Catherine holds a degree in Social Science and Languages and a Masters Degree in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and speaks five languages including Mandarin. She developed her Mandarin whilst teaching English as a second language in Nanjing, China.
Before being elected as an MP Catherine was leader of Islington Council, and in February 2013, she was awarded the ‘Local Authority Leader of the Year’ award by the Local Government Information Unit, for her work leading the Islington Fairness Commission.
Following her election to parliament in 2015, Catherine was appointed to the front bench of the Official Opposition as Shadow Foreign Minister, with responsibility for the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Oceania and the Overseas Territories. She held this position until June 2017, when she returned to the backbenches. In September 2017, Catherine was elected onto the Parliamentary Select Committee on International Trade, and the joint Committee on Arms Export Controls. Catherine is also Deputy-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on China, Vice-Chair of the APPG on North Korea, the patron of Hong Kong Watch and the Vice-Chair of the APPG on American Football.