Bridget Phillipson
Official portrait, 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Assumed office
29 November 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byKate Green
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
6 April 2020 – 29 November 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byPeter Dowd
Succeeded byPat McFadden
Member of Parliament
for Houghton and Sunderland South
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byConstituency established
Majority3,115 (7.8%)
Personal details
Born (1983-12-19) 19 December 1983 (age 37)
Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materHertford College, Oxford
WebsiteOfficial website

Bridget Maeve Phillipson (born 19 December 1983) is a British politician serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Education since 2021. A member of the Labour Party, she has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Houghton and Sunderland South since 2010. She served as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2020 to 2021.

Early life

Phillipson was born on 19 December 1983 in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.[1][2] She is the daughter of Clare Phillipson, a Labour party official in Washington and Sunderland who founded the charity Wearside Women in Need in 1983.[3][4][5]

She was educated at St Robert of Newminster Catholic School in Washington, Tyne and Wear. From there, she went on to study Modern History at Hertford College, Oxford, graduating in 2005.[6]

She joined the Labour Party at the age of fifteen.[7] In 2003, she was elected Co-Chair of the Oxford University Labour Club.[8]

Between 2007 and 2010, she was a manager for Wearside Women in Need, a charity refuge for women affected by domestic violence.[6][9]

Political career

Phillipson was selected from an 'all-women shortlist' as Labour candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South in 2009 and elected as Member of Parliament (MP) at the 2010 general election.[10][11] Phillipson was the first MP to be declared to be elected to the 2010 and 2015 Parliaments. After entering Parliament, she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jim Murphy, who was then the Shadow Defence Secretary.[12] Between October 2013 and September 2015, she served as Opposition Whip in the British House of Commons.[13]

She was elected to the Home Affairs Committee in July 2010, and remained a member until November 2013. She was a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014, and of the Procedure Committee between July 2010 and October 2011.[14] She has also been a member of the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission since October 2010, and both the Committee on Standards and the Committee on Privileges since October 2017. She is currently also a member of the Public Accounts Committee and the European Statutory Instruments Committee.[15] From 2010 to 2015, she was secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Domestic and Sexual Violence, which published the report "The Changing Landscape of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services" in February 2015.[16][17]

Despite being an opposition MP since entering Parliament in 2010, she has campaigned successfully on a number of local issues, including forcing a government U-turn on the rebuilding of Hetton School, after plans to do so were cancelled by the Conservative-led government in 2010.[18] The school was eventually rebuilt and reopened in 2016.[19] She also led a campaign to improve standards and affordability of bus transport in Tyne and Wear, calling for the development of a quality contract scheme to be run by Nexus, the passenger transport executive for the North East Combined Authority.[20] The government-appointed review board eventually refused permission for Nexus to advance the scheme.[21]

In the 2016 European Referendum, she campaigned for a Remain vote, and in 2018 was one of the first Labour MPs to call for a People's Vote on any eventual deal.[22][23]

Within the Labour Party, she voted for David Miliband as leader in 2010,[24] Yvette Cooper in 2015,[25] Owen Smith in 2016,[26] and Keir Starmer in 2020.[27]

Following Starmer's leadership election victory in April 2020, Phillipson was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet for the first time, as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.[28]

Personal life

Phillipson is married with two children, and enjoys reading, music and dog-walking.[7][29] She is a Roman Catholic.[30]


  1. ^ "List of Members Returned to Serve in Parliament at the General Election in 2010". the Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Phillipson, Bridget Maeve, (born 19 Dec. 1983), MP (Lab) Houghton and Sunderland South, since 2010". Who's Who. WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 2010. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U251090. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4.
  3. ^ "PolitcsHome". 23 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Wearside Women in Need". 23 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Wearside Women in Need, a registered and accredited charity was set up in 1983 as a member of the Women's Aid Federation" (PDF). Sunderland University. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b Who's Who 2013. A&C Black of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Bridget Phillipson". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Labour select Bridget Phillipson for Houghton and Sunderland South". Labour North. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  9. ^ Hunt, Liz (14 April 2010). "General Election 2010: Female politicians are doing too much posing". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  10. ^ "House of Commons library All-women shortlists" (PDF). UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Houghton & Sunderland South". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Bridget Phillipson MP: parliamentary activities". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Bridget Phillipson MP: Biography". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  14. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013-14". UK Parliament. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Bridget Phillipson MP: Biography". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Register Of All-Party Groups [as at 30 March 2015]: Domestic and Sexual Violence". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  17. ^ Hawkins, Siân; Taylor, Katy. The Changing Landscape of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (PDF). Bristol: Women's Aid. ISBN 9780907817970.
  18. ^ "Hansard, 9 June 2010". UK Parliament. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  19. ^ "New school buildings finally open after several setbacks". Northern Echo. Retrieved 2 November 2018.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Phillipson, Bridget; Gilfillan, Scott (2015). "Route-masters: the re-regulation of bus services". Renewal. 23 (1&2): 17–29. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Bus devolution hangs in the balance after North East ruling". Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Sunderland - Labour city putting the wind up remain campaign". The Guardian. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  23. ^ Watts, Joe (9 May 2018). "Labour Brexit row explodes as northern MPs break ranks with Corbyn and demand new referendum". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  24. ^ "North MPs back David Miliband for Labour leadership". BBC. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  25. ^ "Who's backing whom and who did endorsers vote to be leader in 2010?". LabourList. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  26. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  27. ^ BBC Politics [@BBCPolitics] (7 January 2020). "Labour MP Bridget Phillipson supports Keir Starmer for leader saying he has the "authority and credibility to take the party forward"" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ "Her Majesty's Official Opposition: The Shadow Cabinet - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  30. ^ Ceridwen Lee (27 August 2015). "Fall in number of Catholic MPs in the House of Commons ahead of landmark debate on assisted dying". The Tablet. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
Parliament of the United Kingdom New constituency Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South 2010–present Incumbent