Lisa Nandy

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Lisa Nandy

Official portrait of Lisa Nandy MP crop 2.jpg
Nandy in 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Assumed office
5 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byEmily Thornberry
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In office
13 September 2015 – 27 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byCaroline Flint
Succeeded byBarry Gardiner
Shadow Minister for Charities and Civil Society
In office
9 October 2013 – 13 September 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byGareth Thomas
Succeeded byIan Lavery (Trade Unions and Civil Society)
Member of Parliament
for Wigan
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byNeil Turner
Majority6,728 (14.9%)
Personal details
Lisa Eva Nandy

(1979-08-09) 9 August 1979 (age 41)
Manchester, England
Political partyLabour
ParentsDipak Nandy
Louise Byers
RelativesFrank Byers (grandfather)
Alma materNewcastle University
Birkbeck, University of London
WebsiteOfficial website

Lisa Eva Nandy (born 9 August 1979) is a British Labour politician who has served as Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs since 2020. She has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Wigan since 2010.

The daughter of a Marxist academic, Nandy was born in Manchester and educated at the comprehensive Parrs Wood High School and Holy Cross College. She studied Politics at Newcastle University and Public Policy at Birkbeck, University of London. She then worked as an aide to Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard, a researcher for homelessness charity Centrepoint and a senior policy adviser at The Children's Society. She also served as a Labour councillor for the Hammersmith Broadway ward on Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council.

Nandy was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Tessa Jowell from 2010 to 2012 and Shadow Minister for Charities and Civil Society from 2012 to 2015. She served as Shadow Energy Secretary from 2015, until she resigned in 2016 to co-chair Owen Smith's leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn. She stood as a candidate in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election coming in third place with 16.3% of the vote, behind Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey. Starmer subsequently appointed Nandy as Shadow Foreign Secretary in April 2020.

Early life and career[edit]

Lisa Eva Nandy was born in Manchester on 9 August 1979,[1] the daughter of Louise (née Byers) and Dipak Nandy, an academic and Marxist from India.[2][3][4] Her maternal grandfather Frank Byers was a Liberal MP who held many offices in the Liberal Party, later being created a life peer.[5] Nandy grew up in both Manchester and Bury, where her family subsequently settled.[6]

She was educated at Parrs Wood High School, a mixed comprehensive school in East Didsbury in Manchester, followed by Holy Cross College in Bury.[7][8] She studied politics at Newcastle University, graduating in 2001, and obtained a master's degree in public policy from Birkbeck, University of London.[8]

She worked as a researcher and caseworker for the Walthamstow Labour MP Neil Gerrard.[9] After that, Nandy worked as a researcher at the homelessness charity Centrepoint from 2003 to 2005, and then as senior policy adviser at The Children's Society from 2005 until her election in 2010, where she specialised in issues facing young refugees, also acting as adviser to the Children's Commissioner for England and to the Independent Asylum Commission.[2][10][11][12] She served as a Labour councillor for the Hammersmith Broadway ward on Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council from 2006 to 2010.[8] As a councillor, she served as shadow cabinet member for housing.[6]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Nandy was selected as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Wigan constituency in February 2010 from an all-women shortlist.[13] Elected to parliament on 7 May 2010, she became the constituency's first female MP and one of the first Asian female MPs.[14][15][16]

She was appointed to the Education Select Committee in July 2010 and was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Tessa Jowell, the Shadow Olympics Minister, in October 2010.[17][18] In 2012, she was made shadow children's minister.[9] In October 2013, she was appointed shadow charities minister.[19]

Following Labour's general election defeat in May 2015 and Ed Miliband's subsequent resignation as party leader, there was some speculation in the media that Nandy would stand in the leadership election.[20] Nandy declined and endorsed Andy Burnham.[21] In August 2015, Owen Jones said that he encouraged Nandy to run for the leadership, but the recent birth of her son prevented it.[22][23] Nandy was also mentioned in the Guardian and the Telegraph as someone from the left wing of the party who could replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader before the 2017 general election,[24][25] and after the 2019 general election in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election.[26]

In September 2015, it was announced that Nandy had been appointed to serve as Shadow Energy Secretary in the Shadow Cabinet.[27] Along with many colleagues, she resigned from her post in June 2016.[28] In the wake of the these resignations, Nandy was approached by Labour MPs who wanted her to stand against Jeremy Corbyn in a leadership election. MPs felt that Nandy and eventual candidate Owen Smith were soft Left politicians who could win the leadership. Nandy declined to stand and instead served as co-chair of Smith's campaign team.[29]

Nandy at the 2016 Labour Party Conference

After the election resulted in Corbyn's re-election, Nandy announced that she did not intend to return to the frontbench without the re-introduction of Shadow Cabinet elections, which had been abolished by Ed Miliband in 2011 (the last election being held in 2010). She also spoke of the abuse she had received for not supporting Corbyn, which she described as leaving her "genuinely frightened". She compared her treatment to that which she had received at the hands of the far-right when she first campaigned to become MP for Wigan in 2010.[30]

In 2018, Nandy set up the Centre for Towns, with data analytics expert Ian Warren. The Centre for Towns bills itself as an "independent non-partisan organisation dedicated to providing research and analysis of our towns".[31] At the end of 2018 Nandy became the chair of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.[32]

2020 leadership election[edit]

In January 2020, Nandy wrote a letter to the Wigan Post[33] outlining her intention to stand to succeed Jeremy Corbyn in the 2020 leadership election, saying that she wanted to "bring Labour home" to its traditional strongholds.[34][35]

On 16 January 2020, during the Labour leadership election, Nandy said that demands for Scottish independence could be overcome with a "social justice agenda", saying that there were times in the past when that had quelled nationalist movements in Catalonia and Quebec. She was criticised by Scottish National Party politicians who pointed to police violence and the jailing of politicians during the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. In a blog post, Nandy said that police violence in Catalonia was unjustified, and that socialists opposed to separatism "may yet win out".[36][37][38][39]

On 21 January 2020, Lisa Nandy was endorsed by the GMB union, which praised her "ambition, optimism, and decisive leadership".[40] In February, she won the endorsement of the Jewish Labour Movement, receiving the backing of 51% of JLM members.[41]

Nandy came third in the contest, receiving 79,597 votes (16.2% of the vote share).[42]

Shadow Foreign Secretary[edit]

On 5 April 2020, Nandy was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the new Shadow Cabinet led by Keir Starmer.[43]

Political positions[edit]

Politico has stated that she is on the "centre left" of the Labour party, and is a "clear break from Corbynism,[44] and Paul Bristow has said that Nandy is "refreshingly untribal".[45] Jon Cruddas has stated that Nandy is on the "authentic soft left" of the party.[46]

She has supported Labour's position as an internationalist party,[47] supported remaining in the EU, supported a "soft" Brexit in opposition to a second Brexit referendum,[48] and supported immigration into the UK.[45]

On the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, she supports a two-state solution and opposes the "Trump peace plan", noting her support for the Palestinian right of return, while also opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and supporting the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.[48][49]

Nandy supports "ethical interventionism" and states that although she supports working towards peace, she is "not a pacifist". She has also cited Robin Cook's speech in 1997 on "ethical foreign policy" as an influence on her beliefs, and the UK intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000 as an example of ethical interventionism. She voted against UK airstrikes in Syria in 2015, opposed UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia, the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and the Iraq War.[46][48]

She criticised Russia's record on human rights and the Salisbury poisoning and also former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's positions on Russia for standing "with the Russian government, and not with the people it oppresses".[48][50]

On the issue of Donald Trump, Nandy has said that the UK should cooperate with the Presidency of Donald Trump, to "have the argument" with him.[51] She has also stated that she would oppose signing a trade deal with the US unless it ratifies the Paris Agreement, which the US withdrew from under Trump's presidency.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Nandy's partner, Andy Collis, is a public relations consultant. She has a son, born in Wigan Infirmary in April 2015.[52]

She is a member of Unite the Union.[9]

Selected works[edit]

  • Nandy, Lisa (2005). "The impact of government policy on asylum-seeking and refugee children". Children & Society. Wiley. 19 (5): 410–413. doi:10.1002/chi.896. ISSN 0951-0605.
  • Nandy, Lisa (2012). "What would a socially just education system look like?". Journal of Education Policy. Taylor & Francis. 27 (5): 677–680. doi:10.1080/02680939.2012.710021. ISSN 0268-0939.
  • Nandy, Lisa; Lucas, Caroline; Bowers, Chris, eds. (2016). The Alternative: Towards a New Progressive Politics. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78590-112-6. OCLC 968649949.
  • Nandy, Lisa (2016). "Wigan". In Hunt, Tristram (ed.). Labour's Identity Crisis: England and the Politics of Patriotism (PDF). Winchester University Press. pp. 67–70. ISBN 978-1906113209. OCLC 952674828.
  • Nandy, Lisa (2019). "Bridging the Brexit divide". IPPR Progressive Review. Wiley. 26 (3): 238–242. doi:10.1111/newe.12168. ISSN 2573-2323.
  • Nandy, Lisa (8 January 2020). "Back to the Future: The Pulling Apart of our Towns and Cities". The Political Quarterly. Wiley. doi:10.1111/1467-923x.12792. ISSN 0032-3179.


  1. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF). Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council. 20 April 2010. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Election 2010: Lisa Nandy (Lab)". Manchester Evening News. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  3. ^ Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. Kelly's Directories. 2000. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-333-54577-5.
  4. ^ Ali, Arif (1988). Third World impact (8 ed.). Hansib Pub. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-870518-04-8.
  5. ^ "Keeping it in the Family". Scribd. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b News, Manchester Evening (28 April 2010). "Lisa Nandy (Lab)". men. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  7. ^ "About us > Alumni". Parrs Wood High School. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "Nandy, Lisa Eva, (born 9 Aug. 1979), MP (Lab) Wigan, since 2010 | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U251160. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "Lisa Nandy". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Lisa Nandy". Refugee and Migrant Justice. 22 October 2009. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Policy Area – Young Refugees". The Children's Society. Archived from the original on 10 May 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  12. ^ Begum, Shelina (8 March 2017). "100 inspirational women from Greater Manchester". men. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  13. ^ Smith, Mark (4 February 2010). "The Northerner: 'I bet she had to ask for directions to Wigan'". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  14. ^ "Election 2010: Constituency: Wigan". BBC News. BBC. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Lisa Nandy: 'I am proud to be first female MP for Wigan'". Wigan Today. 7 May 2010. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Asian women to make Westminster breakthrough". 31 March 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Education Committee – membership". UK Parliament Website. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  18. ^ "Wigan MP Lisa Nandy Promoted to Olympic Role in Labour's Shadow Team". Lisa Nandy: Labour MP for Wigan. 13 October 2010. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  19. ^ Ainsworth, David (9 October 2013). "Lisa Nandy is appointed shadow charities minister in Labour reshuffle". Third Sector. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  20. ^ Hardman, Isabel (8 May 2015). "Labour leadership campaign: who might have a pop?". The Spectator (blog). London. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015.
  21. ^ "List of MPs' endorsements of the Labour leadership candidates". New Statesman. London. 22 May 2015. Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  22. ^ Jones, Owen (29 August 2015). "My honest thoughts on the Corbyn campaign—and overcoming formidable obstacles". Medium. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Who's who: Labour shadow cabinet in full". 11 January 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  24. ^ Behr, Rafael (2 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn may prevail, but he has no monopoly on virtue". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016.
  25. ^ Sophy Ridge, Political Correspondent Sky News. "Meet the next leader of the Labour party (sorry Jeremy Corbyn)". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  26. ^ Grierson, Jamie; Stewart, Heather (15 December 2019). "Labour leadership contest: who are the runners and riders?".
  27. ^ Walker, Peter (16 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet in full". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  28. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances; Slawson, Nicola (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  29. ^ Waterson, Jim (23 September 2016). "How The Labour Coup Failed". Buzzfeed UK. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016.
  30. ^ Stone, Jon (26 September 2016). "Labour leadership contest abuse 'reminded me of far right', MP Lisa Nandy says". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017.
  31. ^ "It's the towns, stupid: How Labour plans to win the next election". Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  32. ^ "Lisa Nandy: My plans as the new chair of Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East". LabourList. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  33. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Wigan MP Lisa Nandy enters the race to become new Leader of the Labour Party". Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  34. ^ Nandy, Lisa (3 January 2020). "Labour's path back to power will be through on-the-ground activism". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  35. ^ "Lisa Nandy joins Labour leadership race". BBC News. 4 January 2020.
  36. ^ "Scottish independence: Labour candidate Lisa Nandy criticised for Catalonia remarks". BBC News. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  37. ^ Webster, Laura (16 January 2020). "Lisa Nandy under fire for Catalonia claim in Andrew Neil interview". The National. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  38. ^ "Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy suggests Scotland should 'look to Catalonia' to deal with independence". The Herald. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  39. ^ Chaplain, Chloe (16 January 2020). "Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy called 'clueless' for citing Spain's crack-down in Catalonia as a good way of defeating nationalism". i news. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  40. ^ "Major boost for Lisa Nandy as GMB union backs her campaign to be Labour leader". Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  41. ^ "Jewish Labour Movement nominates Lisa Nandy and Ian Murray". LabourList. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  42. ^ "Keir Starmer elected as new Labour leader". BBC News. 4 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  43. ^ "Labour leadership: Lisa Nandy appointed shadow foreign secretary". BBC News. 5 April 2020.
  44. ^ Courea, Eleni (8 February 2020). "Lisa Nandy, Labour's wild card candidate". Politico. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  45. ^ a b Pidd, Helen; Walker, Peter (13 March 2020). "Is 'refreshingly untribal' Lisa Nandy Labour's best hope?". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  46. ^ a b Pickard, Jim; Bounds, Andy (17 January 2020). "Lisa Nandy, leadership long-shot on the road from Wigan". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  47. ^ Whale, Sebastian (12 May 2020). "The Nandy doctrine: renewing the 'moral commitment' to an 'ethical' foreign policy". Politics Home. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  48. ^ a b c d e Rea, Ailbhe (17 April 2020). "What are Lisa Nandy's foreign policy positions?". New Statesman. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  49. ^ "'Zionist' UK Labour leadership candidate endorses Palestinian right of return". The Times of Israel. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  50. ^ Hossein-Pour, Anahita (25 February 2020). "Lisa Nandy accuses Jeremy Corbyn of 'standing with Russia' over Salisbury attack". Politics Home. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  51. ^ "Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy would attend State Banquet for Donald Trump". ITV News. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  52. ^ "Labour success for Nandy". Wigan Today. 30 April 2015. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Neil Turner
Member of Parliament
for Wigan

Political offices
Preceded by
Caroline Flint
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Succeeded by
Barry Gardiner
Preceded by
Emily Thornberry
Shadow Foreign Secretary