Emily is the Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Emily was born in Guildford in 1960. When she was a child, her dad left his family behind, and they fell on hard times. A Labour councillor helped them find a house on a local council estate, and eventually persuaded Emily’s mum to run for the council herself.
It was her mum’s inspiration that turned Emily into a lifelong Labour campaigner, and she has been a member of the party since her teenage years. She failed her 11-plus, went to a secondary modern, but left school after her A-Levels and took on a series of jobs to make ends meet, from working in a care home to cleaning toilets on cross-Channel ferries.
She eventually decided to go to university and study law, and after qualifying as a barrister in the mid-1980s, she began her career representing striking miners, Wapping print-workers and P&O seafarers, while continuing her Labour campaigning in East London, and marching against the rise of the National Front. She met her husband, Christopher, in law school, and they have three children.
Emily first stood for election in Canterbury in 2001, increasing the Labour vote share by 5.5 percentage points to almost 37%, by far the highest the party had ever achieved in that seat, and turning the seat into a marginal. When she next stood in Islington South and Finsbury in 2005, in the wake of the Iraq War, it was the top Lib Dem target seat in the country, but Emily personally knocked on 11,800 doors and won by 484 votes.
In Parliament, she campaigned against 90-days detention, and for abortion rights in Northern Ireland, and serving in the shadow ministerial teams of Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn, she has held four Shadow Cabinet positions, covering the briefs of Attorney General, Defence Secretary, Brexit Secretary and Foreign Secretary.
In her shadow ministerial roles, she has led the parliamentary fight against Universal Credit, the freeze in armed forces pay, the removal of EU funding for Britain’s deprived regions, the war in Yemen, Tory inaction on climate change and human rights, the appeasement of Donald Trump and Crown Prince Bin Salman, and the escalation of tensions with Iran.
She shadowed Boris Johnson for the entire two years he was Foreign Secretary, the only ministerial post he held before becoming Prime Minister. She has also stood in for Jeremy Corbyn five times at Wednesday sessions of PMQs.
It’s time to rebuild, reunite and revitalise our party, and take the fight back to the Tories together. I’ve fought for the values at the heart of our party for the past 40 years, and I’ve got the strength, experience and passion to lead that fight for us all now. But we must do this together. Join my campaign today and let’s start fighting back.