Louise Ellman

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Louise Ellman
Official portrait of Mrs Louise Ellman crop 2.jpg
Chair of the Transport Select Committee
In office
21 May 2008 – 12 July 2017
Preceded byGwyneth Dunwoody
Succeeded byLilian Greenwood
Member of Parliament
for Liverpool Riverside
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded byRobert Parry
Majority35,947 (74.8%)
Personal details
Born (1945-11-14) 14 November 1945 (age 73)
Manchester, Lancashire, England
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Geoffrey Ellman
EducationManchester High School for Girls
Alma materUniversity of Hull
University of York

Dame Louise Joyce Ellman[1] DBE (born 14 November 1945) is a British Labour Co-operative politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool Riverside since 1997.

Early life and career[edit]

Ellman (née Rosenberg) was born in Manchester to a British Jewish family.[2] She was educated at the independent Manchester High School for Girls,[3] before studying at the University of Hull where she received a BA in Sociology and History in 1967, and then studied Social Administration at the University of York where she was awarded a MPhil in 1972. From 1970, she worked as a lecturer for the Open University in further education, leaving in 1976. She was elected as a councillor on the Lancashire County Council in 1970, becoming the Labour group leader in 1977, and she led the council from 1981 until her election to Parliament. She was Vice-Chair of Lancashire Enterprises.

She unsuccessfully contested the Darwen constituency at the 1979 general election where she was defeated by the sitting Conservative MP Charles Fletcher-Cooke by 13,026 votes.

Parliamentary career[edit]

She was elected to Parliament at the 1997 general election for the safe seat of Liverpool Riverside. She held the seat with a majority of 21,799 and has held the seat comfortably at successive general elections. She made her maiden speech on 9 June 1997.[4] When she was re-elected in 2001, the turnout of the vote in her constituency was the lowest in the country at just 34.1%.

She has been a member of the Transport Committee and its predecessor Transport, Local Government and the Regions since she was first elected. On 21 May 2008, she was selected to become the Chair of the Commons Transport Select Committee, the post having become vacant after the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody MP. She was returned unopposed to that position after the 2015 general election.[5]

She voted "very strongly for" the Iraq War, "very strongly against" an investigation into that war, and "very strongly for" renewal of Trident, Britain's nuclear weapons programme. She is a supporter of gay rights and an opponent of foundation hospitals, the un-elected House of Lords, and fox-hunting.[6] In her time in Parliament she has very rarely voted against the Party line.[7]

In April 2010, she voted for the Digital Economy Bill in the "washup" process before the general election.[8]

She has also played an active role in the effort to pressure the Bulgarian government to free Michael Shields, and recently Gillian Gibbons, a teacher jailed in Sudan for blasphemy who has now been pardoned.

Middle East and related issues[edit]

Ellman was the Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and is a Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel[9] and has been an active spokeswoman in Parliament on issues relating to the Middle East.

2010 Election[edit]

In the 2010 Election campaign leaflets had been distributed in her constituency of Liverpool Riverside targeting Ellman and Luciana Berger for their membership of Labour Friends of Israel and was headed "Don't vote for Friends of Israel".[10] A leaflet headed "Remember Gaza" and subheaded "Don't vote for Labour Friends of Israel" was written and widely distributed by Liverpool Friends of Palestine and appears on the website LabourNet. An article appeared in The Jewish Chronicle entitled "Racist leaflets against Jewish candidates in Liverpool".[11][12]

Liverpool Riverside constituency since 2015[edit]

"I am very concerned about antisemitism in the Labour Party. Most members of the Labour Party are not antisemitic but some are", Ellman told Dermot Murnaghan on his Sunday Sky News programme in March 2016. Such people "are being allowed to get away with posting antisemitic comments in their tweets and on their websites."[13] Constituency Labour Party meetings have been tense since the 2015 general election, and comments have been made which Ellman considers antisemitic.[14][15]

The Momentum group, which supports Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and is active in Ellman's constituency, planned an attempt to deselect her as the seat's Labour candidate at the 2017 election.[16] Ellman believes Momentum are acting as a "party within a party" in her constituency and has advocated an official Labour Party inquiry into the group and intends to resists attempts to deselect her. Corbyn, and those around him, have rejected her assertions.[17]

At the 2017 general election, Ellman was returned to parliament with 84.5% of the vote and an increase of her majority.

Personal life[edit]

Ellman has been married since 16 July 1967 to Geoffrey Ellman, a pharmacist. She lived in Leeds then moved to Skelmersdale in 1969. The couple have a son and a daughter.

In March 2010, it became known her son Sean, then 37, was selling the then legal drug mephedrone, known as meow meow, from shops in northern England.[18] She said: "I disapprove of the trade involving miaow-miaow, legal highs or drugs in general. I am on record speaking out strongly against drugs and will continue to do so."[19] (The drug was declared illegal in the European Union in December 2010.) Eventually, on 13 May 2013, Chester Magistrates' Court ruled that there was no case to answer.[20]


  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8737.
  2. ^ Jessica Elgot. "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Careers of former students". Manchester High School for Girls. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  4. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (9 June 1997). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 9 Jun 1997 (pt 23)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Winning candidates for select committee Chairs announced". UK Parliament. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Louise Ellman MP, Liverpool, Riverside". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Voting Record — Louise Ellman MP, Liverpool, Riverside (10186) — The Public Whip". Publicwhip.org.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Voting Record — Louise Ellman MP, Liverpool, Riverside (10186) — The Public Whip". Publicwhip.org.uk. 28 March 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Metropolitan police confirm to LFI vice-chair Hezbollah flags can be flown on Al-Quds day due to government policy". Jewish Friends of Israel. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Racist leaflets against Jewish candidates in Liverpool". The Jewish Chronicle. 15 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Remember Gaza front" (PDF). Labournet.net. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Remember Gaza back" (PDF). Labournet.net. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  13. ^ Dysch, Marcus (4 April 2016). "Labour MP calls on Jeremy Corbyn to act against antisemitism in party". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  14. ^ Dysch, Marcus (6 April 2016). "Hard-left activists target Jewish MP in 'terrifying' campaign of abuse". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  15. ^ MacAskill, Ewan (13 September 2016). "Louise Ellman MP: 'A small number are intent on creating dissent'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  16. ^ Dysch, Marcus; Sugarman, Daniel (22 September 2016). "Revealed: how activists targeted Louise Ellman". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  17. ^ Craig, Jon (24 September 2016). "Labour MP demands inquiry over Momentum infiltration". Sky News. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  18. ^ Elgot, Jessica; Symons, Leon (26 March 2010). "MP's son sells deadly 'legal high'". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  19. ^ Jenkins, Russell (27 March 2010). "Louise Ellman, Labour MP, 'disapproves' of her son selling mephedrone". The Times. Retrieved 27 February 2015. (subscription required)
  20. ^ "MP's son Sean Ellman cleared in legal high label case". London: BBC. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Audio clips[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Parry
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Riverside