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Current employment:

Labour Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England since 2014

Previous employment:

  • Head of the North England, Christian Aid, Newcastle, 2012/14
    Head of Advocacy, Christian Aid, London, 2006/2012
  • Head of Company and Sector Communications, Global Research Corporate, Investment Banking and Markets, HSBC, London, 2005/6
  • Senior Programme Director, Common Purpose, Sunderland and County Durham, 1999/2005
  • Press and Communications Officer, Labour Party, North East, 1998/9, including 1999 European parliament election
  • Senior Manager, Events and Communications, Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications, London, 1997/8
  • Area Co-ordinator, Christian Aid, North East England, 1995/7
  • Head of Campaigns, Christian Aid, London, 1992/5
  • Press Officer, Labour Party, Walworth Road, London 1991/2 including 1992 General Election
  • Campaigns Officer, Anti-Apartheid Movement, London, 1988/91
  • President, Leeds University Students’ Union, 1987/88


  • MBA from Durham University Business School, 2004.
    Dissertation title: ‘Regeneration: the lay experience of partnership working’
  • BA Hons Degree in Theology and Religious Studies, Leeds University, 1986.
    Dissertation title: ‘The role of the Anglican Church in the struggle against apartheid’
  • 3 A-levels and 7 O-levels taken at Walbottle Comprehensive School, Newcastle upon Tyne

Labour Party roles

  • MEP for the North East, 2014/currently
  • Newcastle City Councillor, 1999/2004
  • Parliamentary Candidate, Hexham 2001 General Election
  • Newcastle North CLP Westerhope ward secretary 1997/2000
  • Parliamentary Candidate, Berwick upon Tweed 1997 General Election
  • Holborn and St Pancras CLP Somers Town ward secretary 1989/1991
  • Labour President Leeds University Students’ Union 1987/1988
  • Continuous Labour Party membership since 1983
  • Continuous trade union membership since 1982
  • GMB member