Ann Coffey

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Ann Coffey
Ann Coffey-102.jpg
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
Chancellor Alistair Darling
Preceded by Ann Keen
Succeeded by Greg Hands
Member of Parliament
for Stockport
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded by Anthony Favell
Majority 14,477 (34.9%)
Personal details
Born Margaret Ann Brown
(1946-08-31) 31 August 1946 (age 71)[1]
Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
  • Thomas Coffey (m. 1973; div. 1989)
  • Peter Saraga (m. 1998)[1]
Children one[1]
Education Nairn Academy
Bodmin County Grammar School
Bushey Grammar School
Alma mater

Margaret Ann Coffey MP (née Brown; born 31 August 1946)[1] is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stockport since 1992.[3][4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Born as Margaret Ann Brown to a Royal Air Force officer,[1] in Inverness, she attended Nairn Academy; Bodmin County Grammar School (closed in 1973); Bushey Grammar School and the Borough Polytechnic Institute in London, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology in 1967, and was elected vice president of the students' union).

She attended Walsall College of Education where she was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in 1971 and qualified as a teacher;[citation needed] and the University of Manchester where she completed her Master of Science in psychiatric social work at the School of Medicine.[2]


She began her career as a trainee social worker with the Walsall Social Services in 1971. In 1972 she became a social worker with the Birmingham City Council, moving to Gwynedd County Council in 1973 and the Metropolitan Borough of Wolverhampton in 1974, then to the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport in 1975, moving once more in 1982 to the Cheshire County Council. In 1988 she became the fostering team leader with the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham until her election to parliament.

Politically, Coffey was elected as a councillor to the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in 1984 and became its Labour group leader 1988-92, stepping down from the council in 1992. She contested the parliamentary seat of Cheadle at the 1987 General Election, and finished in third place, some 25,000 votes behind the sitting Conservative MP Stephen Day. She was selected to contest the Conservative held marginal Stockport constituency at the 1992 General Election and she defeated the sitting Conservative MP Tony Favell by 1,422 and has remained the MP there since. She made her maiden speech on 12 May 1992.[7]

In her first term in Parliament, Coffey served initially as a member of the trade and industry select committee until she was promoted by Tony Blair to become an Opposition whip in 1995 and became an Opposition health spokeswoman in 1996. When Labour won the 1997 General Election, Coffey was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Prime Minister Tony Blair. In 1998, she became PPS to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Alistair Darling and was his assistant from 2002-6 in his capacity as the Secretary of State for Transport and thereafter as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

Following the resignation of Tony Blair as Prime Minister on 27 June 2007, Coffey became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling.

During the expenses scandal of 2009 it was revealed that Anne Coffey claimed £1000 per month for the interest on the mortgage of her London home and £160 per month for a cleaner.[8][9] In addition to her salary of £60,000 in 2007 she claimed £150,000 for staff salaries and office costs plus reimbursable expenses.[10]

Coffey is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults. In October 2014, Coffey published an independent landmark report: ‘Real Voices – Child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester,’ commissioned by the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner in the wake of the Rochdale child sexual abuse scandal.

‘Real Voices’, which placed interviews with children centre stage, made 43 recommendations.

After the report Coffey launched a successful and historic campaign to banish all references to “child prostitution” from UK legislation. She tabled a series of amendments to the Serious Crime Bill in 2015 to remove all references to child prostitution. She received support from all parties and eventually the government agreed to her proposal and tabled an amendment to substitute all references to child prostitution with child sexual exploitation.

In 2017 Coffey wrote a follow up report: ‘Real Voices –Are they being heard?’ which looked at improvements made by the police and other agencies in tackling child sexual exploitation since 2014. Better training and awareness amongst the police and the public had led to significant increases in reporting offences, identification of victims and offenders and intelligence tip-offs.

As the chair of the APPG, Coffey has chaired a number important parliamentary inquiries including in June 2012 on the risks faced by children missing from home and care and May 2016 into the safeguarding of absent children.

Coffey went on to conduct a high profile campaign against the criminal exploitation of children. She maintained that the grooming process for criminal exploitation was very similar to that used for sexual exploitation of children.

The APPG published a report in July 2017 on children who go missing and are exploited by gangs to sell drugs. Coffey particularly focused on the use of vulnerable children and young people in County Lines drugs operations, where children are groomed by criminals and forced to transport and supply drugs from one area to another.

In January 2018, Coffey conducted an independent survey of all 45 police forces asking if there had been an increase in violence connected to County Lines. Coffey campaigned for the children used and trapped in County Lines to be seen as victims, not criminals and for early interventions by agencies to prevent them becoming embedded in gangs. She also called for more use of the human trafficking and slavery laws, which carry heavy penalties against gangs who use children as drug mules.

Together with Margaret Hodge she submitted a letter to the Parliamentary Labour Party chairman requesting a vote on a motion of no confidence in the party leader Jeremy Corbyn on 25 June 2016, two days after Britain voted to leave the European Union.[11]

Personal life[edit]

She married Thomas Coffey in 1973 in Pontefract and they have a daughter.[1] They divorced in 1989 and she has since remarried to Peter Saraga, vice-chair of the University of Sussex's University Council and a former managing director at Philips Research Labs UK.[citation needed] Coffey resides in Heaton Moor, Stockport as well as having a London home.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Anon (2017). COFFEY, (Margaret) Ann. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.11372.  closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Ann Wishart Coffey, Margaret (1979). Expressed feeling as a predictor of social worker and client satisfaction (MSc thesis). University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Ann Coffey MP official website". Archived from the original on 2015-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Guardian Unlimited Politics — Ask Aristotle: Ann Coffey MP". Archived from the original on 8 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "Ann Coffey MP". 
  6. ^ "BBC Politics, Ann Coffey". [dead link]
  7. ^ "House of Commons Hansard for 12 May 1992". 
  8. ^ "MPs' expenses: Full list of MPs investigated by The Telegraph". 8 May 2009 – via 
  9. ^
  10. ^ News, Manchester Evening (26 May 2009). "Ann Coffey's expenses". 
  11. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn faces no confidence motion and leadership challenge". 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Anthony Favell
Member of Parliament for Stockport