Anna worked on “This Morning” with Richard and Judy and other programmes for Channel 4 and BBC 1.
In the mid 1990s, Anna left TV and returned to the Bar. Anna began working as a criminal barrister in Nottingham and practised until being elected to serve Broxtowe as Member of Parliament in the 2010 General Election. Anna was appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Health Minister, Simon Burns in November 2010. Anna was appointed a junior Health Minister in September 2012. In the Ministerial reshuffle in October 2013, Anna was appointed the first female MP Defence Minister and was promoted to Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans in July 2014.
In 2015 Anna was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Broxtowe with a majority of 4,287. After more than a year attending Cabinet as Minister of State for Small Business, Anna chose to return to the backbenches in July 2016.
Anna has two daughters, who both work in London.
Anna spends as much free time as she can with her daughters and her partner, Neil Davidson. Anna likes to cook and garden whenever she gets the chance, and watches football (Nottingham Forest and Notts. County), rugby (Leicester Tigers) and cricket (England and Notts.)