|Shadow Minister for Culture and Media|
7 October 2011
|Preceded by||Gloria De Piero|
|Shadow Minister for Justice|
7 October 2010 – 7 October 2011
|Preceded by||Helen Jones|
|Succeeded by||Jenny Chapman|
|Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions|
9 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
|Prime Minister||Gordon Brown|
|Preceded by||Kitty Ussher|
|Succeeded by||Maria Miller|
|Member of Parliament
for Bishop Auckland
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Derek Foster|
2 January 1958 |
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
|Alma mater||Somerville College, Oxford|
Helen Catherine Goodman (born 2 January 1958) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bishop Auckland since 2005, and was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for in the Department for Work and Pensions until 2010 with responsibility for child poverty and childcare.
Goodman is the daughter of a Danish immigrant mother and architect father. She grew up in Derbyshire and was educated at her village school and the comprehensive Lady Manners School, in Bakewell, Derbyshire. She studied PPE at Somerville College, Oxford.
Career before Parliament
On leaving Oxford she worked as a researcher for the Labour MP Phillip Whitehead. She worked in HM Treasury as a fast stream administrator holding many posts including on the Energy Desk, the Exchange Rate Desk, Central Budget Unit, Overseas Finance and finally she was the head of strategy. In 1990-1 she was seconded to the Office of the Czechoslovak Prime Minister to advise on their economic transition after the Velvet Revolution.
From 1997 she was the director of the Commission on the Future for Multi Ethnic Britain (sponsored by the Runnymede Trust). She was appointed the Head of Strategy at The Children's Society in 1998, where she was involved in lobbying on policies to cut child poverty. From 2002 until her election she was the chief executive of the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries which supported 1,000 projects across Britain. She is a member of the GMB Union and the Christian Socialist Movement, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth.
She published numerous articles including in the Political Quarterly.
Goodman was selected as the Labour candidate for the County Durham seat of Bishop Auckland at the 2005 General Election through an All-Women Shortlist following the retirement of the veteran Labour MP Derek Foster. Goodman held the seat with a majority of 10,047 and remains the MP there. She made her maiden speech on 25 May 2005. She was re-elected in 2010.
She was a member of the Public Accounts Committee from May 2005 to April 2007 before becoming a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Ministry of Justice. In June 2007 she was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, before being made a whip in October 2008. She left this role in June 2009 to become a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions. In this role she steered the Child Poverty Act onto the statute book, alongside Stephen Timms.
Helen Goodman was in the small minority of MPs who were found to have done nothing wrong by the independent Legg inquiry into MPs expenses. As such she was in the minority who were not required to pay back any money.
After the 2010 General Election, Goodman nominated Ed Miliband to be the leader of the Labour Party. After his victory she was appointed as opposition spokesman in Labour's Justice team with special responsibility for Prisons and Sentencing policy. In October 2011 she became Shadow Minister for Media. In this role she has campaigned for better child protection online. In October 2013 she was also given responsibility for Labour's Arts policy.
In 2010 she ran a successful campaign in conjunction with The Northern Echo Newspaper to save the Zurbaran paintings at Auckland Castle when the Commissioners of the Church of England threatened to sell them.
In February 2013, appalled at the impact of the "bedroom tax" on her constituents, she tried to live for a week on £18.
She is a long standing supporter of Women's ordination and is a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee and the Procedure Committee.
In June 2014, Goodman was invited to give a speech at the opening of a village fair at Ingleton, County Durham in the parliamentary constituency which she had represented for nine years. During her speech, she praised the village for the beauty of its waterfalls and caves and for its connection with Arthur Conan Doyle. None of these features applied to the County Durham village, but were in fact references to the village of Ingleton, situated seventy miles away in North Yorkshire. The speech reportedly "baffled" the audience and after five minutes she was called away from the microphone and informed of her mistake.
Goodman is married to Charles Seaford who works for the New Economics Foundation. The couple have two children.
- [dead link]
- maiden speech, accessed February 2009
- Duggan, Oliver (23 June 2014). "Labour MP hails beautiful waterfalls of Ingleton - in the wrong village". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
- Jonathan Brown (16 June 2014). "Shadow Labour Minister Helen Goodman red-faced after confusing Ingleton, Co Durham and Ingleton, North Yorks". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
- Helen Goodman.co.uk - Official web site
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Helen Goodman MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Helen Goodman MP
- Public Whip
- BBC Politics page
- Articles written for The Guardian by Helen Goodman
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland