Alison Seabeck

Alison Jane Seabeck (née Ward; born 20 January 1954) is a former English Labour Party politician. She was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Plymouth Devonport from 2005 until 2010 when she won the new seat of Plymouth Moor View before losing the seat to the Conservative Party in the 2015 general election. She was a shadow Housing and Defence Minister.

Alison Seabeck
Shadow Minister of State for Defence
In office
7 October 2011 – 7 May 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Member of Parliament
for Plymouth Moor View
Plymouth Devonport (2005–2010)
In office
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byDavid Jamieson
Succeeded byJohnny Mercer
Personal details
Born (1954-01-20) 20 January 1954 (age 66)
Dagenham, Essex, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Denis Seabeck (m 1975)
Nick Raynsford (m 2012)
Children2 daughters
Alma materNorth East London Polytechnic

Early lifeEdit

Seabeck went to Harold Hill Grammar School (later Upper Bedfords Park School from 1973) in Harold Hill in London. She studied at the North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London) in Stratford. Seabeck was a member of the MSF (now Unite), and whilst working at the House of Commons became the secretary of the South Thames Community Branch. She is also a member of the feminist Fawcett Society and the Labour Women's Network.[1]

Political careerEdit

Seabeck was picked for the Plymouth Devonport seat from an all-women shortlist.[2]

Seabeck was elected at the 2005 general election with a majority of 8,103, replacing David Jamieson. She served as a Government Whip attached to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform from 2007 to 2008.[3] She chaired the South West Regional Select Committee between 2009-2010 and sat on the Local Government Select Committee and the Regulatory Reform Select Committee between 2005–2007.

In the 2010 general election Seabeck successfully held her seat in Plymouth Moor View.[4]

On 11 October 2010, Seabeck was appointed Shadow Housing Minister,[5] working with Caroline Flint, the then Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. On 7 October 2011, she was appointed Shadow Defence Minister[6] during Ed Miliband's reshuffle.

In December 2010 it was revealed that Seabeck was under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in relation to declaration of member's interests.[7][8] Seabeck was subsequently asked to apologise for speaking in a debate on fire safety without declaring that her partner, MP Nick Raynsford was a member of the Fire Protection Association.[9]

She was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014[10]

In 2014 she tried to introduce an exemption from the so-called 'bedroom tax' so that victims of domestic violence with a "panic room" installed were no longer penalised for the additional room.[11]

In the 2015 UK General Election, Seabeck again stood as the candidate in the Plymouth Moor View constituency, but was defeated by Conservative candidate Johnny Mercer.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

She married her former husband Denis in 1975 and they have two daughters.[1] She is now the wife of the former MP for Greenwich & Woolwich, Nick Raynsford, for whom she worked as researcher before entering Parliament. Her father was the former Labour MP for Peterborough, Michael Ward.[citation needed] Seabeck hired one of her daughters at very short notice to work for three weeks to cover a staff absence.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Meet the MP: Alison Seabeck". BBC News. 20 June 2005.
  2. ^ "Labour selects female candidate". BBC News. 24 March 2005.
  3. ^ "Alison Seabeck". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  4. ^ "2010 election, Plymouth Moor View". BBC. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Alison Seabeck to be shadow housing minister". Inside Housing. Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Alison Seabeck has been appointed shadow defence minister". Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  7. ^ Beckford, Martin (9 December 2010). "MPs' expenses: 17 MPs were re-elected after secret deals on expenses". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  8. ^ "'Secretly' resolved MPs' expenses cases made public". The Guardian. London. 9 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Labour MP Alison Seabeck breached disclosure rules". BBC. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  10. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013–14". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Plymouth MP to call for exemption from bedroom tax for domestic abuse victims". Plymouth Herald. 28 April 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Plymouth Moor View". BBC. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  13. ^ City MP defends hiring of relatives,; accessed 21 May 2015.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Jamieson
Member of Parliament for Plymouth Devonport
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Plymouth Moor View
Succeeded by
Johnny Mercer