Catherine West MP
Catherine West MP

Catherine is the Labour MP for the new constituency of Hornsey & Friern Barnet and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Catherine first entered Parliament at the 2015 general election and served as MP for Hornsey & Wood Green from 2015-2024.  Five months after she was first elected she was appointed shadow minister for Foreign Affairs, serving in that role until June 2017.

Catherine then spent time serving as a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on International Trade, the joint Committee on Arms Export Controls (September 2017 – March 2019) and member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (March-November 2019).

She returned to the front bench as Shadow Sports Minister from January-April 2020, before returning to the shadow foreign affairs team in April 2020 as Shadow Foreign Minister (Europe & Americas) and in December 2021 moving to cover Asia and the Pacific until the General Election in July 2024.

Catherine was born in Mansfield, a small town in Australia.  A mother of two, Catherine holds a degree in Social Science and Languages from the University of Sydney, 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.

Catherine moved to London in 1998 where she worked in welfare and housing, using her language skills to meet with newly arrived communities. She worked for David Lammy MP both problem solving for Haringey residents and helping him make the case for social change in the constituency.   She became a Labour Councillor and before being elected as an MP in 2015, Catherine was leader of Islington Council.  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.

In 2017 Catherine established the first All-Party Parliamentary Group on Swimming and she continues to Chair the Group.  She is also Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Deputy-Chair of the APPG on China, Vice-Chair of the APPG on North Korea and the Patron of Hong Kong Watch.  Catherine has previously chaired the APPG for Ethics & Sustainability in Fashion.

In December 2022, Catherine was extremely proud to be awarded MP of the Year by the Patchwork Foundation.

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