Janet Daby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Janet Daby

Official portrait of Janet Daby MP crop 2.jpg
2020 parliamentary portrait
Shadow Minister for Faiths, Women and Equalities
In office
9 April 2020 – 7 December 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byPosition established
Member of Parliament
for Lewisham East
Assumed office
14 June 2018
Preceded byHeidi Alexander
Majority17,008 (38.0%)
Personal details
Janet Jessica Sarju

(1970-12-15) 15 December 1970 (age 50)
Political partyLabour
WebsiteOfficial website

Janet Jessica Daby (née Sarju; born 15 December 1970)[1] is a British Labour Party politician who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the parliamentary constituency of Lewisham East in London. Daby won the seat at a by-election held on 14 June 2018, and was re-elected at the 2019 general election.

Early life[edit]

Janet Jessica Sarju was born to parents who were Windrush migrants from Guyana and Jamaica.[2][1][3] She was brought up on a council estate where, as a child, racists pelted her windows with eggs three nights in a row.[4] She attended Blackheath Bluecoat School in Greenwich.[2] She worked in volunteer management and children's social care, acting as a registered fostering manager.[5]

Political career[edit]

Daby was elected as a Lewisham borough councillor at the 2010 local elections, in which she gained the Whitefoot ward from the Liberal Democrats and received the most votes of the three elected candidates.[6][7] She was re-elected in 2014 and 2018, also topping the poll on these occasions. In addition, Daby served as deputy mayor of the London Borough of Lewisham during this period.[5][8] In 2013, she founded the Whitefoot and Downham Community Food + Project, which she also became a director of.[1]

A by-election was triggered in Lewisham East by the resignation of the incumbent Labour MP Heidi Alexander in May 2018; the seat, which included Daby's Whitefoot ward, has generally been considered safe for the Labour Party in recent years. Daby was selected as Labour's by-election candidate after hustings involving an all-women shortlist.[9] She retained the seat for Labour at the June 2018 by-election with 50.2% of the vote, although Labour's majority was reduced by 19.3%.[10] In response to ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, Daby pledged to fight for the UK to remain in the European Union customs union and the single market.[11]

Daby announced her resignation as a Lewisham councillor on 20 March 2019, to concentrate on her role as an MP, noting that she would continue to represent Whitefoot residents in the Houses of Parliament.[12] She was re-elected to Parliament at the December 2019 general election with 26,661 votes, representing a majority of 17,008.[13] Daby was given her first shadow ministerial post on 9 April 2020 by Labour Party leader Keir Starmer as Shadow Minister for Faiths. She resigned from this post on 7 December 2020 after she suggested that registrars who have a religious objection to same-sex marriage should be protected from losing their jobs if they refuse to certify the partnership, an action which would be viewed as unlawful discrimination. She later apologised for her remarks.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Daby married Donald in 2003; the couple have a son and a daughter.[1] She has lived in Lewisham for over 20 years.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Daby, Janet Jessica, (born 15 Dec. 1970), MP (Lab) Lewisham East, since June 2018". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U291315 (inactive 30 June 2021).CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of June 2021 (link)
  2. ^ a b Simpson, Fiona (15 June 2018). "Lewisham East by-election result: Who is Labour's Janet Daby?". London Evening Standard.
  3. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Bloom, Dan (15 June 2018). "Who is Janet Daby? Profile of Labour's newest MP after victory in Lewisham East by-election". Mirror. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Janet Daby: our candidate for Lewisham East". Labour in London. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Lewisham Councillors Janet Daby and Alex Feis-Bryce stand down". Lewisham Labour Party. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Councillor Janet Daby". Lewisham Council. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  8. ^ Casalicchio, Emilio (19 May 2018). "Blow for Jeremy Corbyn as Janet Daby named Labour candidate for Lewisham East by-election". PoliticsHome. Dods Parliamentary Commmunications. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Lewisham East by-election: Janet Daby chosen to stand for Labour". BBC News. 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Labour's Janet Daby wins Lewisham East in by-election". BBC News. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  11. ^ Cowburn, Ashley (18 May 2018). "Lewisham East by-election: Brexit becomes key dividing line in contest to replace Heidi Alexander as Labour candidate". The Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Lewisham Councillors Janet Daby and Alex Feis-Bryce stand down". Lewisham Labour. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  13. ^ Somerville, Ewan (13 December 2019). "Lewisham East constituency results 2019: Labour's Janet Daby wins". London Evening Standard. ESI Media. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  14. ^ Sleigh, Sophia (7 December 2020). "Labour shadow minister Janet Daby resigns after saying registrars have right to object to gay marriage". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 7 December 2020.

External links[edit]

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