Bridget Prentice

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Bridget Prentice
Bridget Prentice 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Lewisham East
In office
10 April 1992 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Colin Moynihan
Succeeded by Heidi Alexander
Personal details
Born (1952-12-28) 28 December 1952 (age 62)
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Nationality Scottish
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Gordon Prentice (divorced)
Alma mater University of Glasgow, University of London, South Bank Polytechnic
Profession Teacher
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Bridget Prentice

Bridget Theresa Prentice (born 28 December 1952) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Lewisham East from 1992 to 2010. She was married to fellow Labour MP Gordon Prentice from 1975 until they divorced in 2000.


Prentice was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1952. She attended Our Lady and St Francis School, the University of Glasgow (MA English Literature and Modern History 1973), University of London (PGCE 1974) and South Bank Polytechnic (LLB 1992).

Starting her career as the Rector's Assistant at Glasgow University (1972-3), she became a History and English teacher at the Roman Catholic London Oratory School in Fulham (1974–86) and later Head of Careers (1984-6) before switching to John Archer School in Wandsworth as Head of Careers between 1986-88.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Bridget Prentice stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in 1987 in Croydon Central. She contested Lewisham East at the 1992 general election, a Conservative seat with a majority of 4,846 in the 1987 general election, taking it for Labour with a majority of 1,095, and increased the majority to 12,127 in the 1997 general election. In general elections since she has held the seat with reduced majorities of 9,003 in June 2001 and 6,751 in May 2005.

Appointed a Labour Whip in 1995 by Tony Blair, on Labour entering government in May 1997 she continued in the role into government, before becoming PPS to the Minister for Trade (1998–1999), and then PPS to the Lord Chancellor (1999–2001), leaving government in 2001 to become a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee (2001–2003).

She rejoined the government in 2003 on appointment to the Government Whips Office again. She later became a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs, continuing in the role in the department's successor, the Ministry of Justice. Within the department, she is responsible for reform of electoral administration, legal services, legal services complaints, legal services commissioner and ombudsman, asylum and immigration, devolution and regional policy.

She has close ties to Bonus Pastor Secondary School in Lewisham, accepting one pupil every year for work experience, which includes work within the constituency and the Houses of Parliament.

Bridget Prentice has been a Governor at Trinity Church of England All Through School since 2010. In September 2013 she was elected Chair of the Governing Body.

In 2008, she was reprimanded by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards John Lyon for misusing her communications allowance. She agreed to pay back the money, which had been spent on sending party political literature to voters who were outside her constituency, but who would join it at the next election as the result of boundary changes.[1]

In 2009, Prentice announced her decision to stand down from Parliament at the next election.[2]

Voting record[edit]

How Bridget Prentice voted on key issues since 2001:[3]

  • Voted against a transparent Parliament.[clarification needed]
  • Voted for introducing a smoking ban.
  • Voted for introducing ID cards.
  • Voted for introducing foundation hospitals.
  • Voted for introducing student top-up fees.
  • Voted for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
  • Voted for the Iraq war.
  • Voted against investigating the Iraq war.
  • Voted for replacing Trident.
  • Voted for the hunting ban.
  • Voted for equal gay rights.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Colin Moynihan
Member of Parliament for Lewisham East
Succeeded by
Heidi Alexander