Helen Morgan (politician)

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Helen Morgan
Official portrait of Helen Morgan MP crop.jpg
Official portrait, 2022
Member of Parliament
for North Shropshire
Assumed office
16 December 2021
Preceded byOwen Paterson
Majority5,925 (15.6%)
Liberal Democrat portfolios
2022-Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
Personal details
Born (1975-04-09) 9 April 1975 (age 47)
Nottingham, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Websitewww.helenmorgan.org.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Helen Margaret Lillian Morgan[1] (born 9 April 1975) is a British Liberal Democrat politician and chartered accountant who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Shropshire since 2021.[2] Morgan is the first Liberal Democrat to represent the constituency, which had previously been considered a Conservative safe seat.

Early life and career[edit]

Helen Morgan was born in 1975 in Nottingham to John and Susan Halcrow. She grew up in Stone, Staffordshire.[2][3][4] She attended Alleyne's High School in Stone, before reading history at Trinity College, Cambridge,[5] and graduating in 1996.[6]

Morgan is a chartered accountant, and, prior to being elected to parliament, was working as financial controller for a real estate business based in North Shropshire. Her previous experience had included posts of head of margin forecasting at British Gas, head of financial reporting at Centrica and as an audit manager at KPMG.[7]

Local politics[edit]

Morgan began her career in politics as a parish councillor. On 6 May 2021, Morgan was a Liberal Democrat candidate in the 2021 Shropshire Council election for the unitary division of The Meres, narrowly losing to the Conservative candidate by 23 votes.[8]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Morgan was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the North Shropshire by-election on 16 November 2021.[9] She had previously contested the seat in the 2019 general election where she finished third with 10% of the vote.[7] It was considered to be a safe Conservative seat, as it had been represented by a member of the party since 1983 in its current form.[10] The by-election was triggered after its incumbent MP Owen Paterson announced on 4 November that he would be stepping down after Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated he would no longer prevent his suspension from parliament after being found by a watchdog to have breached rules on lobbying. The government had earlier issued a three line whip to Conservative MPs to support an amendment to prevent Paterson's sanction and overhaul the watchdog but the following day reversed its position.[11][12] Paterson had repeatedly lobbied on behalf of healthcare company Randox and food company Lynn's Country Foods. For the former, he worked as a paid consultant for at least £100,000 per year, and lobbied to secure government COVID-19 contracts worth nearly £600 million without competitive bidding.[13][14][15]

The Financial Times described the by-election campaign as "dominated by criticism of the prime minister" after Boris Johnson's "botched attempt to save Paterson opened up accusations of tolerating 'sleaze' in his government."[16] The Liberal Democrats focused their campaign on this.[17][18] She was elected on 16 December with a majority of 5,925 (15.6%) on a swing of 34.1% from the Conservative Party. The turnout was 46.3%.[19][20]

In her victory speech, Morgan attacked Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the government as being "run on lies and bluster", highlighting the Westminster Christmas parties controversy and the Downing Street refurbishment controversy as examples of this, and stated that her priorities would be on improving healthcare locally and supporting the farming community in the constituency.[21]

One of her first actions as a Member of Parliament was writing to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asking for a review into ambulance waiting times in Shropshire.[22] Local ambulance services had featured as a prominent issue during the by-election campaign.[23] In response to the letter, Minister of State for Health Edward Argar stated that there had been no impact assessment on the closures of ambulance stations in the area.[24][25]

Morgan was appointed Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Levelling up, Housing and Communities and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Local Government on 11 July 2022.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Away from politics and her financial career, Morgan has run half-marathons to raise money for numerous charities and has volunteered as a trustee for a local nursery.[27] She married Robert Morgan in 2003, and the couple have a son.[2] The family live in Harmer Hill,[28] having moved to North Shropshire in 2014.[5] She lists her recreations as "walking, running, gardening, reading, family".[2]


  1. ^ "Prayers". Hansard. UK Parliament. 5 January 2022. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Morgan, Helen Margaret Lilian, (born 9 April 1975), MP (Lib Dem) North Shropshire, since Dec. 2021". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 2022. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u296522. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Confident Lib-Dem hoping to make history in North Shropshire by-election". Shropshire Star. 24 November 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021. She was born and raised in Stone, Staffordshire, before moving to Buckinghamshire.
  4. ^ Quadri, Sami (17 December 2021). "Who is North Shropshire's new MP Helen Morgan?". Evening Standard. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Helen Morgan stands for Lib Dems in North Shropshire". Lib Dem Voice. Retrieved 17 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Cambridge University List of Members. University of Cambridge. 1998. p. 324.
  7. ^ a b Flett, David (17 December 2021). "Who is new North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan?". Nottingham Live. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  8. ^ "Unitary results – May 6 2021". Shropshire Council. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Lib Dems announce Helen Morgan as candidate for North Shropshire by-election". Shropshire Live. 16 November 2021.
  10. ^ Ambrose, Tom. "Polls close in North Shropshire amid Tory fears of Lib Dem victory". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Allegretti, Aubrey (3 November 2021). "Tory MP avoids suspension after Boris Johnson intervenes in sleaze row". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "BBC presenter corrects false claim about Owen Paterson vote". Full Fact. 4 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Owen Paterson faces 30-day Commons suspension for rule breach after watchdog report". BBC News. 26 October 2021.
  14. ^ Elgot, Jessica; Evans, Rob (17 November 2021). "Government 'unable to locate' note of Owen Paterson meeting with minister". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  15. ^ Morgan-Bentley, Paul; Kenber, Billy (12 November 2021). "Army had to help Owen Paterson firm Randox with lucrative Covid contract". The Times.(subscription required)
  16. ^ Parker, George (17 December 2021). "Boris Johnson suffers crushing blow as Lib Dems win North Shropshire by-election". Financial Times.(subscription required)
  17. ^ "Challenging Tory sleaze in the North Shropshire by-election". Liberal Democrats. 5 November 2021.
  18. ^ Craig, Jon (17 December 2021). "North Shropshire: Why Boris Johnson should be worried by disastrous by-election defeat". Sky News.
  19. ^ "North Shropshire parliamentary by-election". Shropshire Council. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  20. ^ Curtice, John (17 December 2021). "North Shropshire by-election: Leave voters lose faith in Johnson's ethics and competence". The Times.(subscription required)
  21. ^ "'Common sense at the ballot box': Lib Dem Helen Morgan's victory speech – video". The Guardian. 17 December 2021.
  22. ^ White, Barrie (20 December 2021). "North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan wants ambulance review". Border Counties Advertizer. Retrieved 30 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ Woodcock, Andrew (6 December 2021). "Anger over ambulances may offer key to by-election upset, Liberal Democrats claim". The Independent. Retrieved 30 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "Government admits to making no impact assessment on closing four Shropshire ambulance stations". Shropshire Live. 29 December 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  25. ^ White, Barrie (20 December 2021). "North Shropshire MP slams government's 'lack of assessment' over ambulance closures". Border Counties Advertizer. Retrieved 30 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "Helen Morgan - Parliamentary Career". Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  27. ^ Flett, David (17 December 2021). "Who is North Shropshire's new MP Helen Morgan?". WalesOnline.
  28. ^ "Meet Helen". Helen Morgan. Retrieved 17 December 2021.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for North Shropshire