Kerry McCarthy

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Kerry McCarthy
Official portrait of Kerry McCarthy.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
13 September 2015 – 26 June 2016
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Maria Eagle
Succeeded by Rachael Maskell
Member of Parliament
Bristol East
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Jean Corston
Majority 13,394 (26.4%)
Personal details
Born (1965-03-26) 26 March 1965 (age 55)
Luton, England, UK
Website Official website

Kerry Gillian McCarthy(born 26 March 1965) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bristol East since 2005 and was the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from September 2015 to June 2016.

Parliamentary career

In 2005, McCarthy was selected as the Labour candidate for Bristol East through an all-women shortlist. She was appointed a member of the Treasury Select Committee, and was involved in its inquiries into financial inclusion, globalisation and the role of the International Monetary Fund, and the administration of tax credits. She has also sat on two Finance Bill committees, as well as the UK Borders Bill Committee, the Offender Management Bill Committee and the Mental Health Bill Committee. She was described as a Gordon Brown loyalist, stating in 2005 that "The Chancellor's nine Budgets are the bedrock of all that we have achieved in government".

In April 2007, McCarthy was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Rosie Winterton, Minister for Health Services, and helped her steer the Mental Health Bill through the Commons. From July 2007 to January 2009, she worked as the PPS to Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, before being made a Junior Whip in June 2009.She is chair of the South West Group of Labour MPs, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Somaliland, a member of Labour's National Policy Forum, and lead contact for the End Child Poverty campaign among Labour MPs in parliament. She has not voted against the party line since March 2007.

She was re-elected at the 2010 General Election, with her majority reduced by more than a half. She was appointed as a temporary shadow Minister for work and pensions until October 2010 when she was appointed as a junior shadow Minister to the Treasury. She had supported Ed Balls' unsuccessful bid to become Labour leader. In September 2011, McCarthy was made Shadow Foreign Office Minister with a responsibility for human rights.

She is believed to be the first MP to deliver a speech in Parliament with the aid of an iPad

On World Vegan Day in November 2011, McCarthy became the first MP to set out in Parliament the case for becoming vegan.

After being re-elected with an increased majority in the 2015 General Election, McCarthy nominated Andy Burnham in that year's Labour leadership campaign]]. She was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in September 2015. She argued in a Spring 2015 interview with Viva!life, a magazine for vegans, that meat should be treated like tobacco, with "public campaigns to stop people eating it". Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said her opinions "are completely out of step with the vast majority of people". "The world is not going to turn vegan because I am in post", McCarthy said on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today shortly after her appointment. "I have my own personal views on what I choose to eat, but I accept that we have a livestock industry in this country. What I want is for the industry to have the best welfare standards possible, to be sustainable as well as economically viable."