Laura Pidcock, MP North West Durham
She was a mental health support worker before working within, then managing, the education team at anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card. Pidcock was a councillor on Northumberland County Council until losing her seat in 2017.
She has declared herself to be a feminist. In her maiden speech, she said that the Palace of Westminster dated from “a time when my class and my sex would have been denied a place in it, because we are deemed unworthy”.
Laura Pidcock maintains the government is doing far too little for poor people. She wrote, “Like any northern community which has been hit by the double whammy of long term deindustrialisation and lack of investment, my constituency of North West Durham has its fair share of problems with unemployment, low pay and mental health issues. A lot of people here are struggling to pay rent, fuel bills and buy the basics of food and clothing, not through any fault of their own, but because for far too long, our part of the country has been neglected by a distant, and at times, callous, government. (…) But talking to people during my MPs surgeries, on the doorstep and in meetings, it’s noticeable most have a common thread: that people have been left behind by a government that is becoming increasingly uncaring and often shuts off support to those who’ve fallen on hard times, been trapped in poorly paid work or had bad luck in their lives. The safety net which was once provided by the State is now falling to voluntary organisations, trade union branches, religious groups and dedicated volunteers who won’t stand by and watch people in hardship. When the state fails, the people organise.” On Universal Credit Pidcock condemned the rollout just before Christmas when poor people’s budgets are very tight. She asked, ‘My question for the Prime Minister is this. Is the roll-out a matter of gross incompetence or calculated cruelty?’