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Catherine McKinnell

Catherine McKinnell
Shadow Attorney General
Assumed office
14 September 2015
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by The Lord Bach
Shadow Exchequer Secretary
In office
15 May 2012 – 8 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Owen Smith
Succeeded by Shabana Mahmood
Member of Parliament
for Newcastle upon Tyne North
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Doug Henderson
Majority 10,153 (22.6%)
Personal details
Born Catherine Grady
(1976-06-08) 8 June 1976
Denton, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Website Official website

Catherine McKinnell (born 8 June 1976) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Newcastle upon Tyne North since 2010.[1] She was elected with 40.8% of the vote, and a majority of 3,414 over her Liberal Democrat rival.[2]


  • Early life 1
  • Parliament 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Early life

McKinnell was born in Denton and grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, where she attended the Sacred Heart Comprehensive School in Fenham.[3] She studied politics and history at the University of Edinburgh, and before her election to Parliament she worked as an employment solicitor in the Newcastle law firm Dickinson Dees, becoming one of 19 solicitors newly elected to the House of Commons.[4]


She was elected to Parliament at the 2010 general election for Newcastle upon Tyne North. In October 2010, the new Labour Leader Ed Miliband appointed her to the role of Shadow Solicitor General, where she was responsible for the party's response to the News International phone hacking scandal.[5] She raised questions about the CPS's handling of the scandal, including asking in the House of Commons why the CPS had refused for so long to admit that there were grounds to bring prosecutions.[6]

In October 2011, during a shadow ministerial reshuffle, Catherine McKinnell was made shadow children's minister, shadowing Tim Loughton. In that post she criticised the adoption process as too slow and called for immediate improvements in support for social workers and family courts to speed up the process.[7][8] She also accused the government of doing too little to help children for whom adoption was not suitable.[9]

In 2012, after the resignation of Peter Hain, she was then moved to become Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, replacing Owen Smith.

McKinnell backed a campaign by ActionAid on international tax laws [10] and tabled amendments to the Budget which would have required the government to monitor the impact on developing countries of changes to so-called Controlled Foreign Companies regulations. She said, "It seems a false economy to invest ... in changes that will undermine the very progress towards which our international aid money, which increases year on year, is going.[11]". In June 2012, McKinnell publicly criticised Take That singer Gary Barlow following newspaper allegations of tax avoidance made against him. McKinnell agreed that Barlow should consider returning his recently awarded OBE if allegations of tax avoidance were proven "because it doesn't send out the right messages to ordinary people who are paying their fair share of tax."[12]


  1. ^ "Two North East MPs standing down". BBC News. 4 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "Election 2010 - Newcastle-upon-Tyne North". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Catherine McKinnell". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Baksi, Catherine (13 May 2010). "Nineteen new solicitor MPs enter House of Commons.". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Ferguson, Mark (11 October 2010). "Junior front bench roles.". Labour List. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Brown, Jonathan (7 May 2012). "Fostering system on the brink as number of children in care soars". The Independent (London). 
  8. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (14 March 2012). "Councils face scorecards in adoption overhaul". The Guardian (London). 
  9. ^,2012-03-09
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Cameron ducks Gary Barlow tax avoidance question". BBC News. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Doug Henderson
Member of Parliament
for Newcastle upon Tyne North

Political offices
Preceded by
Owen Smith
Shadow Exchequer Secretary
Succeeded by
Shabana Mahmood
Preceded by
The Lord Bach
Shadow Attorney General
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