Having been elected to Parliament in 2010, at first Lisa Nandy struggled to make a name for herself at Westminster. However she caught the media’s attention in 2016 as one of many resignations from Corbyn‘s frontbench.
As a candidate for the Labour Party Leadership in 2020, Nandy soon increased her national profile. Coming from relative obscurity, Nandy finished third behind Rebecca Long-Bailey and eventual winner Sir Keir Starmer.
In November 2021, Lisa Nandy was demoted in Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet reshfufle. Having previously served as Shadow Foreign Secretary between 2020 and 2021, she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities & Local Government.
She now serves as the cabinet-attending shadow minister for international development, having been demoted again by Keir Starmer in his September 2023 reshuffle.
She is seen as a bastion of Labour’s “soft left”.
Nandy was first elected to Parliament for the constituency of Wigan at the 2010 General Election as part of what was labelled a new ‘shiny’ generation of Labour MPs. Nandy was overlooked in early shadow Cabinet reshuffles, just as Chukka Umunna, her similarly ‘shiny’ office-mate, became shadow Business Secretary.
The best Nandy managed under Miliband was Shadow Minister for Charities and Civil Society.
Jeremy Corbyn subsequently appointed Nandy as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Nandy held this position until 2016 when she resigned in protest to Corbyn’s leadership, alongside a number of other shadow Cabinet colleagues.
Nandy was approached to challenge Corbyn in the subsequent leadership election, but she opted not to do so. Instead she became co-chair of challenger Owen Smith’s campaign.
Just before the 2019 election, and with the opinion polls looking dire for Labour, Nandy began considering a Labour leadership bid. Commenting on the party’s failure at the 2019 election, Nandy said: ‘I saw it coming, but the scale was quite a surprise. It was breathtaking’.
In the 2020 Labour leadership election, Nandy secured only 16.2% of the vote, but her well-received campaign soon earned her the coveted Shadow Foreign Secretary brief.
Lisa Nandy – 4 Things you may not know
Lisa Nandy‘s grandfather was the leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords
Frank Byers, Nandy’s grandfather, was the Liberal MP for North Dorset and then Leader of the Liberals in the House of Lords for nearly 20 years.
Lisa Nandy‘s father was a Marxist academic
Sharing the same honour as the Miliband brothers, Nandy father’s (Dipak Nandy), worked as a Marxist academic.
Nandy’s mother, Louise Fitzwalter, was a social worker and producer for Granada Television. Fitzwalter worked for Granada TV’s ‘World in Action’, the leading current affairs programme at the time.
Lisa Nandy used to write a student Dating Column
Nandy was the figurehead of a dating column in Newcastle University’s Courier student newspaper.
During her 2020 bid for the Labour Leadership. the Daily Mail newspaper highlighted how Ms Nandy provided sex advice through the column and featured in what the paper called a ‘racy’ photo-strip.
Lisa Nandy and Take That
As a teenager, Nandy was such a huge ‘Take That’ fan that she camped outside Mark Owen’s house. Nandy later said of the incident, ‘his mum was really nice and brought us cups of tea’.
Nandy co-chaired Owen Smith’s 2016 challenge to Jeremy Corbyn and she was critical of the former Labour leader throughout his tenure. During her 2020 leadership campaign, Nandy spoke out about the Labour anti-Semitism crisis. However, Nandy has been careful not to fully alienate Corbyn supporters, saying the former Labour leader ‘allowed us to wear our values on our sleeve again’.
Although, by no means a Corbynite, Nandy is nonetheless considered to be on the soft left of the Labour party. She claims to have stood for parliament because of her ‘frustrat[ion] at the lack of radicalism in the economy’.
As the Labour MP for Wigan, Nandy’s 2020 leadership campaign focused heavily on highlighting the state of Northern towns.
On the influence of her background, Nandy claimed, ‘In a sense, I am Labour‘s coalition, in that I grew up in Manchester, came from a middle-class family, moved down to London after university to work with the homeless and then refugee children, and I now live in Wigan’.
How old is Lisa Nandy?
Lisa Eva Nandy was born on the 9th of August 1979.
What did Lisa Nandy do before entering Politics?
After graduating in politics from Newcastle University, Nandy became a Parliamentary researcher and caseworker for former Labour MP Neil Gerrard.
Something of a professional politician, Nandy then worked in policy for the ‘Children’s Society’. She also served as a local government councilor before being elected to Westminster.
Lisa Nandy’s partner, Andy Collis, is a public relations consultant. Nandy has a young son, born in Wigan Infirmary in April 2015.
Could Lisa Nandy become Prime Minister?
Nandy is a formidable media performer, who has shown herself quite capable of holding her own with the likes of Piers Morgan. Still only in her early forties, Nandy is well-placed to become Labour‘s first woman Leader in the future.
In the spring of 2022, bookmakers had Nandy at anywhere between 7/1 and 10/1 to become the next Labour Party leader.
Twitter – @lisanandy
Facebook – @LisaNandyMP
Personal Website – http://www.lisanandy.co.uk