Shadow cabinet: Vote Helen

Helen Goodman

Shadow DWP Minister & MP for Bishop Auckland

Dear Colleague,

I am asking for your support in the Shadow Cabinet Elections.

I was really proud to be a Minister at DWP in the last government, when we were providing real support for young unemployed people through the Future Jobs Fund. In 1979 I lost my first job before I had even started due to the first round of Thatcher’s cuts and I had to live in a hostel for homeless women behind Victoria Station for several months, so I know how much our support mattered to people and I find it incredible that the Coalition Government is taking the country back through all that pain.

Clearly our first priority as an Opposition is to oppose the Government cuts, and the harsh social consequences. But we need to be forensic in going through the detail, as I have sought to do on Housing Benefit and Child Poverty and expose the big lie – that their course of action is necessary.

We also need to present the public with a more positive alternative. I believe that we need to concentrate on what people want, and I think we should be bolder. I would like see the next Labour Government undertake to deliver:

  • A million new homes
  • A million new childcare places
  • A million new green jobs.

Of course these could not all be financed through public spending: we should be flexible in terms of policy instruments and concentrate on what works. The key thing is to be confident that we can change things for the better.

I entered Parliament in 2005 and as well as being a Junior Minister at DWP taking the Child Poverty Bill through Parliament, I have been Deputy Leader of the House, in the Whips Office, PPS at the MOJ, and on the PAC. I was also elected as PLP rep on the NPF. I belong to the GMB, CSM, Fabians and the Co-op Party.

In my constituency I have campaigned strongly against the BNP and succeeded in turning the tide by building a coalition with the trade unions, local churches and community groups.

But I would say my experience beforehand was just as important: for seven years I worked in the voluntary sector mainly on children’s issues, and I was a Treasury official for 17 years working on both domestic and international policy, representing the UK in the EU and OECD.

 I am currently not planning to write to you several times, so if you would like to talk to me further please ring me on xxxxxxxxxxxxx.


Helen Goodman

Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland

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