Sharon was born in 1966, and has lived in Tyne and Wear virtually all of her life.
Sharon became interested in politics during the 1980s when Mrs Thatcher's government did so much damage to the region. Sharon was convinced that there was a better way to run the country; one that would not decimate the North East's economy and ruin so many lives. She firmly believed that unemployment was NOT a price worth paying for a strong economy and is proud to have been part of a government that has since proved it isn't!
Growing up on Tyneside, Sharon was taught in several local schools, including Whitehall Road, Greenwell and Heathfield, followed by Newcastle College. Before becoming involved in politics professionally, she was an administrator and book keeper for Northern Rock before she took the role of Administrator for the “Total Learning Challenge”, a North East charity providing early intervention for children at risk of dropping out of education and their communities.
As a governor of her children's school in Dunston, treasurer of a Gateshead playgroup and Women's Officer for Tyne Bridge Labour party, Sharon was an active Party member and campaigner for many years.
Following a break to care for her children, Sharon went on to work full time for the Labour Party, and became a successful Labour Party organiser for Labour North, and later Mitcham and Morden where she helped Siobhain McDonagh increase her majority in 2001.
She then became UNISON's Labour-Link Co-ordinator, a key national role responsible for managing the relationship between the Labour Party and the union.
Sharon is married to Alan, with two children, and looks forward to representing Washington and Sunderland West in Parliament for "as long as she is able".
She is a member of the Fabian Society and has held positions on several key parliamentary committees, including the European Scrutiny Committee and the Children, Schools and Families select committee.
Sharon has been the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Dawn Primarolo, Minister for Public Health, Liam Byrne, Minister of State for immigration, nationality and citizenship, and Bob Ainsworth, Armed Forces Minister at the MOD. The role of a PPS is to liaise between the Minister and fellow MPs and so ensure a more co-operative relationship between the Party, Parliamentarians and the Government.
In June 2009 Sharon was promoted to the position of a Government Whip. This task means pressing MPs to vote and support the government on key issues and liasing with the Leader of the House. After the election she was an Opposition Whip before being appointed Shadow Minister of State for Children and Families in new leader Ed Miliband's first Opposition team. In October 2013, Sharon was asked to take on the Women and Equalities brief, campaigning for a better deal for women and other minority groups across Government departments.
Sharon writes regular columns for local newspapers, and has written for the Christian Socialist magazine “The Common Good”.
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Sharon Hodgson MP
House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA
Constituency Office Tel. 0191 417 2000.