Sarah McCarthy-Fry

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Sarah McCarthy-Fry
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
In office
18 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Chancellor Alistair Darling
Preceded by Kitty Ussher
Succeeded by David Gauke
Member of Parliament
for Portsmouth North
In office
5 May 2005 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Syd Rapson
Succeeded by Penny Mordaunt
Majority 1,139 (3.0%)
Personal details
Born (1955-02-04) 4 February 1955 (age 62)
Portsmouth, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour Co-operative
Spouse(s) Tony McCarthy

Sarah McCarthy-Fry (born 4 February 1955) is a British Labour Co-operative politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North from 2005 to the 2010 general election. She was Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in the last phase of the Labour government of Gordon Brown.

Early life[edit]

She was born Sarah Louise Macaree, the daughter of a defence worker of Scottish descent. Fry is the name of her first husband, McCarthy of her second. She was educated at Portsmouth High School. She worked for the multinational defence engineering company GKN Westland at Portsmouth, and most recently as financial controller for GKN Aerospace[1] at Cowes, Isle of Wight. Her job included spells working abroad in Germany and the United States. She qualified as a chartered accountant in 2004, and came to prominence in local politics leading 'Ban the Burner', a neighbourhood group that successfully opposed a proposed incinerator. She was elected to Portsmouth City Council in 1994, chaired the environment committee, and was deputy leader for five years from 1995 to 2000, remaining with the council until 2002. She is a member of Amicus and of the Co-operative Party.

Political career[edit]

McCarthy-Fry tried to be selected as Labour candidate for the seat of Portsmouth North in 1997, and later became Syd Rapson's campaign manager. Her main political interests are trade and industry, defence and the social economy. She campaigned in favour of identity cards after a constituency survey indicated a large majority in favour of them, and stressed her support for their introduction in her maiden speech.

In 2006 McCarthy-Fry was made PPS to John Healey, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. In Prime Minister Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle in 2007, she was made PPS to Geoff Hoon, the Chief Whip. On 5 October 2008 she was promoted to become a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Children, Schools and Families replacing Lord Adonis, who was moved from Education to Transport. This was a controversial move that brought about much speculation in the press afterward; Adonis was seen to be a key education reformer and it was assumed that the government no longer had education as a priority. McCarthy-Fry was moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government in the June 2009 reshuffle.

However, on 17 June 2009 she was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, replacing Kitty Ussher after the latter resigned.[2] She was at the Department for Communities and Local Government for just one week.

At the general election on 6 May 2010 McCarthy-Fry lost her seat to the Conservative candidate Penny Mordaunt.

Along with Anne Snelgrove she co-ordinated Ed Balls' campaign for the leadership of the Labour party.

Expenses controversy[edit]

In May 2009 The Daily Telegraph revealed that McCarthy-Fry had attempted to claim on her expenses for a £100 set of hair straighteners, though the claim was refused. Items the taxpayer did fund included £333 worth of bedding and a sewing box. She also received a salary of £95,617.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Sarah married her second husband Tony McCarthy in 1997 and they have four grown-up children.[citation needed] She is a fan of The Who, and her hobbies include tap-dancing, dog walking and amateur dramatics.[citation needed]


External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Syd Rapson
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North
Succeeded by
Penny Mordaunt
Preceded by
The Lord Adonis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for
Schools and Learners

Succeeded by
Diana Johnson (Schools)
Iain Wright (Learners)
Preceded by
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for
Communities and Local Government

Succeeded by