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Sharon Hodgson is the Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West.
Sharon was born in 1966, and has lived in Tyne and Wear virtually all of her life; she continues to live there with her husband, Alan, with whom she has two children.
Sharon became interested in politics during the 1980s when Mrs Thatcher's Conservative 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 profits for those at the top of society 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 in the Mitcham and Morden constituency in London, where she helped Siobhain McDonagh MP 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 was first elected as the MP for Gateshead East and Washington West in 2005, and then (following boundary changes) for the new constituency of Washington and Sunderland West in 2010. Sharon has consecutively been re-elected as the MP for Washington and Sunderland West at all three General Elections since 2010: 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Her constituency is home to one of Europe's most productive car plants, Nissan Motors UK, which is leading the way in electric vehicle production in the UK.
Sharon has taken on many roles in Parliament since her election in 2005 including on key parliamentary committees (such as the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee), Parliamentary Private Secretary to Government Ministers, Government Whip, Shadow Ministerial roles (Children and Families 2010-2013; Women and Equalities 2013-2015; Children 2015-2016; Public Health 2016-2020; Veterans 2020-2021).
In April 2021, Sharon was appointed to be Parliamentary Private Secretary to Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of HM Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer MP.
Sharon has served under all Leaders of the Labour Party since 2005.
Sharon is also active in a number of other areas; she currently Chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) on: Ovarian Cancer; Art, Craft and Design in Education; Dyslexia and SpLD; School Food; and Ticket Abuse. She is also a Vice-Chair to the Motor Group APPG and the Electric Vehicles APPG, and she takes a keen interest in automotive policy in particular given her constituency's connection with the sector.
As well as taking up a variety of issues on behalf of constituents, including campaigning to bring the Tyne and Wear Metro to Washington, Sharon's proudest achievement as an MP is one which very few manage - passing a Private Members' Bill into law. The Special Educational Needs (Information) Act 2008, which Sharon tabled and lobbied Ministers and fellow Parliamentarians to approve, aims to improve services for and the outcomes of children and young people with Special Educational Needs by ensuring that the Government collects and publishes information on their progress annually - more information on the Act can be found here.
Sharon writes regular columns for local newspapers, as well as contributing to political blogs and pamphlets.
Updated June 2021
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