Gill Furniss
Official portrait of Gill Furniss MP.jpg
Official portrait, 2022
Shadow Minister for Roads
Assumed office
17 January 2022
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byKerry McCarthy[a]
Opposition Whip in the House of Commons
In office
10 July 2020 – 17 January 2022
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byRosie Duffield
Succeeded byNavendu Mishra
Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
In office
9 April 2020 – 10 July 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byCarolyn Harris
Succeeded byJanet Daby
Shadow Minister for Steel, Postal Affairs, and Consumer Protection
In office
8 October 2016 – 9 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of Parliament
for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Preceded byHarry Harpham
Majority12,274 (31.0%)
Personal details
Born (1957-03-14) 14 March 1957 (age 65)
Sheffield, England
Political partyLabour
SpouseHarry Harpham (died 2016)
Alma materLeeds Beckett University
WebsiteOfficial website

Gillian Furniss (born 14 March 1957) is a British politician serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough since 2016. A member of the Labour Party, she has been Shadow Minister for Roads since 2022.

Early life and education

Furniss was born in Sheffield on 14 March 1957. She is the daughter of a Sheffield steel worker. She was educated at the Chaucer School, Sheffield, and graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Library and Information Studies as a mature student in 1998. After leaving school, she worked as a librarian and went on to work as an administrator at the Northern General Hospital.[1][2]

Political career

Local government

Furniss unsuccessfully stood as the Labour Party candidate in the Hillsborough Ward in 1998. She was subsequently elected in the Manor ward in 1999 and re-elected in 2003. With the introduction of new ward boundaries for the 2004 Sheffield City Council election, she was elected to represent Southey ward. She was re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014 before standing down in 2016 upon her election as an MP.[3][4]

Parliamentary career

Furniss stood unsuccessfully as the Labour Party candidate for Sheffield Hallam in the 2001 General Election, finishing in third place.[5]

She is the widow of Harry Harpham, former MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, who employed her as a part-time researcher following his election in the 2015 General Election.[6]

Following her husband's death in February 2016, she was selected as the Labour candidate at the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough by-election which was held on 5 May 2016.[4] She won the by-election with an increased share of the vote and a majority of 9,590 (42.5%) over the second-placed candidate representing UKIP. She was re-elected at the 2017 and the 2019 general elections.

In Parliament, Furniss has served on the Women and Equalities Committee.

Frontbench positions

Furniss was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Lisa Nandy, in May 2016. The position was last held by her late husband, Harry Harpham, and she continued to serve in the role after Nandy resigned and was succeeded by Barry Gardiner.

In the October 2016 opposition front bench reshuffle, Furniss was appointed to the new position of Shadow Minister for Steel, Postal Affairs and Consumer Protection.[7] Following the election of Keir Starmer as Labour leader in April 2020, she became Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.[8] She moved to become an Opposition Whip in July 2020, and served in the role until her appointment as Shadow Roads Minister in January 2022.[9] Her shadow transport brief covers green transport, transport decarbonisation, future transport and roads.[9]

Electoral performance

UK local elections
Date of election Ward Party Votes % of votes Result
1998 local elections Hillsborough, Sheffield Labour 1,580 35.9 ☒N Not Elected
1999 local elections Manor, Sheffield Labour 1,241 65.6 checkY Elected
2003 local elections Manor, Sheffield Labour 1,354 74.8 checkY Elected
2004 local elections Southey, Sheffield Labour 2,192 45.6 checkY Elected
2006 local elections Southey, Sheffield Labour 1,602 46.1 checkY Elected
2010 local elections Southey, Sheffield Labour 3,676 52.8 checkY Elected
2014 local elections Southey, Sheffield Labour 1,657 44.4 checkY Elected
UK parliamentary elections
Date of election Constituency Party Votes % of votes Result
2001 general election Sheffield Hallam Labour 4,758 12.4 ☒N Not Elected
2016 parliamentary by-election Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough Labour 14,087 62.4 checkY Elected
2017 general election Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough Labour 28,193 67.3 checkY Elected
2019 general election Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough Labour 22,369 56.5 checkY Elected

Policies and views

Labour Leadership Elections

As a councillor, in 2015 Furniss endorsed Andy Burnham in the Labour leadership contest[10]

As an MP, in 2016 Furniss reportedly voted against a motion of no confidence by the Parliamentary Labour Party in the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. [11] She did not make a nomination in the subsequent leadership election. In 2020 Furniss formally nominated Lisa Nandy and Angela Rayner in the leadership election and deputy leadership election


  1. ^ Green Transport


  1. ^ Perraudin, Frances (4 May 2016). "Antisemitism row makes no mark in Sheffield as voters focus on cuts". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ "About Gill". Personal website. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Election Results" (PDF). Sheffield City Council. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Gill Furniss to contest Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough by-election". BBC News. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  5. ^ Pidd, Helen (3 March 2016). "Three women in running to be Labour candidate in Sheffield byelection". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  6. ^ Hope, Christopher; Wilkinson, Michael (29 June 2015). "One in five MPs employs a family member: the full list revealed". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Gill Furniss MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  8. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (9 April 2020). "Shadow ministers appointed as Starmer completes frontbench". LabourList. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  9. ^ a b Chappell, Elliot; Rodgers, Sienna. "Labour frontbench undergoes mini-reshuffle after death of Jack Dromey". LabourList. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Andy's 'thank you' to the 500+ councillors supporting him". Andy Burnham leadership website. 21 August 2015.
  11. ^ Jayanetti, Chaminda (4 May 2017). "The MPs who can ensure a Corbynite succeeds Corbyn". Retrieved 2 June 2020.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byHarry Harpham Member of Parliamentfor Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough 2016–present Incumbent