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Kerry McCarthy
British politician

Kerry McCarthy

Kerry McCarthy
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British politician
A.K.A. Kerry Gillian McCarthy
Is Politician
From United Kingdom
Field Politics
Gender female
Birth 26 March 1965, Luton
Age 57 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Kerry Gillian McCarthy (born 26 March 1965) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bristol East since 2005 and was the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from September 2015 to June 2016.

Early life and career

McCarthy was born in Luton, where she attended Denbigh High School, followed by Luton Sixth Form College. McCarthy studied at the University of Liverpool reading Russian Studies, before studying law at City of London Polytechnic.

McCarthy qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and worked as a lawyer for Abbey National Treasury Services (1994–1996), Merrill Lynch Europe (1996–1999) and the Labour Party (2001). She was a director of London Luton Airport Ltd (1999–2003), a director at Britain in Europe (2002–2004), and Head of Public Policy at the Waterfront Partnership (2004–2005).

McCarthy began a doctorate on Labour links with the City of London at Goldsmith's College, but did not complete it. She was a councillor in Luton, and was a member of Labour's National Policy Forum.

Parliamentary career

In 2005, McCarthy was selected as the Labour candidate for Bristol East through an all-women shortlist and retained the seat for her party at the 2005 general election. She was appointed a member of the Treasury Select Committee, and was involved in its inquiries into financial inclusion, globalisation and the role of the International Monetary Fund, and the administration of tax credits. She has also sat on two Finance Bill committees, as well as the UK Borders Bill Committee, the Offender Management Bill Committee and the Mental Health Bill Committee. She was described as a Gordon Brown loyalist, stating in 2005 that "The Chancellor's nine Budgets are the bedrock of all that we have achieved in government".

In April 2007, McCarthy was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Rosie Winterton, Minister for Health Services, and helped her steer the Mental Health Bill through the Commons. From July 2007 to January 2009, she worked as the PPS to Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, before being made a Junior Whip in June 2009. She is chair of the South West Group of Labour MPs, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Somaliland, a member of Labour's National Policy Forum, and lead contact for the End Child Poverty campaign among Labour MPs in parliament. She has not voted against the party line since March 2007.

She was re-elected at the 2010 General Election, with her majority reduced by more than a half. She was appointed as a temporary shadow Minister for work and pensions until October 2010 when she was appointed as a junior shadow Minister to the Treasury. She had supported Ed Balls' unsuccessful bid to become Labour leader. In September 2011, McCarthy was made Shadow Foreign Office Minister with a responsibility for human rights.

She is believed to be the first MP to deliver a speech in Parliament with the aid of an iPad.

On World Vegan Day in November 2011, McCarthy became the first MP to set out in Parliament the case for becoming vegan.

After being re-elected with an increased majority in the 2015 General Election, McCarthy nominated Andy Burnham in that year's Labour leadership campaign. She was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in September 2015. She argued in a Spring 2015 interview with Viva!life, a magazine for vegans, that meat should be treated like tobacco, with "public campaigns to stop people eating it". Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said her opinions "are completely out of step with the vast majority of people". "The world is not going to turn vegan because I am in post", McCarthy said on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today shortly after her appointment. "I have my own personal views on what I choose to eat, but I accept that we have a livestock industry in this country. What I want is for the industry to have the best welfare standards possible, to be sustainable as well as economically viable."

On 26 June 2016, McCarthy was among dozens of shadow ministers who resigned from Corbyn's team. She argued that "a new leader is needed to take on the challenges ahead". According to McCarthy, in an article for The Huffington Post: "When the leader's office did venture into Defra territory, they didn't talk to the shadow team". McCarthy does not believe Corbyn is the right Labour leader or a potential prime minister.


In May 2009 McCarthy repaid £402 for a second bed claimed in expenses for her one bedroom flat. She stated the claim had been made in error.

In October 2010 McCarthy admitted a charge of electoral fraud, accepting a police caution for revealing on Twitter the number of postal votes cast per party in her constituency at the 2010 election, and apologised for this action.

In May 2012 McCarthy branded a fellow train passenger a "lager drinking oaf" and suggested he should "have been killed before he could breed" in comments made to over 13,000 followers on Twitter.

On 27 November 2015, Kerry McCarthy attracted publicity and some ridicule for tweeting on Twitter that the term "fishermen" should not be used and that a "gender-neutral" alternative should be found and substituted for it.

Personal life

McCarthy is a vegan, and has given talks on the subject. She was a presenter at the Vegan Society's 2005 annual awards. She divides her time between Bristol and London, and is a part-owner of a house in Luton. She is a vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports.

McCarthy is a fan of punk and post-punk music, and has credited reading the music press as a teenager with sparking an interest in politics - in a 2015 interview she claimed that she "studied Russian at university because Dostoevsky was mentioned in a Joy Division tune". She has written about industrial bands including Cabaret Voltaire and Test Dept for the website Louder Than War.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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