Sarah McCarthy-Fry

Sarah Louise McCarthy-Fry (born 4 February 1955) is a British Labour Co-operative politician. She was the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North from the 2005 general election to 2010. She was Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in the last phase of the Labour government of Gordon Brown.

Sarah McCarthy-Fry
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
In office
18 June 2009  11 May 2010
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
ChancellorAlistair Darling
Preceded byKitty Ussher
Succeeded byDavid Gauke
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
In office
9 June 2009  18 June 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byKitty Ussher
Succeeded byBarbara Follett
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of Schools
In office
5 October 2008  8 June 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byThe Lord Adonis
Succeeded byDiana Johnson
Member of Parliament
for Portsmouth North
In office
5 May 2005  12 April 2010
Preceded bySyd Rapson
Succeeded byPenny Mordaunt
Personal details
Sarah Louise Macaree

(1955-02-04) 4 February 1955 (age 66)
Portsmouth, England
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Tony McCarthy

Early life

She was born Sarah Louise Macaree, the daughter of a defence worker of Scottish descent. Fry is the surname of her first husband, McCarthy of her second. She was educated at Portsmouth High School. She worked for the multinational defence engineering company GKN Westland at Portsmouth, and later as financial controller for GKN Aerospace[1] at Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Political career

McCarthy-Fry attempted selection as the Labour candidate for the seat of Portsmouth North in 1997, and later became Syd Rapson's campaign manager. Her main political interests are trade and industry, defence and the social economy. She campaigned in favour of identity cards after a constituency survey indicated a large majority were in favour of them, and stressed her support for their introduction in her maiden speech after her election in 2005.

In 2006, McCarthy-Fry was made PPS to John Healey, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. In Prime Minister Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle in 2007, she was made PPS to Geoff Hoon, the Chief Whip. On 5 October 2008, she was promoted to become a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Children, Schools and Families replacing Lord Adonis, who was moved from Education to Transport. This was a controversial move that brought about much speculation in the press afterward; Adonis was seen to be a key education reformer and it was assumed that the government no longer had education as a priority. McCarthy-Fry was moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government in the June 2009 reshuffle.

However, on 17 June 2009 she was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, replacing Kitty Ussher after the latter resigned.[2] She was at the Department for Communities and Local Government for just one week.

At the general election on 6 May 2010, McCarthy-Fry lost her seat to the Conservative candidate Penny Mordaunt. Along with Anne Snelgrove, she co-ordinated Ed Balls's campaign in the Labour party leadership election which followed.

Expenses controversy

In May 2009 The Daily Telegraph revealed that McCarthy-Fry had attempted to claim on her expenses for a £100 set of hair straighteners, though the claim was refused. Items the taxpayer did fund included £333 worth of bedding and a sewing box.[3]

Personal life

McCarthy-Fry married her second husband Tony McCarthy in 1997; the couple have four grown-up children.[citation needed] She is a fan of The Who, and her hobbies include tap-dancing, dog walking and amateur dramatics.[citation needed]


News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Syd Rapson
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North
Succeeded by
Penny Mordaunt
Preceded by
The Lord Adonis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for
Schools and Learners

Succeeded by
Diana Johnson (Schools)
Iain Wright (Learners)
Preceded by
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for
Communities and Local Government

Succeeded by