McCarthy, Kerry

Kerry McCarthy was first elected as the Labour MP for Bristol East in 2005, being reelected in 2019 with a majority of 10,794.

The constituency of Bristol East covers the eastern part of the City of Bristol spreading out from the city centre to include the districts of Brislington and St George.  Although this should now be regarded as a safe Labour seat, this part of Bristol was temporarily represented by the Conservatives between 1983 and 1997.  It was once the constituency of the veteran Labour left winger, Tony Benn.

McCarthy served as Shadow Minister for Green Transport between 2020 and 2022.  She was briefly Shadow Environment Secretary in the Shadow Cabinet between 2015 and 2016, before resigning in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.   She was briefly an assistant government whip in the Labour government of Gordon Brown in 2010.

McCarthy nominated Sir Keir Starmer for the Labour leadership in 2020.  She supported Owen Smith in his 2016 challenge to Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership.

Born in 1965, McCarthy grew up in Luton.  She studied Russian, Politics and Linguistics at Liverpool University, before studying law at the City of London Polytechnic.  She worked as a solicitor before becoming involved in politics.  During a varied legal career she worked in magistrates courts and for a Legal Aid firm, as well as in the corporate sector specialising in financial markets law, working on cross-border transactions.

McCarthy later worked for the Britain in Europe pressure group.

McCarthy She served on Luton Borough Council between 1999 and 2003, and for four years was a director of the local authority-owned Luton Airport.

McCarthy has been a vegan for over thirty years and is a campaigner for animal welfare.  She is also a campaigner against food waste, and has previously put forward a number of backbench bills including around Food Waste, and regulation in the supported housing sector.

She also introduced a Kinship Care Bill, to highlight the sacrifices made by people who take on the children of family members or friends who are unable to look after them anymore

Kerry McCarthy is Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Island Developing States; and Sustainable Food and Farming.  She is Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Belize; Finland; Jordan; Somaliland; Sweden; Climate Change; Dog Animal Welfare; International Conservation; Music; National Food Strategy; Net Zero; Ocean Conservation; School Food; Snooker; Theatre; Ticket Abuse; and Vegetarianism and Veganism.

McCarthy is also a fan of punk music, and has stated how she likes ‘The Clash’ and the post punk group ‘Cabaret Voltaire’.


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