Meg Hillier

Dame Margaret Olivia Hillier DBE (born 14 February 1969), known as Meg Hillier, is a British Labour and Co-operative politician who was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney South and Shoreditch at the 2005 general election, and was a junior government minister (2007–10) and was succeeded by Caroline Flint as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the Labour Party October 2011 reshuffle.[2]

Meg Hillier

Hillier in 2020
Chair of the Public Accounts Committee
Assumed office
18 June 2015
Preceded byMargaret Hodge
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In office
8 October 2010  7 October 2011
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byEd Miliband
Succeeded byCaroline Flint
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Identity
In office
28 June 2007  12 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byJoan Ryan (Under-Secretary of State for Nationality, Citizenship and Immigration)
Succeeded byDamian Green (Minister of State for Immigration)
Member of Parliament
for Hackney South and Shoreditch
Assumed office
5 May 2005[1]
Preceded byBrian Sedgemore
Majority33,985 (62.5%)
Member of the London Assembly
for North East
In office
4 May 2000  10 June 2004
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byJennette Arnold
Mayor of Islington
In office
May 1998  May 1999
Preceded byRupert Perry
Succeeded byJenny Sands
Islington Borough Councillor
for Sussex Ward
In office
5 May 1994  2 May 2002
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Margaret Olivia Hillier

(1969-02-14) 14 February 1969 (age 52)
Hampstead, London, England
Political partyLabour and Co-operative
Spouse(s)Joe Simpson
Alma materSt Hilda's College, Oxford

Early life and career

Hillier was educated at Portsmouth High School, a private school for girls in Southsea, Hampshire, followed by St Hilda's College at the University of Oxford, where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.[3] During her time there she was elected Librarian of the Oxford Union Society. [citation needed]

Hillier worked as a journalist in regional press and social housing media and was elected as a Councillor in the London Borough of Islington in 1994, representing the Sussex ward and serving as the Mayor of Islington in 1998, before standing down from the Council in 2002. She was elected as a founding Member of the London Assembly for North East London at the first London Assembly election of 2000, she served on the Assembly until 2004, and was a board member of Transport for London until she was elected to Parliament. [citation needed]

Parliamentary career

In 2004, Hillier was selected as the Labour candidate to contest the Hackney South and Shoreditch through an all-women shortlist.[4] She was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election following the retirement of the Labour MP Brian Sedgemore.

During the election campaign, Sedgemore resigned from Labour and joined the Liberal Democrats[5] in protest at the attack on Iraq. Hillier retained the safe seat with a majority of more than 10,000 votes. She made her maiden speech on 24 May 2005, noting there were more men in the House of Commons that day than there had ever been women MPs.[6]

She served as member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee for a year until she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Ruth Kelly in 2006. In June 2007, she was appointed a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office.

During maternity leave beginning in March 2009, her ministerial role was taken over by Shahid Malik. In March 2008, Hillier voted with the Government in favour of nationwide Post Office closures, including seven in Hackney, of which her constituency forms a part.[7]

In December 2009, while promoting the unpopular National Identity Card scheme as Identity Minister[8][9] in Liverpool, she admitted she had forgotten her own ID card,[10][11] attributing the error to the demands of looking after her baby.[12][13]

In June 2015, Hillier was elected Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in succession to Margaret Hodge.[14] She was, as a result, among the 100 most influential people in the NHS according to the Health Service Journal in 2016.[15] As chair, she has been critical of the Troubled Families programme, saying that the PAC's conclusions on the programme were "far more serious" than "a slap on the wrist" for ministers.[16]

She supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[17]

Hillier has served Trustee of the War Memorials Trust since 2001.[18]

She stood for election as Speaker of the House of Commons during 2019 Speaker of the British House of Commons election. However, she was unsuccessful, securing 10 votes (or 1.8%) in the first round, and coming in 7th out of seven candidates.

Hillier was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for political and parliamentary service.[19][20]

Personal life

Hillier married Joe Simpson in 1997; the couple have three children.[21][22] She is a Roman Catholic.[23]


  1. "Contact information for Meg Hillier - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament".
  2. Stratton, Allegra; Sparrow, Andrew; Wintour, Patrick (7 October 2011). "Labour reshuffle: Miliband promotes newly elected MPs". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  3. Waller, Robert; Criddle, Byron (7 May 2007). The Almanac of British Politics. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-20683-3.
  4. Profile,
  5. Veteran former Labour MP defects to the Liberal Democrats. BBC News (26 April 2005). Retrieved on 24 November 2015.
  6. House of Commons Hansard Debates 24 May 2005 (pt 19)
  7. Post Office Closures The Public Whip website
  8. UK's national ID card unveiled. BBC News (30 July 2009). Retrieved on 24 November 2015.
  9. Holyrood rejects identity cards. BBC News (19 November 2008). Retrieved on 24 November 2015.
  10. Profile, The Register, 16 December 2009; accessed 12 May 2015.
  11. Identity minister forgets ID card, The Register, 16 December 2009
  12. "Red-faced Minister Meg Hillier forgets her identity card for Liverpool roll-out",; accessed 12 May 2015.
  13. Profile,; accessed 12 May 2015.
  14. Frank Field elected Work and Pensions Committee chairman. BBC News (18 June 2015). Retrieved on 24 November 2015.
  15. "HSJ100 2016: The list in full". Health Service Journal. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  16. "Troubled families turnaround claim misleading, say MPs". BBC News. UK. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  17. "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  18. "Trustees". War Memorials Trust. War Memorials Trust. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  19. "No. 63377". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2021. p. B8.
  20. "The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021". GOV.UK. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  21. Notice of marriage of Hillier and Simpson,
  22. "Baby Girl for MP", Hackney Gazetter 21 April 2009; accessed 14 May 2009
  23. Signatory to letter to Pope Francis to allow ordination of married men to the Catholic priesthood Archived 21 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 12 May 2015.