Emma Dent Coad

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Emma Dent Coad

Emma Dent Coad, MP for Kensington.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Kensington
Assumed office
9 June 2017
Preceded byVictoria Borwick
Majority20 (0.05%)
Personal details
Born (1954-11-15) 15 November 1954 (age 64)
London, England
Political partyLabour
  • Blott
    (m. 1984; div. 1997)
Alma materRoyal College of Art
University of Liverpool
WebsiteHer architectural website
Her personal blog

Emma Dent Coad (born 15 November 1954)[1] is a British Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP). She was elected for Kensington in 2017 with a majority of 20 votes (0.05%).

Personal life and education[edit]

Dent Coad was born in Chelsea, the youngest of six children. Her father, Professor Charles Enrique Dent CBE, was a professor of Medicine with Spanish origins, and her mother, Margaret Ruth Coad, was a vicar's daughter who converted to Catholicism to marry him.[2] She went to Sacred Heart High School, a selective grammar school in Hammersmith, London.[2][3] She graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in History of Design in 1992.[4]

Dent Coad has written or contributed to a number of books on architecture and design, including on Javier Mariscal.[5] She is studying at the University of Liverpool School of Architecture for a PhD on "Constructing Modern Spain: Architecture, Politics and Ideology under Franco, 1939–1975",[6] which she put on hold on being elected.[7]

She has been married twice: to Sir Hadley Gregory D'Oyly, 15th Baronet and to David Blott. Dent Coad had three children with Blott.[8]

She has lived in North Kensington since 1986[9] and has said she was "born and bred" in Kensington.[10]

Political career[edit]

Dent Coad was elected to Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council in 2006, representing the Golborne ward.[11] She served as leader of the opposition Labour Group on the council from 2014-15.[12] She held the following memberships:

Dent Coad was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kensington at the 2017 snap election when she defeated the sitting Conservative MP Victoria Borwick, with a majority of 20 votes, overturning a 7,361 majority from the previous election two years earlier.[17] The declaration was made after three recounts, and was the final result declared of the 2017 UK general election.[18]

Political positions[edit]

Dent Coad supported Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour leadership election.[19]

On 29 June 2017, Dent Coad voted against the Labour party whip and for an amendment to the Queen's Speech calling for the UK's continued membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union following Brexit.[20]

Dent Coad is a republican; joining pressure group Republic in 2005 and is a former board member.[21] At the 2017 Labour Party conference, Dent Coad received critical press coverage following a speech critical of the Royal Family, in particular Prince Harry.[22] She later said that her remarks had been "a joke" which had been "taken the wrong way".[23]

Grenfell Tower fire[edit]

In June 2017, Dent Coad blamed the Kensington and Chelsea council for failings which led to the Grenfell Tower fire.[24] Dent Coad considers the fire an "entirely preventable" tragedy. Dent Coad said, “I can’t help thinking that poor quality materials and construction standards may have played a part in this hideous and unforgivable event.” Dent Coad links the council's intention to redevelop the area to the tragedy, she said, “The council want to develop this area full of social housing, and in order to enable that they have prettified a building that they felt was ugly ... The idea that that has led to this horrendous tragedy is just unthinkable.”

She is campaigning for permanent new homes in the area for victims of the tragedy rather than, "some mucky bedsit". She has added “People are very afraid of what is going to happen next. They need to be kept within Kensington. The fear I was hearing yesterday was "they’re going to send us to Peterborough or to Hastings", all the other places that the council has tried to send them before. People want to stay near their networks where their children go to school, where their families are.”[24] Poverty in Kensington and the fire were the subjects of her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 22 June 2017.[25]

On 4 July 2017, Dent Coad said that residents had no confidence in Sir Martin Moore-Bick to lead the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry, describing him as "a technocrat" who lacked "credibility".[26] She supports calls for "reparations" to the community in the form of restoring local assets and services such as a college and a library which are under threat, and claims that many on the council see those in social housing as "lesser beings."[27]

Dent Coad supports a call for the leaders of Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council to resign so that there can be fresh elections.[28] Her predecessor, Victoria Borwick, has claimed she shares "collective responsibility" for the Grenfell Tower refurbishment, since Dent Coad had (until October 2012) sat on the board of the Kensington and Chelsea TMO which managed the tower. In a council meeting on 8 November 2012, Dent Coad praised the refurbishment announcement of the Grenfell Tower which she said showed that the council had listened to residents.[29] However, Dent Coad has asked Borwick to retract this claim, arguing that she supported refurbishment in principle to respond to complaints about conditions, but left the TMO around the time that the broad principles of the refurbishment were agreed. She was not present when Rydon was provided with the contract,[30] or when the decision was reportedly taken to save money on external cladding.[31]

In a 2014/15 report, in which Dent Coad's name appears, it is reported that the housing scrutiny committee looked at the refurbishment.[32] "I didn’t make any of the decisions. I didn’t sign the document," Dent Coad responded.[33]

Universal Credit[edit]

Dent Coad is critical of Universal Credit generally and is also critical of a decision to roll out Universal Credit in Kensington shortly before Christmas 2018. Claimants must wait five weeks for the first payment which Dent Coad maintains is unacceptable. Dent Coad does not want yet more pain inflicted on families that have, "already lost so much" in the Grenfell fire. Dent Coad said, "It's unthinkable, they're going to have another Christmas now wondering whether they can afford to buy food, let alone presents for their children." Dent Coad stated that asking for advances for Christmas would result in people experiencing, "many future months without enough income to cover their expenses".[34]


Comments about Shaun Bailey[edit]

In November 2017, it emerged that Dent Coad had, in 2010, described Shaun Bailey, then a Conservative parliamentary candidate, now a London Assembly member, as a “token ghetto boy”. In the same blog post she quoted an anonymous former neighbour of Bailey who had described him as a “free-loading scumbag”.[35] She wrote that Bailey was being “used” by the Conservative Party and asked "Who can say where this man will ever fit in, however hard he tries?” She proceeded to state that if Bailey were to win his seat “he will no longer be welcome in North Ken[sington]”.[35] Bailey subsequently called the comments "racist" and "hate-filled".[36] Dent Coad later apologised for "any offence caused" and persisted with her claim that she was just repeating what others had said.[37]

Hanging picture[edit]

In 2010, Dent Coad published on her blog a drawing of a person being hanged from the tree on the Conservative Party logo.[38] Conservative MP for Saffron Walden, Kemi Badenoch commented: "Words fail me ... It actually looks like a black conservative hanging from a tree."[39]

Criticism of personal appearance of the Prime Minister[edit]

Coad was criticised for retweeting a post on Twitter referring to the Prime Minister Theresa May as 'ugly'. Conservative MP George Freeman said: "The re-appearance of misogyny & racial prejudice in Corbyn's Labour Party isn't a surprise".[40]

Prince Harry of Wales[edit]

In 2017, Coad was the subject of press criticism for comments about Prince Harry and his role as a British Army Apache helicopter pilot which she then withdrew.[41]


  1. ^ "Emma Dent Coad MP". myparliament.info. MyParliament. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b Addley, Esther (30 June 2017). "Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad on Grenfell: 'Safety shouldn't be an aspiration' | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Councillors". kensingtonlabour.com. Kensington Labour.
  4. ^ Aouf, Rima Sabina (12 June 2017). "First Labour MP in London's Kensington is a design writer who plans to fight gentrification". Dezeen. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  5. ^ Dent Coad, Emma (1991). Javier Mariscal: designing the new Spain. London New York: Fourth Estate and Wordsearch Rizzoli. ISBN 9780847813575.
  6. ^ "Current PhD Students". liverpool.ac.uk. School of Architecture, University of Liverpool.
  7. ^ The Daily Politics, BBC, 13 June 2017
  8. ^ Tominey, Camilla (1 October 2017). "The blue-blood past of Labour's top Republican revealed". Daily Express. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Our parliamentary candidate for Kensington". kensingtonlabour.com. Kensington Labour. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  10. ^ Coad, Emma Dent (17 June 2017). "For years, I've seen Kensington's poor treated with disdain | Emma Dent Coad". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Welcome to Golborne Ward". rbkc.gov.uk. Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  12. ^ "June | 2014 | Kensington Labour Party". kensingtonlabour.com. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Emma Dent Coad – Personal appointments". Companies House. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  14. ^ "RKBC Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee membership". rbkc.gov.uk. Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Members". rbkc.gov.uk. Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Councillor Emma Dent Coad". moderngov.london-fire.gov.uk. London Fire Brigade. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  17. ^ Slawson, Nicola (9 June 2017). "Labour rounds off remarkable election with narrow victory in Kensington". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  18. ^ Simpson, Fiona (9 June 2017). "General Election 2017: Labour's Emma Dent Coad wins Kensington seat after THIRD recount". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  19. ^ Coad, Emma Dent (11 August 2016). "Just made a donation to Jeremy for Labour https://campaign-corbynstays.nationbuilder.com/donate?recruiter_id=157167 …". @emmadentcoad. Retrieved 3 October 2017. External link in |title= (help)
  20. ^ Mortimer, Caroline (29 June 2017). "Labour's Brexit rebellion: All the MPs who defied Jeremy Corbyn over Single Market membership". The Independent. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  21. ^ "imagine: a democratic alternative to the monarchy" (PDF). Republic. Autumn 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  22. ^ Weaver, Matthew (27 September 2017). "Angela Rayner defends Prince Harry after Labour MP mocks his military record". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Joke about Prince Harry taken the wrong way, Labour MP claims". East Lothian Courier. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  24. ^ a b Gentleman, Amelia (15 June 2017). "'Unforgivable': local Labour MP vents fury over Grenfell Tower fire". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  25. ^ Details:
  26. ^ "Grenfell fire: MP calls for inquiry chairman to quit". BBC news. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  27. ^ ""Developers can get away with murder" – an interview with Kensington's Emma Dent Coad". openDemocracy. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  28. ^ "Grenfell Tower fire: New council leader heckled by public". BBC news. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Document not found". rbkc.gov.uk. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  30. ^ "Grenfell Tower refurbishment contract agreed". rbkc.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  31. ^ Booth, Robert; Grierson, Jamie (30 June 2017). "Grenfell cladding approved by residents was swapped for cheaper version". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  32. ^ "Labour's new Kensington MP was on housing scrutiny committee". Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  33. ^ Addley, Esther (30 June 2017). "Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad on Grenfell: 'Safety shouldn't be an aspiration'". the Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  34. ^ Grenfell Tower MP calls for Universal Credit launch delay BBC
  35. ^ a b Coad, Emma Dent (19 April 2010). "Emma Dent Coad's blog: 'This is my posh voice' - local boy done good, or, nostalgie de la boue?". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  36. ^ Maidment, Jack (13 November 2017). "Labour MP described black Tory candidate as a 'token ghetto boy'". Retrieved 31 May 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  37. ^ "Emma Dent Coad MP apologises over 'racist blog post'". BBC News. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  38. ^ Coad, Emma Dent (14 August 2010). "Emma Dent Coad's blog: Self-Servatives Need Not Apply". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  39. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn Asked To Remove Whip From Emma Dent Coad Over 'Unacceptable' Comments". 14 November 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  40. ^ Horton, Helena (27 November 2017). "Emma Dent Coad criticised for sexism after sharing post calling Theresa May ugly". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  41. ^ "Emma Dent Coad: If I've made a mistake about Prince Harry's flying credentials 'I will hold my hands up'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 1 April 2019.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Victoria Borwick
Member of Parliament
for Kensington