Lucy Powell


Lucy Maria Powell (born 10 October 1974)[1] is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician serving as the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing since 2021, and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Manchester Central since 2012.

Lucy Powell

Powell in 2019
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing
Assumed office
9 May 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byThangam Debbonaire
Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers
In office
9 April 2020  9 May 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byBill Esterson
Succeeded bySeema Malhotra
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
In office
13 September 2015  26 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byTristram Hunt
Succeeded byPat Glass
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
5 November 2014  13 September 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded byMichael Dugher
Succeeded byTom Watson
Shadow Minister for Childcare and Early Years
In office
7 October 2013  5 November 2014
Preceded bySharon Hodgson
Succeeded byAlison McGovern (Children and Families)
Member of Parliament
for Manchester Central
Assumed office
15 November 2012
Preceded byTony Lloyd
Majority29,089 (55.6%)
Personal details
Born
Lucy Maria Powell

(1974-10-10) 10 October 1974 (age 46)
Manchester, England
Political partyLabour and Co-operative
Spouse(s)James Williamson
Children2 children
Alma materSomerville College, Oxford
King's College London
WebsiteOfficial website

Prior to her election, she worked in campaigning and PR roles for Britain in Europe, NESTA and the Labour Party. She was a shadow Cabinet Office minister and vice-chair for the 2015 general election campaign. She was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education in September 2015, but resigned in June 2016. She served as Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers from April 2020 to May 2021.

Early life


Powell was born in Moss Side. She attended Beaver Road Primary School and Parrs Wood High School in the suburb of Didsbury, and then studied for A-levels at Xaverian College.[2] She studied Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, and King's College London.[3]

Powell joined the Labour Party at the age of fifteen.[citation needed]

Political career


Powell began her career working as a parliamentary assistant for Beverley Hughes MP after having worked at the Labour Party Headquarters in Millbank Tower during the 1997 general election campaign.[4]

She joined the pro-Euro and pro-EU Treaty pressure group Britain in Europe (BiE), originally in a public relations role and later as head of regional campaigning.[citation needed] She later replaced Simon Buckby as Campaign Director of BiE and in this capacity she worked with Chris Patten, Neil Kinnock, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander.[5] After Britain in Europe was wound down in June 2005 because of the referendum "No" votes in France and the Netherlands, she worked for the non-departmental public body or quango NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), initially in a public affairs role and later to establish and manage the Manchester Innovation Fund project.[citation needed]

She was selected as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Manchester Withington in April 2007. She failed to defeat the incumbent Liberal Democrat, John Leech at the 2010 general election.

From May 2010 to September 2010 Powell managed Ed Miliband's successful campaign for the Labour Party leadership.[6] She then served as Miliband's acting and later deputy chief of staff from September 2010 to April 2012.[citation needed]

She was selected by the local Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in April 2012 for the 15 November 2012 Manchester Central by-election defeating local councillors Mike Amesbury and Rosa Battle and the London councillor Patrick Vernon. The by-election was triggered by Tony Lloyd who stepped down as its MP to contest the 2012 England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner elections for Greater Manchester Police area.[citation needed]

Member of Parliament (2012–present)

Powell was elected at the Manchester Central by-election held in November 2012. She won the election with a majority of 9,936 votes.[7] Voter turnout of 18.2% at the by-election is believed to be the lowest in a by-election since the Second World War.[8] Powell became Manchester's first female Labour member of parliament[9] and the first woman elected from Manchester since 1964.[10]

Powell first joined the opposition front-bench in October 2013 as Shadow Childcare and Early Years Minister,[11] and entered the Shadow Cabinet in November 2014 as Shadow Cabinet Office Minister.

Powell was appointed vice-chair of the 2015 general election campaign by Ed Miliband,[12] in which Labour suffered a net loss of 26 seats, including a net loss of 40 seats in Scotland.[13][14] She was heavily criticised for apparently suggesting that Labour's election pledges were liable to be broken: in talking about the so-called EdStone, she commented: "I don't think anyone is suggesting that the fact that he's carved them into stone means that he is absolutely not going to break them or anything like that." She said that she had been quoted out of context.[15] She was responsible for Ed Miliband's interview with Russell Brand, described as a PR blunder.[16] As a result of these actions coupled to the result, Tanya Gold writing for The Sunday Times described her as "discredited".[17] In response to the result, Powell stated, "I bear my share of responsibility in this".[18]

In the 2015 Labour Party leadership election, she nominated Andy Burnham.[19]

Powell was appointed as Shadow Education Secretary on 13 September 2015 by Jeremy Corbyn, succeeding Tristram Hunt. As Shadow Education Secretary, she argued for bringing free schools and academies under Local Education Authority control.[20] She resigned from the Shadow Cabinet on 26 June 2016, along with dozens of shadow cabinet colleagues unhappy with Corbyn's leadership.[21][22] She supported Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[23] However, she later stated that, "We were wrong about Jeremy Corbyn" in an interview after the 2017 general election.[24]

In September 2017, the political commentator Iain Dale placed Powell at Number 81 in The 100 Most Influential People on the Left.[25]

In September 2018, Powell introduced legislation in the House of Commons to ban secret, private, invite-only groups on Facebook and hold moderators legally responsible for hate speech or defamation on forums.[26][27] She is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.[28]

On 9 April 2020, Powell rejoined the Labour front bench as the Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers by new party leader Keir Starmer.[29] In a minor reshuffle in May 2021, she was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, succeeding Thangam Debbonaire.[30]

Personal life


She is married to James Williamson, an emergency medicine doctor, and has three children – a step-son, daughter and a son who was born on 27 May 2013.[31]

She supports Manchester City football club.[32]

References


  1. "The Next Generation: Parliamentary Candidates to Watch" (PDF). Insight Public Affairs. 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2012.[permanent dead link]
  2. Administrator, men (28 April 2010). "Lucy Powell (Lab)". Archived from the original on 30 September 2015.
  3. "About Lucy". Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  4. "PPC Profile: Lucy Powell - LabourList". 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014.
  5. Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent (24 September 2004). "Kinnock joins Europe campaign". The Guardian. London, UK. Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  6. "About Lucy Powell". Lucypowell.org.uk. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  7. "Labour's Lucy Powell elected MP for Manchester Central". Itv.com. 12 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  8. Arif Ansari. "Labour's Lucy Powell wins Manchester Central election". Bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  9. "Lucy Powell wins Manchester Central by-election for Labour – but with lowest turnout since WWII". menmedia.co.uk. 16 November 2012. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  10. Florence Horsbrugh was a Manchester member from 1950-59, and Eveline Hill from 1950-64 The Big Interview Archived 20 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine, manchesterconfidential.com; accessed 13 May 2018.
  11. "Lucy Powell named new shadow minister for childcare and early years". Nursery World. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  12. "Lucy Powell: Mancunian streetfighter taking on key role in Labour campaign". Guardian. 14 November 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  13. "Election 2015 Results: Conservatives win 12 seat majority". BBC News. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  14. Wintour, Patrick (3 June 2015). "The undoing of Ed Miliband: and how Labour lost the election". The Guardian. GMG. Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  15. "Lucy Powell denies doubts over Labour's election pledges". 5 May 2015. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  16. "Lucy Powell: the campaign genius behind the 'Milibrand' interview". The Spectator. The Spectator Magazine. June 2015. Archived from the original on 3 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  17. Gold, Tanya (31 May 2015). "It's all about the Brand". The Sunday Times. London. Archived from the original on 6 August 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. (subscription required)
  18. Fitzgerald, Todd (10 May 2015). "Lucy Powell: I'll share the blame for Labour's poor election result". Manchester Evening News. MEN Media. Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  19. "Labour's leadership contest – The Labour Party". Labour.org.uk. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  20. The Independent, 26 September 2015.
  21. Thomas, Joe (26 June 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn leadership crisis LIVE". Archived from the original on 26 June 2016.
  22. Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances; Slawson, Nicola (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  23. Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Archived from the original on 10 November 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  24. "Lucy Powell: we were 'wrong about Corbyn'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  25. Dale, Iain (25 September 2017). "The 100 Most Influential People On The Left: Iain Dale's 2017 List". LBC. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  26. https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/commentisfree/2018/sep/10/online-echo-chambers-hate-facebook-bill
  27. "British Lawmaker Wants to Ban Your Private Facebook Groups Because She Worries You're Using Hate Speech". Archived from the original on 20 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  28. "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Archived from the original on 2 October 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  29. Rodgers, Sienna (9 April 2020). "Shadow ministers appointed as Starmer completes frontbench". LabourList. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  30. Norwood, Graham (9 May 2021). "New Labour shadow housing minister revealed". Estate Agent Today. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  31. "Interview: 'Hackgate hero' Tom Watson & Labour's Lucy Powell on the Manchester Central by-election campaign trail". Mancunian Matters. 7 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  32. Powell, Lucy (7 February 2008). "About Lucy Powell | Politics | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2012.