Rosie Duffield

Rosemary Clare Duffield (born 1 July 1971) is a British Labour Party politician who has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Canterbury since 2017.

Rosie Duffield

Duffield in 2017
Opposition Whip
In office
14 April 2020  31 May 2020
LeaderSir Keir Starmer
Chief WhipNick Brown
Succeeded byGill Furniss
Took office in July 2020
Member of Parliament
for Canterbury
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded byJulian Brazier
Majority1,836 (3.1%)
Personal details
Rosemary Clare Duffield

(1971-07-01) 1 July 1971 (age 49)
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Political partyLabour
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life

Rosemary Clare Duffield was born on 1 July 1971 in Norwich, Norfolk, England and later moved to South East London where her father worked as an anti-terrorism Police Officer.[1][2][3] She left school at the age of 16 and completed an administration apprenticeship at Guy's Hospital. She then attended a further education college.[3] She moved to Canterbury in 1998 and worked as a teaching assistant, before becoming briefly a political satire writer.[4][5]

In 2015, Duffield stood in the St Stephen's ward of Canterbury City Council but both seats were won by the Conservatives.[6][7][8]

Parliamentary career

2017 Parliament

Duffield was elected to parliament in the 2017 general election with a majority of 187, defeating the incumbent Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Julian Brazier.[9] Brazier had been its MP since 1987 and the constituency had been represented by a Conservative since its creation in 1918.[10]

On her election, she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Dawn Butler, the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities. On 13 June 2018, Duffield was one of six MPs to resign from the Opposition frontbench to vote in favour of remaining in the single market by joining the European Economic Area, as the party had instructed its MPs to abstain.[11] In parliament, she has sat on the Women and Equalities Committee, and sits on the Work and Pensions Select Committee since June 2018.[12]

Duffield is opposed to new grammar schools, and Eleven-plus exams. She was criticised for this stance after it emerged that both her children had gone to grammar schools.[13][14]

Duffield voted for the UK remaining within the EU in the 2016 UK EU membership referendum. In the indicative votes on 27 March 2019, she voted for a customs union with the EU and a referendum on a Brexit withdrawal agreement, but abstained on the "Common Market 2.0" proposal.[15]

In July 2017, she appeared on RT, a television network funded by the Russian government. Duffield apologised to the LGBT+ community for her appearance.[16]

In September 2018, Duffield attended a march protesting at Labour's stance on antisemitism and said that MPs could strike if the party did not endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)'s definition of antisemitism.[17] She was criticised by some local party members for her attendance.[18] In July 2019 the chair of her constituency Labour Party said her language was "incredibly reckless" after she agreed with a remark by the Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement that Labour "probably is" institutionally anti-Semitic.[19]

In October 2019, Duffield succeeded Jess Phillips as Chair of the Women's Parliamentary Labour Party.[20][21]

2019 Parliament

On 14 April 2020, Duffield was appointed a Labour whip by new Labour leader Keir Starmer.[22] In May 2020, she resigned from the position after breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules when she met her married partner whilst they were living in separate households. Duffield apologised and said she accepted her actions constituted a breach of the guidance at the time.[23][24][25]

In July 2020, Duffield voiced to parliament concerns over the sale to and recreational use of Nitrous Oxide among young people, calling for tighter restrictions on its sale. Duffield said that use of the drug had become "much more prevalent" during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown and cited health concerns over its use.[26]

In August 2020, Duffield was criticised by several organisations, including Pride Canterbury and the Canterbury Constituency Labour Party, for stating on Twitter that "only women have a cervix",[27][28][29] with LGBT+ Labour calling on Labour leader Keir Starmer to "take action".[30] Duffield locked her Twitter account after a fake tweet attributed to her was circulated.[31] Labour MPs Jess Phillips,[32] Rachel Reeves and Wes Streeting supported Duffield, as did the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who tweeted that "she does not seek to demean others".[30]

On 14 August 2020, a lesbian woman, reported to be her only LGBT staff member, quit Duffield's team, saying that her stance was "transphobic" and had brought an influx of transphobic and homophobic mail to the MP's office in support of the remarks.[33] Duffield reasserted her commitment to reforming the Gender Recognition Act and to being a supporter of trans rights following the staff member's resignation.[34] In October 2020, a second member of Duffield's staff resigned citing the "overtly transphobic views" of the MP. Rosie Duffield was criticised by the GMB trade union for attempting to dox her former staff member by "attempting to reveal her identity on social media".[35]

Parliamentary voting record

According to parliamentary monitoring website, TheyWorkForYou, Duffield's voting record shows the following trends as of January 2021: She is consistently: for equal gay rights, for laws to promote equality and human rights, for UK membership of the EU, for higher taxes on banks, and against reducing central government funding of local government. She is also generally: for more EU integration, against raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax, for transferring more powers to the Welsh Assembly, for transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament, for measures to prevent climate change, and against a stricter asylum system.[36]

Personal life

Duffield is in a relationship with television producer James Routh and has two sons from a past relationship.[23][37] During a debate on the Domestic Abuse Bill on 2 October 2019, using parliamentary privilege, she spoke of suffering domestic abuse from her fiancé in a previous relationship in late 2017.[38][39]


  1. "Duffield, Rosemary Clare, MP (Lab) Canterbury, since 2017". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 2017. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U289474.
  2. "No. 61961". The London Gazette. 19 June 2017. p. 11783.
  3. Claridge, Alex (15 June 2017). "How 'Ms Ordinary' among the hottest". Kentish Gazette. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  4. Claridge, Alex (9 June 2017). "Labour's Rosie Duffield makes history in Canterbury - but who is she?". KentOnline.
  5. Proctor, Kate (2 October 2019). "Labour MP moves colleagues to tears with domestic abuse story". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  6. "Declaration of Results of Poll". Canterbury City Council. p. 15. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  7. Grierson, Jamie (9 June 2017). "Canterbury tale: single mum becomes town's first ever Labour MP". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  8. Castle, Vicky (9 June 2017). "Who is Rosie Duffield? Meet the Labour MP who has made history". Kent Live. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  9. "Election 2017: Canterbury parliamentary constituency". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  10. "Election Results 2017: Canterbury won by Labour for first time". BBC News. 9 June 2017.
  11. Yorke, Harry; Mikhailova, Anna; Maidment, Jack (13 June 2018). "EU Withdrawal Bill: Six members of Labour's frontbench resign to vote against their party". The Daily Telegraph.(subscription required)
  12. "Rosie Duffield MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  13. Swinford, Steven (27 July 2017). "New Labour MP who stood on anti-grammar school platform during election sent her children to one". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  14. Francis, Paul (15 May 2019). "Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield urges Prime Minister to scrap 11-plus and SATS". Kent Online. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  15. "How MPs voted on May's withdrawal deal defeat". Financial Times. 29 March 2019. Archived from the original on 2 September 2019.
  16. "Russia Today appearance sparks apology from Canterbury Labour MP Rosie Duffield". Kent Online. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  17. Francis, Paul (11 September 2018). "Jeremy Corbyn fails to back Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield in row with party members over anti-Semitism protestors". Kent Online. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  18. McPolin, Sean (13 September 2018). "MP considering future in parliament". Kent Online. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  19. Wright, Joe (17 July 2019). "Rosie Duffield criticised by Canterbury Labour chairman for 'incredibly reckless' comments on anti-Semitism". Kent Online. Archived from the original on 23 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  20. @RosieDuffield1 (15 October 2019). "Thanks so much @jessphillips and @UKLabour women. I am thrilled to be the new Chair of Women's PLP. I have huge boots to fill! Thanks so much for all you've done to represent us Jess and I'll do my best to carry on your great work" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  21. Scott, Geraldine (22 October 2019). "MP Naz Shah to launch legal action against her own party over mayoral shortlist". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  22. "Rosie Duffield MP - Parliamentary career". House of Commons. UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  23. "Labour MP quits Commons role over lockdown breach". BBC News. 31 May 2020.
  24. "Labour frontbencher no longer in role after lockdown breach – reports". Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  25. Walker, Peter (31 May 2020). "Labour's Rosie Duffield 'right to resign', says shadow chancellor". The Guardian.
  26. Webster, Lucy (21 July 2020). "MP proposes laughing gas sale restrictions". BBC News. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  27. Dyson, Jack (10 August 2020). "Labour MP Rosie Duffield urged to apologise by Pride Canterbury after 'transphobia' row". KentOnline. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  28. Rodgers, Sienna. "LGBT+ Labour calls for "measurable action" over Rosie Duffield comments". LabourList. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  29. "Equalities officers' statement of trans solidarity". Canterbury Labour. 2 August 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  30. Langford, Eleanor (11 August 2020). "Labour LGBT+ affiliate calls on Keir Starmer to take 'measurable action' against MP Rosie Duffield over controversial tweets". Politics Home. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  31. Jee, Alex (1 August 2020). "Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield embroiled in 'transphobe' twitter feud". KentOnline. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  32. Chappell, Elliot. ""I don't think Rosie Duffield is a transphobe," says Jess Phillips". LabourList. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  33. Parsons, Vic (16 September 2020). "Lesbian staffer quits Rosie Duffield's office over the Labour MP's 'overtly transphobic' opinions". PinkNews. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  34. "Duffield reiterates support for trans rights after LGBT+ staffer quits". LabourList. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  35. Rodgers, Sienna. "GMB MPs staff branch condemns "actions of Rosie Duffield towards staff member"". LabourList. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  36. "Voting record - Rosie Duffield MP, Canterbury". TheyWorkForYou.
  37. "Rosie Duffield: the story behind my Commons speech about domestic abuse". The Times. 18 October 2019.(subscription required)
  38. "Domestic Abuse Bill". 2 October 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  39. Oppenheim, Maya (2 October 2019). "Tearful MPs break into round of applause after powerful address on domestic abuse". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.