Seema Malhotra

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Seema Malhotra
Official portrait of Seema Malhotra crop 2.jpg
Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers
Assumed office
14 May 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byLucy Powell
Shadow Minister for Employment
In office
9 April 2020 – 14 May 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byMike Amesbury
Succeeded byAndy McDonald
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
13 September 2015 – 26 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byShabana Mahmood
Succeeded byRebecca Long-Bailey
Shadow Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls
In office
24 August 2014 – 13 September 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySarah Champion
Member of Parliament
for Feltham and Heston
Assumed office
15 December 2011
Preceded byAlan Keen
Majority7,859 (16.4%)
Personal details
Born (1972-08-07) 7 August 1972 (age 49)
Hammersmith, London, England
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Sushil Saluja
(m. 2005)
Alma materUniversity of Warwick
Aston University
WebsiteOfficial website

Seema Malhotra (born 7 August 1972)[1] is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Feltham and Heston since 2011.[2][3][4] She has served as the Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers since 2021, and previously sat on the opposition front bench as the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Minister for Employment and a shadow Home Office minister.

Early career[edit]

One of five children of Sushil Kumar Malhotra (1941–2014), of Osterley, a shop owner, formerly a financial adviser and an engineer, and his wife Usha,[5] she was educated at schools in the London Borough of Hounslow, studied politics and philosophy at the University of Warwick and took a postgraduate degree in business and information studies at Aston University.[6]

Of Indian Hindu descent,[7] Malhotra is a former management consultant who worked for Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.[8] She founded the Fabian Women's Network, and was a previous National Chair of the Young Fabians.[9]

Malhotra was the Labour candidate for the South West constituency in the 2004 London Assembly elections, coming third with 17% of the vote.

While Labour was in government before 2010, she worked as an adviser to Liam Byrne and Ian Austin when they were regional ministers for the West Midlands. Following Gordon Brown's resignation as Labour leader in the wake of the 2010 general election, she was the special adviser to Harriet Harman during her tenure as Leader of the Labour Party.[8]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Malholtra entered Parliament in December 2011, on majority of 6,203 in the Feltham and Heston by-election, which increased in 2015 and in 2017, to reach 15,603 votes.[8]

In August 2014, Ed Miliband appointed Malhotra to the newly created role of Shadow Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls.[10] The role earmarked Malhotra to be among Labour's Home Office ministers if the party became elected to power. In this she took up identifying problems, finding solutions and reviewing funding decisions as to crime prevention, prosecution and victim support in cases of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, prostitution and trafficking.

On 13 September 2015, Malhotra was appointed Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet. On 26 June 2016, Malhotra resigned from the shadow cabinet over the leadership, along with dozens of other shadow ministers.[11][12] She supported Owen Smith in his failed bid to replace Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[13]

Following her resignation, Malhotra formally complained to the Speaker of the House of Commons about aides to Corbyn and McDonnell gaining unauthorised access to her office after her resignation and "harassment" of her staff.[14] John McDonnell's explanation was that the office was a shadow Treasury team office which Malhotra was moving out of, and his office manager who was a key holder, after seeing boxes outside, went in to check if it was now empty.[15] After an investigation, the Speaker concluded there was no information which justified regarding the events as a possible breach of Parliamentary privilege.[14]

Malhotra voted in the successful yes ('Aye') lobby in a key House of Commons division of 25 June 2018 as to the National Policy Statement: Airports which laid out government support for a third runway, and was not among the 28 of 46 London Labour MPs opposing the runway.[16] During the related debate she said:

"A majority in my constituency is in favour of expansion — every poll in recent years has shown that, and it is generally in the ballpark of 2:1. Tens of thousands of my constituents work, or have worked, at the airport. London’s first airport was in my constituency, in what is now Hanworth Air Park... Today it is a disgrace that we are unfortunately being asked to vote before we have all the information, including sight of new flight paths and analysis of how people will be affected. If the Government get support for the NPS tonight, it will be for them to hold true to their word that the development consent will not be given unless detailed proposals show how environmental impacts will be mitigated in line with legal obligations, and all other commitments adhered to."[17][non-primary source needed]

Following Keir Starmer's election as Labour leader in April 2020, Malhotra returned to the front bench as the Shadow Minister for Employment in the shadow work and pensions team. She was appointed as the Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers in the minor May 2021 reshuffle, succeeding Lucy Powell in the role.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Malhotra is married to management consultant and financier Sushil Kumar Saluja, who was Accenture’s Senior Managing Director for Financial Services in Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Latin America, and serves on the board of TheCityUK which is an industry body that promotes financial services in the UK.[7][19] They live in Chelsea, London.[7] Prior to serving as an MP, it was reported that Malhotra used the name 'Malhotra-Suma';[6] the 2017 Election poll results state her name to be 'Seema Malhotra-Saluja (known as Seema Malhotra)'.[20][21]


  1. ^ "Democracy Live: Your representatives: Seema Malhotra". BBC News. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Labour wins Feltham and Heston by-election". BBC News. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  3. ^ "By-election 2011". London Borough of Hounslow. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  4. ^ Waugh, Paul (23 November 2011). "Winter by-election". PoliticsHome | The Waugh Room. Archived from the original on 28 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  5. ^ Patel, Salina (17 June 2014). "MP Seema Malhotra's heartwarming tribute to her "amazing father" who died of cancer aged 72". getwestlondon.
  6. ^ a b "Indian lady in House of Commons".
  7. ^ a b c Roy, Amit (17 December 2011). "Indian lady in House of Commons". The Telegraph. Calcutta. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Watt, Nicholas (16 December 2011). "Feltham and Heston byelection: Labour wins, but turnout tumbles". The Guardian | Politics. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  9. ^ "The Committee". Fabian Women's Network. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011. She is the founder and Director of the Fabian Women's Network. [...]
  10. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (25 August 2014). "Labour appoints shadow minister to tackle violence against women and girls". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  11. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances; Slawson, Nicola (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Who's staying and who's going in the shadow cabinet?". BBC News. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Bercow: Malhotra office access claims didn't breach rules". BBC News. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  15. ^ Peter Yeung (24 July 2016). "John McDonnell makes impassioned direct-to-camera plea to Labour members: 'We've got to stop this now'". The Independent. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  16. ^ "National Policy Statement: Airports (Division 192: held on Monday 25 June 2018) - Hansard - UK Parliament". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  17. ^ "National Policy Statement: Airports - Monday 25 June 2018 - Hansard - UK Parliament". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  18. ^ Rodgers, Sienna. "Reshuffle: Keir Starmer's new Labour frontbench in full". LabourList. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Sushil Saluja". Accenture. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Feltham and Heston Declaration of Result of Poll" (PDF). 8 June 2017.
  21. ^ "UK General Election results June 2017". Politics Science Resources. 8 June 2017. Archived from the original on 11 November 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2021.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Fabian Society
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Fabian Society
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Young Fabians
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Feltham and Heston

Political offices
Preceded by Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by