Kerry McCarthy named Shadow Environment Secretary

Labour MP for Bristol East Kerry McCarthy, who is behind the proposed Food Waste (Reduction) Bill, has been named Shadow Environment Secretary in Jeremy Corbyn’s newly-formed Shadow Cabinet.

MP seeks to introduce food waste bill
Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East
Kerry McCarthy’s mini bio

McCarthy was first elected to the House of Commons in May 2005, and was reportedly the first vegan MP.

Before being elected, she worked as a lawyer and on political campaigns, and has previously served on the Treasury Select Committee, and as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to both Rosie Winterton, Minister for Health Services, and Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development.

In the June 2009 reshuffle she was made a Junior Whip before briefly serving as Shadow Junior Minister in the Department of Work and Pensions and as Shadow Junior Minister in the Treasury, and in 2011, then Labour leader Ed Miliband made her a Shadow Foreign Office Minister.

The environment does not feature in McCarthy’s main policy areas of interest, which she lists as: the economy; tackling poverty; international aid and trade; transport; and crime and justice.

She has, however, been a vegan for the past 20 years, and was a vegetarian for 10 years prior to that and is a patron of the Vegan Society. She also campaigns on animal welfare issues more generally, including as Vice-President of the League Against Cruel Sports and is a Patron of FoodCycle. Last week, her proposed Food Waste (Reduction) Bill was given a second reading, due in January 2016.

Responding to her appointment, McCarthy tweeted that she was ‘very excited about new role as Shadow Environment Secretary’, promising that she would set out her vision soon.

Learn more about McCarthy’s proposed food waste bill.