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Helen Goodman: Wikis


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Helen Goodman MP

Assumed office 
9 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Kitty Ussher

Member of Parliament
for Bishop Auckland
Assumed office 
5 May 2005
Preceded by Derek Foster
Majority 10,047 (26.8%)

Born 2 January 1958 (1958-01-02) (age 52)
Nottingham, England, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater Somerville College, Oxford

Helen Catherine Goodman (born 2 January 1958) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland since 2005, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions Reform in the Department for Work and Pensions.


Early life

Goodman grew up in Derbyshire and was educated at the comprehensive Lady Manners School, Bakewell, Derbyshire. She studied PPE at Somerville College, Oxford.

On leaving Oxford she worked as a researcher for the Labour MP Phillip Whitehead and from 1995 she worked as the head of strategy at HM Treasury until she stood down in 1997. She was a director at the Commission on the Future for Multi Ethnic Britain before she was appointed the head of strategy at The Children's Society in 1998. From 2002 until her election she was the chief executive of the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries. She is a member of the GMB Union and the Christian Socialist Movement.

Parliamentary career

Following the retirement of Tony Benn at the 2001 general election she tried unsuccessfully to be selected for Chesterfield losing out for Labour's nomination to the former MP for Wood Green Reg Race. Race in turn lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats. She was selected as the Labour candidate for to the County Durham seat of Bishop Auckland at the 2005 General Election through a controversial All-Women Shortlist[1] following the retirement of the veteran Labour MP Derek Foster. Goodman held the seat with a majority of 10,047 and remains the MP there. She made her maiden speech on 25 May 2005.[2]

She was a member of the Public Accounts Committee from May 2005 to April 2007 before becoming a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Ministry of Justice. In June 2007 she was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, before being made a whip in October 2008. She left this role in June 2009 to become a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Expenses controversy

On 19th May 2009 the Daily Telegraph revealed that Goodman had claimed £519.31 for use of a cottage holiday home on her expenses, and had even submitted hotel bills dated two months prior to her becoming an MP. Goodman argued that she was carrying out Parliamentary business when using the cottage and thus her claim was accepted. The claim for the hotel stay was rejected due to the fact she wasn't an MP at the time thus not entitled to claim expenses for that period[3]

Personal life

Goodman is married to Charles Seaford, a management consultant.[4] They have two children.


External links

News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Derek Foster
Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland


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