Emma Hardy appointed shadow FE and HE minister

Exclusive: the Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle has accepted the role as Labour's shadow FE minister

Kate Parker

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Emma Hardy MP has been appointed Labour's shadow FE and HE minister, Tes can reveal. 

The Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle MP has sat on the Commons Education Select Committee since becoming an MP in 2017.  

The shadow ministerial role had been held by Gordon Marsden, who lost his seat in the election in December 2019.


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In 2017, Ms Hardy voted to scrap university tuition fees and to restore Education Maintenance Allowance. 

She grew up in Humberside and attended Wyke Sixth Form College before studying politics at the University of Liverpool. Ms Hardy was a primary school teacher for more than 10 years at Willerby Carr Lane Primary School. She left teaching to work as a full-time organiser at the NEU teaching union, before becoming a Labour MP in 2017.

Ms Hardy told Tes she was "really pleased" about the appointment, given how interested and vocal she is about education. 

She said: "I’ve been involved in the #LoveOurColleges campaign, supporting the Association of Colleges with that, and the #RaiseTheRate campaign to try and get more money for FE.

"I think most people expected me to go into some role in education, so I am really pleased and delighted that Angela [Rayner] has asked me to join the team.

"This is going to be an interesting Parliament, and this Parliament even more so than the last, we are going to need to really strongly hold the government to account and expose what they’re doing and the impact they’re having."

Ms Hardy is replacing Mr Marsden in the shadow ministerial position.

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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