Sarah Champion (politician)

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Sarah Champion MP
Sarah Champion MP.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Rotherham
Incumbent
Assumed office
29 November 2012
Preceded by Denis MacShane
Majority 5,318 (24.79%)[1]
Personal details
Born (1969-07-10) 10 July 1969 (age 46)
Maldon, Essex, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Sheffield
Website www.sarahchampionmp.com

Sarah Deborah Champion (born 10 July 1969)[2] is a British Labour politician and Member of parliament for Rotherham in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Having previously been employed as the Chief Executive of the local hospice, Champion was selected as the Labour candidate at the Rotherham by-election, 2012.

Career[edit]

Champion graduated with a degree in psychology from Sheffield University in 1991. After working as a volunteer at Sheffield's St Luke's Hospice and running art workshops at the city's Abbeydale Road Secondary School she gained full-time employment, running Rotherham Arts Centre from 1992-1994. Sarah then worked as an Arts Development Officer for Ashfield District Council. She ran the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester from 1996 to 2008, and was the Chief Executive of the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice in North Anston, Rotherham from 2008 to 2012.[3]

In November 2012 she was selected to be Labour's candidate for the upcoming Rotherham by-election, which was triggered by the resignation of the constituency's previous MP, Denis MacShane. Champion was chosen to stand for Parliament after a controversial shortlist was imposed by the national party. Her selection took place at a heated meeting from which several delegates walked out in protest that Mahroof Hussain was not shortlisted.[4] She was elected as MP for Rotherham on 29 November with 9,866 votes (a 46.25% overall share of the vote). Jane Collins of the UK Independence Party was second with 4,648 votes (21.79%), achieving that party's best result in a by-election. Labour achieved a majority of 5,218 (24.46%), an increase in terms of percentage from Rotherham's 2010 general election result, but a decrease in the actual number of votes cast.[5] Champion is Rotherham's first female MP.[6]

In an interview with BBC Radio Sheffield on 30 November 2012 Champion said that she does not regard herself as a 'career politician': "There are some people who from the moment they were born wanted to be a politician. Whereas for me, since I started working I've always been working with the community and I want to carry on doing that."[6]

In a 2014 BBC interview Champion admitted that she rarely attends Prime Minister's Questions.[7]

On 7 May 2015, Champion was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Rotherham with a 52.5% share of the vote. She secured 19,860 votes, increasing her majority by over 3,000.

Parliament[edit]

Champion is currently a member of the Transport Select Committee,[8] Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt, Chair of the All-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Victims and Witnesses, Chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life, Co-chair All-party Parliamentary Health Group.[9]

It was reported on 15 March 2015 that Champion had claimed £17 on her parliamentary expenses for a Remembrance day wreath she had bought in 2014. The claim was of a type that was not allowed and repayment was being sought but had not been made.[10] Champion later said she would reimburse the money.[11]

Child sexual exploitation[edit]

In November 2013, it was announced that Champion, in partnership with children’s charity Barnardos, would lead a cross-party inquiry to investigate the effectiveness of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in tackling child sexual exploitation and trafficking within the UK.[12]

In April 2014 a report was published by Champion and Barnardos calling on the Government to toughen up laws that protect children from being groomed by predatory sex offenders. It recommended a legal loophole be closed which would allow police to step in sooner if they suspect a child of being groomed for sex.[13]

Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal[edit]

In response to the Jay Report released in August 2014 which found 1400 victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, Champion applauded the council for apologising and accepting the report.[14]

The following week Champion called on the Government for additional funding for child protection in Rotherham and nationally, and made a speech to the Prime Minister to encourage him to get the Government's child abuse inquiry underway as quickly as possible.[15]

In October 2014, Champion secured additional funding to appoint Jayne Senior, a specialist in child sexual exploitation, to support the 1400 victims of child abuse in Rotherham.[16]

In November 2014, Champion challenged the Prime Minister again calling for urgent action from the Government to support Rotherham’s victims and to ensure that procedures are in place to prevent such widespread abuse happening again.[17]

Gender pay equality[edit]

In December 2014, Champion took a Ten Minute Rule Bill to Parliament asking for the mandatory publishing of figures of the pay gap between men and women in any company of over 250 employees. The Bill was overwhelmingly supported by MPs, with 258 voting in support and just 8 voting against.[18]

In July 2015 the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the Government would be adopting the measures put forward in Champion's Bill.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2012 Constituency By-election result". Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Chinese Arts Centre". Dellam Corporate Information. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Biography". Sarah Champion. Retrieved 30 November 2012. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Labour names Bluebell Wood boss as by-election candidate". Rotherham Advertiser. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Labour holds Rotherham seat in by-election". BBC News (BBC). 30 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Rotherham MP Sarah Champion says 'not career politician'". BBC News (BBC). 30 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Mason, Chris (17 April 2014). "John Bercow: Female MPs put off PMQs by bad behaviour". BBC News Online. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Sarah Champion MP". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Sarah Champion, MP". All-party Parliamentary Health Group. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "BBC News - MP Sarah Champion claims £17 poppy wreath expenses". BBC News. 
  11. ^ "Daily Mail". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Children’s charity and MP team up to tackle child sexual exploitation.". Barnardo's. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "Report of the Parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of legislation for tackling child sexual exploitation and trafficking within the UK" (PDF). Barnardo's. April 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Sarah Champion MP responds to Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation Report". sarahchampionmp.com. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 02 Sep 2014 (pt 0001)". Hansard. Retrieved 4 February 2015. [not in citation given]
  16. ^ "Risky Business manager appointed as Rotherham CSE specialist". ITV News. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "PMQs: Cameron and Champion on child sex abuse help". BBC News Online. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 16 Dec 2014 (pt 0002)". Hansard. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Denis MacShane
Member of Parliament for Rotherham
2012 -
Incumbent