Alison McGovern

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Alison McGovern
File:Alison mcgovern and shaun woodward.JPG
Member of Parliament
for Wirral South
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Ben Chapman
Majority 4,599 (11.0%)
Southwark Borough Councillor
for Brunswick Park ward
In office
4 May 2006 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Lilian Naish
Succeeded by John Friary
Personal details
Born (1980-12-30) 30 December 1980 (age 38)
Bromborough, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Ashwin Kumar
Alma mater University College London
Website Official website

Alison McGovern (born 30 December 1980) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Wirral South since 2010.

Early life

The granddaughter of songwriter and activist Peter McGovern, she was born in Bromborough, Merseyside, the daughter of a British Railways telecoms engineer father and a mother who was a nurse.

She was educated at Brookhurst Primary School, and then Wirral Grammar School for Girls, where she was the Head Girl from 1998-1999. She then studied Philosophy at University College London.[1]

On graduation, she worked as a researcher at the House of Commons, before handling communications for development projects at Network Rail.[1]

Political life

McGovern was first elected as a councillor for Brunswick Park in the London Borough of Southwark in 2006, later becoming the Deputy Leader of the borough council's 29-member group of Labour councillors.

She was selected as the Labour Party candidate for Wirral South in December 2009, following Ben Chapman's decision to stand down at the next election for family reasons following adverse publicity in The Daily Telegraph over the expenses scandal, and subsequently won the seat in the 2010 general election, beating the Conservative candidate, Jeff Clarke, by 531 votes.

Parliamentary career

McGovern made her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 3 June 2010 in a debate on European Affairs. In accordance with Parliamentary tradition, she spoke in glowing terms of her constituency and praised her predecessor Ben Chapman, whom she described as "very amiable".[2]

She became former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's parliamentary private secretary in July 2010.[3] On 14 September 2010 she held her first adjournment debate regarding employment prospects for young people in Wirral. In November 2010 she was selected by the PLP to become a member of the International Development Select Committee.[4]

In December 2010 she introduced a private member's bill before Parliament that would amend the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to broaden the scope of the general duty of library authorities so as to include a duty to provide related cultural facilities alongside the library service. In March 2011 she visited India as part of an International Development Select Committee delegation.[5]

In the 2013 Labour reshuffle, she was added to the Shadow International Development team.[6] In 2014, she was moved to the shadow Children and Families portfolio. [7]

In May 2015 McGovern was appointed as shadow city minister in Labour’s treasury team,[8] but did not stay on the opposition frontbench after the Labour leadership election in September 2015.[9] In October 2015 McGovern was appointed as Chair of Progress, a political organisation associated with the development of New Labour.[1]

In January 2016, McGovern resigned from Labour's policy review on child poverty and combating inequality, as a protest against her Progress organization being described by shadow Chancellor John McDonnell as having "a hard right agenda". She commented that she had been "backed into a corner". A Labour Party spokesperson stated "She is resigning from something that doesn't exist", as the initiative had not been confirmed or launched yet.[10]

Personal life

McGovern is married to economist Ashwin Kumar, formerly a senior civil servant in the Department for Work and Pensions and Passenger Director at Passenger Focus.[11] They have a daughter.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sally Gimson (30 October 2015). "'No one can sit on their laurels'". Progress Online. Retrieved 30 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (2010-06-03). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 03 Jun 2010 (pt 0014)". Retrieved 2012-01-15. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Weekly Information Bulletin: Session 2010-12: Select Committees". Retrieved 2012-01-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "The Future of DFID's Programme in India – International Development Committee – Annex: Committee's Visit Programme in India".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Liam Murphy (20 May 2015). "Promotion for Wirral South MP Alison McGovern". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 30 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Paul Waugh (14 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn Signals Shift In Labour Policy On Wiping The UK Deficit, Party Source Claims". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Ellie Price, Labour MP quits party review group over leadership disagreement, dated 10 January 2016 at, accessed 10 January 2016
  11. "Our team: Ashwin Kumar". Tooley Street Research. Retrieved 10 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Baby girl for Wirral MP". Liverpool Echo. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ben Chapman
Member of Parliament
for Wirral South