Mary Creagh

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Mary Creagh
MP
MaryCreaghMP-withbrooch.jpg
Dr Mary Creagh FCIL MP
Shadow Secretary of State
for International Development
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 November 2014
Leader Ed Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by Jim Murphy
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
7 October 2013 – 5 November 2014
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Maria Eagle
Succeeded by Michael Dugher
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
8 October 2010 – 7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Hilary Benn
Succeeded by Maria Eagle
Member of Parliament
for Wakefield
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by David Hinchliffe
Majority 2,613 (6%)
Labour Group Leader of Islington Council
In office
2000–2004
Preceded by Derek Sawyer
Succeeded by Catherine West
Member for Highbury West
on Islington Council
In office
7 May 1998 – 5 May 2005
Succeeded by Theresa Debono
Personal details
Born Mary Helen Creagh
(1967-12-02) 2 December 1967 (age 47)
Coventry, Warwickshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Adrian Pulham
Children 1 daughter
1 son
Alma mater Pembroke College, Oxford;
LSE (PhD)
Religion Roman Catholic
Awards FCIL
Website Official website

Mary Helen Creagh (born 2 December 1967) is a British Labour politician who has represented Wakefield as its Member of Parliament (MP) since 2005.

In 2010 Creagh was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,[1] before becoming Shadow Secretary of State for Transport in 2013.[2] In November 2014 she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.[3]

On 14 May 2015, Creagh announced she would run for Leader of the Labour Party in the leadership election resulting from Ed Miliband's resignation,[4] though she later withdrew her candidacy.

Background[edit]

Dr Creagh speaking in the House

Of Irish descent, Creagh was born in Coventry[5] where her father was a car factory worker and her mother a primary school teacher.[6] She was educated at the Bishop Ullathorne Comprehensive School in Coventry and read Modern Languages at Pembroke College, Oxford where she graduated as MA (Oxon).[7] After pursuing European Studies at the London School of Economics (PhD),[8] a fluent French and Italian speaker, Creagh has been elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (FCIL).

Creagh worked in Brussels for four years, first as an intern at the European Parliament and then for the European Youth Forum. She lectured in entrepreneurship at the Cranfield School of Management and served for seven years as a Trustee of Rathbone, a national charity.

Political career[edit]

Councillor[edit]

Creagh was elected as a Councillor for the London Borough of Islington in 1998, and served as the Labour Group Leader for five years. She stood down from Islington Council in 2005 upon her election to parliament.[9] During Creagh's time as Council Leader the Labour Party went from 25 councillors to 10 after the local elections of 2002.[10]

In 2002 Creagh formally alleged cronyism in the appointment of the Islington Council chief executive by five Liberal Democrat councillors thus triggering an investigation by the Standards Board for England. After the longest ever investigation by the Standards Board her complaint was rejected. Creagh was criticised by the tribunal as being "heavily influenced by her political motives" and that she was an "insensitive witness, lacking in balanced judgment and one who was prepared to make assumptions about honesty and integrity of others without any proper basis".[11] However, Creagh defended herself saying she "blew the whistle because I believed the Liberal Democrats were not meeting the standards we expect from people in public office. I invite people to look at my evidence and draw their own conclusions".[12]

The Liberal Democrat councillors involved lost their seats at the 2006 elections as part of a wider set-back for their party which saw them lose control of the Council.[13]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Creagh succeeded the retiring David Hinchliffe as MP for Wakefield. She won the seat in 2005[14] with a majority of 5,154, and held the seat - altered by boundary changes - with a majority of 1,613 five years later. She made her maiden speech in parliament on 25 May 2005 using the occasion to raise issues of poverty in her constituency. She also mentioned locally-born sculptor Barbara Hepworth.[15]

She was a member of the Human Rights Select Committee from 2005 until 2007, and was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, from 2006 until June 2009. In June 2009 she was made an Assistant Government Whip in the Department of Health.[16] In 2007 she was among those MPs who backed Gordon Brown for the Labour Party leadership.[17] In May 2010, Creagh was a supporter of David Miliband in his bid to be elected Leader of the Labour Party.[16]

She has campaigned successfully on a number of issues since entering parliament. In 2005 she introduced a Children's Food Bill which sought to introduce minimum nutritional standards for all school meals and take fizzy drinks and sugary snacks out of school vending machines. Both of these measures were accepted by the Government and became law under the Education and Inspections Act 2006.[18]

In 2006 Creagh launched a campaign aimed at preventing scalding injuries in the home. She brought together medical experts, campaign groups, and victims of scalding injuries to lobby the government to change the building regulations to prevent people being severely burned by scalding hot water. The coalition pressured the government to make the fitting of a water temperature regulating device, such as a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV), compulsory in new bathrooms in England. In 2009, after a 3-year "Hot Water Burns Like Fire" campaign, the Labour Government confirmed that, from April 2010, TMVs were to be a standard fitment in all new bathrooms.[19][20]

From 2007 to 2009 Creagh was Chair of the Labour Movement for Europe,[21] succeeding Chris Bryant MP and being succeeded by Richard Corbett MEP.

In 2009, as Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity, Mary Creagh called on Justice Secretary Jack Straw to tighten British Law so that people accused of genocide could be prosecuted in the UK. She said there was an "impunity gap" which allowed people accused of terrible crimes in places like Rwanda and Bosnia to escape justice and live freely in Britain.[22] As a result of this the Government agreed to amend the Coroner's and Justice Bill to tighten the law so that anyone suspected of war crimes anywhere throughout the world since 1991 and resident in the UK could be prosecuted in UK courts.[23]

Shadow Cabinet[edit]

On 8 October 2010, Creagh was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.[1] In February 2011 she secured a House of Commons debate[24] on the Government’s plans to sell off 85% of public forestry. The Government subsequently abandoned these plans,[25] it having become clear that the public "were not happy with the proposals".[26]

In 2011, Creagh criticised the decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to cut flood defence spending in real terms by 32%.[27] In addition to her involvement in campaigns calling for the banning of wild animals performing in circuses,[28] she has opposed the Government’s policy of badger culling, claiming it was "anti-science" and that the option of vaccination should be explored.[29] At the Labour Party’s Annual Conference in September 2011 Creagh launched the campaign Back the Apple.[30] with Unite the Union. The campaign opposes the Government’s plan to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board[31] which sets wages and conditions for thousands of agricultural workers.

In 2013, Creagh was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.[2] On 24 March 2014 she and Jamie Hanley opposed the train fares price increases in New Pudsey proposed by Patrick McLoughlin. The opposition spread throughout 18 West Yorkshire stations, forcing McLoughlin to scrap the plan.[32] The same day she took part in the minibus opening ceremony which was hosted by Colchester Community Volunteer Service[33] and two days later accused the Government of donating their time into privatising East Coast Main Line instead of worrying about high fare prices.[34]

In November 2014, she became Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.[3]

Labour leadership candidate[edit]

On 14 May 2015, Creagh announced her candidacy for Leader of the Labour Party, after Ed Miliband's resignation following the 2015 general election.[35] On 12 June, Creagh announced that she was withdrawing from the leadership contest. At the time of her announcement she had only secured about 10 nominations from Labour MPs; this was fewer than any of the other remaining candidates and well short of the 35 required to take part in the final ballot.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Creagh has been married to Adrian Pulham since 2001 and they have a son, Clement (named after the former Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee) and a daughter, Beatrice, named after Beatrice Webb, the socialist campaigner.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The shadow cabinet in full". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Beattie, Jason. "Labour frontbench reshuffle sees Blairites out and 'brightest of 2010 intake' promoted". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Labour reshuffle: Dugher and Powell promoted by Ed Miliband". BBC. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Labour leadership: Mary Creagh enters race". BBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Robert Waller and Byron Criddle (2007). The Almanac of British Politics. Taylor & Francis (8 ed.) (Routledge). ISBN 0-203-94691-X. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. 
  6. ^ James Chapman (28 March 2014). "'Other Labour MPs shun me because I DON'T have a regional accent', says one of Miliband's rising stars". Mail Online (Daily Mail). Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Mary Griffin (12 October 2010). "Cov kid Mary Creagh lands key Labour shadow cabinet role". Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. 
  8. ^ www.pressreader.com: Dr Mary Creagh MP
  9. ^ Dathan, Matt. "Labour Leadership Race: Who is Mary Creagh?". Independent. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Election results: Islington". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Weaver, Matt. "Council leader cleared of cronyism charge". Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Weaver, Matt. "Council leader cleared of cronyism charge". Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Election 2006: Islington". BBC Nes. BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Election 2005: Wakefield". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Maiden speech in Hansard". Archived from the original on 7 November 2005. 
  16. ^ a b "Mary, Mary?". Progress. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Who's backing Gordon Brown?". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Education and Inspections Bill 2006". Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. 
  19. ^ "'Hot Water Burns Like Fire'". Archived from the original on 13 October 2006. 
  20. ^ "BEAMA: MPs welcome scalding campaign success" (Press release). 10 July 2009. Archived from the original on 13 October 2006. 
  21. ^ www.labourmovement.eu
  22. ^ "UK plans new powers on genocide". BBC News. 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. 
  23. ^ "Jack Straw to strengthen law title". Ministry of Justice. 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 12 July 2009. 
  24. ^ "Public Forest Estate (England) debate". Hansard. 2 February 2011. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. 
  25. ^ "Forest sale axed". BBC News Online. 16 February 2011. Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "The future of forestry in England". DEFRA. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "Urgent Question: Flood defences". BBC News. 9 February 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "Labour calls for ban on wild animals in circuses". BBC News. 19 May 2011. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. 
  29. ^ Creagh, Mary. "In pursuing the badger cull, the government is being anti-science". Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  30. ^ "Back the Apple". Labour Party. YouTube. 24 September 2011. 
  31. ^ "Agricultural employment and wages". DAFTA. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. 
  32. ^ "Mary Creagh joins transport fight at New Pudsey". Telegraph & Argus. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  33. ^ Wendy Brading (24 March 2014). "CCVS celebrates as sixth bus takes to the road". Essex County Standard. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "Fractious tracks". The Economist. 26 March 2014. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  35. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3081985/Mary-Creagh-launches-Labour-leadership-bid.html
  36. ^ "Mary Creagh pulls out of Labour leadership race". BBC News Online. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  37. ^ "Mary Has A New Baby". Mary Creagh official website. 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Hinchliffe
Member of Parliament
for Wakefield

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Hilary Benn
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2010–2013
Succeeded by
Maria Eagle
Preceded by
Maria Eagle
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
2013–2014
Succeeded by
Michael Dugher
Preceded by
Jim Murphy
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
2014–present
Incumbent