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I had the honour of being elected the Member of Parliament for
Wirral West in May 2015, winning the seat from the Conservative Party.
I previously worked as an English teacher in secondary schools, a
lecturer in further education and an adult education tutor. I have also worked
as a travel writer and web editor.
Before I became an MP, I was a health campaigner and founder
member of Defend our NHS, a Merseyside-based campaign group which was
originally formed in 2011 to oppose the Health and Social Care Bill.
I will always oppose NHS privatisation and will continue to fight
for a properly funded NHS. In July 2016, I presented the NHS Bill to
Parliament. The Bill sought to put a stop to the privatisation of the NHS,
remove the costly and inefficient internal market and reinstate the NHS as a
Up until my appointment to Labour’s Front Bench, I was a member of
the Environmental Audit Committee, examining the impact of government policy on
I care deeply about issues relating to climate change and the
environment and understand how important the natural world is to the
character of Wirral West. I led the campaign against Underground Coal
Gasification (UCG) in the Dee Estuary; UCG would have seen the drilling for
coal gas under Hilbre Island and I am pleased to say that this campaign has
been successful so far. I have opposed
proposals for the Hoylake Golf Resort and am committed to protecting the Green
From March 2018, I had the privilege of serving as Shadow
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. During my two years in post, I held
the Government to account on the deep cuts made to social security, their
record on child poverty and the disastrous roll out of Universal Credit which has
caused hardship to so many.
Prior to this, I had been Shadow Employment Minister, and before that I was
Parliamentary Private Secretary to previous Shadow Secretaries of State for
Work and Pensions Debbie Abrahams MP and Owen Smith MP.
I was delighted to be appointed Shadow Schools Minister in April
2020. As a former teacher, I have insight into the issues facing pupils,
parents and teachers. I work with colleagues to hold the government to account
on education and develop Labour’s policies in this area.
In my Maiden Speech
Parliament, I paid tribute to the strength and character of Wirral West’s
varied communities which define this great constituency. I am incredibly proud
to serve as MP for Wirral West, and to have been re-elected in the 2017 and
2019 General Elections. I will continue to be a strong advocate for Wirral West
in Parliament and to work hard to support my constituents.