Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

News Highlights

9.10pm - Madam Deputy Speaker - Dame Eleanor Laing - Epping Forest - Conservative

Order. I am reluctant to reduce the time limit, but I am receiving appeals for me to try to get more people in, so I will reduce it to three minutes. However, not everyone will have a chance to speak this evening.


9.18pm - Mrs Sharon Hodgson - Washington and Sunderland West - Labour

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I speak in this debate as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on ticket abuse, which I set up over 10 years ago.


The APPG shines a light on ticket abuse and campaigns to protect fans who are purchasing event tickets from being scammed and ripped off, often by the large-scale ticket touts that dominate resale sites such as Viagogo and StubHub.  The APPG works with experts in the field such as FanFair Alliance, a music industry campaign, and the Iridium Consultancy to tackle industrial-scale ticket touting.  I hope that when this legislation is reviewed in Committee, those organisations will be called on to share their expertise in this area.

Sadly, online ticket fraud is absolutely rife.  Despite some regulatory and legislative improvements, not least in the Consumer Rights Act 2015, too many fans are still being scammed on a regular basis.  The Bill, as it stands, includes a major loophole that means people will not be properly protected from online fraud.  Search engines such as Google are not currently covered by the requirements on fraudulent advertising.  A key issue in the ticketing market is how websites that allow fraudulent tickets to be sold often take out paid ads with Google that appear at the top of the search results.  This gives the false impression to consumers that these sites are official ticket outlets.  People mistakenly believe that only authorised ticket outlets can advertise on Google—people trust Google—and they are scammed as a result.

The Times reported last year that Google was taking advertising money from scam websites selling Premier League football tickets, even though the matches were taking place behind closed doors during lockdown—you couldn’t make it up.  The Online Safety Bill needs to ensure that consumers are provided with much greater protection and that Google is forced to take greater responsibility for who it allows to advertise.  If the Bill took action, online ticket fraud would be drastically reduced.  With £2.3 billion lost to online fraud in the UK last year, it is very much needed.

It is also important to remember the human side of online fraud.  Victims go through intense stress, as they are not only scammed out of their money but feel duped, stupid and humiliated.  There cannot be a Member of this House who has not had to support a constituent devastated by online fraud.  I have come across many stories, including one of an elderly couple who bought two tickets to see their favourite artist to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.  When they arrived at the venue, they were turned away and told that they had been sold fake tickets.

I have a lot more to say, Madam Deputy Speaker, but I think you get the drift.

Online Safety Bill debate - Tuesday 19 April 2022

9.10pm - Madam Deputy Speaker - Dame Eleanor Laing - Epping Forest - ConservativeOrder. I am reluctant to reduce the time limit, but I am receiving appeals for me to... Read more

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2022 number 149
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Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2022 number 149

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2022 number 149

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2022 number 149Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2022 number 149 Read more

Echo Column: Office closure makes it clear levelling-up rhetoric is hollow.

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ECHO COLUMN: Office closure makes it clear levelling-up rhetoric is hollow.

Echo Column: Office closure makes it clear levelling-up rhetoric is hollow. Read more

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, pledged to work with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to help make ‘science fiction a reality’ during a special parliamentary reception.

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Image copyright British Heart Foundation, 2022.

Celebrating 60 Years of life-saving research - British Heart Foundation

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, pledged to work with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to help make ‘science fiction a reality’ during a special parliamentary reception.Image copyright... Read more

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2022 number 148

2022_03_04_gc_number_148-1_cover.jpg

Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2022 number 148

Feb-Mar 2022 number 148

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2022 number 148 Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2022 number 148 Read more

A child’s access to healthy food should not be quibbled over.

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I wish to express my utter and complete condemnation for Vladimir Putin and his administration as it wages an invasion in Ukraine, killing innocent civilians and wounding many more. I have been working closely with colleagues to ensure that the Government offers the best route to asylum for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homes as their brave soldiers repel the Russian invaders.

But, closer to home, this week I raised the issue of regional food inequality in Parliament.

ECHO COLUMN: A child’s access to healthy food should not be quibbled over.

A child’s access to healthy food should not be quibbled over.I wish to express my utter and complete condemnation for Vladimir Putin and his administration as it wages an invasion... Read more

Westminster Hall speech on regional inequalities and child poverty

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Image copyright, Parliamentary Recording Unit, 2022.

Sharon Hodgson MP - spoke in a parliamentary debate about regional inequalities and child poverty held in Westminster Hall, called by Labour colleague Liz Twist, MP for Blaydon.

The debate couldn’t be more relevant at the current time, when children in the North East have the second highest poverty rate in the UK, and 51% of Washington and Sunderland West households with children are in receipt of UC or Working Tax Credit. Many of these families were struggling before the pandemic, but a toxic combination of low incomes, a cost-of-living emergency and the Government’s £20-a-week cuts to universal credit has sent many families into crisis. Speaking in the debate, I focused on the provision of free school meals – a quarter of North East Children in poverty are not eligible for a free school meal. Hungry children cannot learn, and I wanted to make it clear that the Government’s talk of levelling up is meaningless when thousands of children in poverty are being left behind. Food insecurity must be addressed.

Westminster Hall speech on regional inequalities and child poverty - 02/03/2022

Westminster Hall speech on regional inequalities and child povertyImage copyright, Parliamentary Recording Unit, 2022. Sharon Hodgson MP - spoke in a parliamentary debate about regional inequalities and child poverty held... Read more

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Image copyright, Parliamentary Recording Unit, 2022.

Watch the debate in Westminster Hall here >
Read this debate in Hansard >
Facebook clip here >

Text of speech (from Hansard):

2022 02 08 - Westminster Hall debate: Potential merits of reopening the Leamside Line

Image copyright, Parliamentary Recording Unit, 2022.Watch the debate in Westminster Hall here >Read this debate in Hansard >Facebook clip here >Text of speech (from Hansard): Read more

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Residents' meeting - Columbia, Washington - 05-02-2022

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Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jan-Feb 2022 number 147

2022_02_04_gc_number_147-1_cover.jpg

Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jan-Feb 2022 number 147

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jan-Feb 2022 number 147

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jan-Feb 2022 number 147 Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jan-Feb 2022 number 147 Read more

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