Lyn Brown (politician)

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Lyn Brown
Member of Parliament
for West Ham
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Tony Banks
Majority 22,534 (48.0%)
Personal details
Born (1960-04-13) 13 April 1960 (age 59)
London, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) John Cullen
Alma mater Roehampton University
Website Official website

Lyn Carol Brown (born 13 April 1960) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for West Ham since 2005.

Early life

Brown was born in London to Joseph and Iris Brown. She was educated at Drew Road Primary School, Silvertown and Plashet Comprehensive School before attending the Whitelands College, Putney (now part of Roehampton University).[1] In 1984 she began work as a social worker for the London Borough of Ealing.[2]


She was elected as a councillor to Newham Borough Council in 1988. She unsuccessfully contested Wanstead and Woodford at the 1992 general election but was easily beaten by 16,885 votes by the Conservative James Arbuthnot.[3]

The former minister and Labour member of parliament for West Ham constituency Tony Banks retired and Lyn Brown was selected to contest the safe Labour seat through an all-women shortlist.[4] Lyn Brown was became the seat's MP at the 2005 general election with a majority of 9,801 votes. She made her maiden speech on 23 May 2005.

In 2006 Brown became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Communities and Local Government Minister, Phil Woolas. In July 2007 she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

In June 2009 she was promoted to become an Assistant Government Whip. She remained as a whip, in opposition, following the 2010 election.[5]

At the 2010 General Election she retained the seat with a significantly increased majority of 22,534.

In June 2011 Brown was criticised by campaigners for recruiting an unpaid intern whilst also supporting "a living wage for all". Gus Baker of Intern Aware stated Brown had replaced a paid member of staff with an unpaid intern, accusing her of double hypocrisy and noting how such conduct denied opportunities to poorer people such as those from Brown's constituency. Brown stated she "would like to pay everyone" in her office, but "did not have the resources to do so".[6][7]

Personal life

In May 2008 Brown married John Cullen and exercised her privilege as a member of Parliament to hold the ceremony in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster.[8] The ceremony was performed by fellow Labour MP and former vicar Chris Bryant.[9]

Until May 2009, Brown rented a central London flat using the second home allowance, despite her constituency being only a few miles from Westminster.[10]

Brown hobbies include reading crime fiction and walking.[11]

Incident with blind reporter

On 16 July 2011 Brown was reported to have shoved Talksport's blind Political Editor, Sean Dilley, and his guide dog inside Portcullis House, swearing at him to get out of her way. Several independent witnesses reported the matter to the Press, and to the Labour Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton, who apparently proceeded to discipline Brown. Brown issued an unreserved apology shortly thereafter.[12]


  1. Debrett's People Of Today 2011. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  2. Ms Lyn Brown, MP Authorised Biography – Debrett’s People of Today, Ms Lyn Brown, MP Profile. (1960-04-13). Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  3. Democracy Live | Your representatives | Lyn Brown. BBC News. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  4. Muir, Hugh (23 January 2005). "Labour to help black candidates". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lyn Brown. (2010-05-06). Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  6. MP accused of worker 'hypocrisy' – UK, Local & National. (2011-06-28). Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  7. King, Victoria. (2011-06-28) BBC News – Living wage MP Lyn Brown criticised over unpaid job. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  8. "Lyn and John's Wedding Chamber!". 30 May 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Whistle blown on footy bid. – Free Online Library. Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  10. Moore-Bridger, Benedict (29 May 2009). "West Ham's Brown gives up flat she rented 'for safety's sake'". Retrieved 21 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Ms Lyn Brown, MP Authorised Biography – Debrett’s People of Today, Ms Lyn Brown, MP Profile. (1960-04-13). Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  12. Peev, Gerri (15 July 2011). "MP in four-letter blast at blind man: 'Out of my way' Labour whip shouts at reporter". Daily Mail. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tony Banks
Member of Parliament for West Ham