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Helen Mary Southworth (born 13 November 1956) is a former Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom who is the Chief Executive of Age Concern Isle of Man.[1] She is the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Warrington South, and was first elected at the 1997 general election. She retained the Warrington South seat at the 2001 and 2005 general elections, each time with a reduced majority. On 15 June 2009, she announced that she would be retiring at the next general election. The seat that she vacated was subsequently won for the Conservative Party by David Mowat. She was the only person to have won successive elections in the constituency until her successor, Conservative David Mowat, won the 2015 General Election with an increased majority.

Helen Southworth
Member of Parliament
for Warrington South
In office
2 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byMike Hall
Succeeded byDavid Mowat
Personal details
Born (1956-11-13) 13 November 1956 (age 62)
Preston, England, UK
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Edmund Southworth
Alma materLancaster University

Early lifeEdit

Born in Preston, Southworth was educated at the former Larkhill Convent Grammar School (now called Cardinal Newman College, a sixth form college) on Larkhill Road in Frenchwood, Preston. In 1978, she graduated with a BA in English literature from Lancaster University.

Before entering Parliament, Southworth was a councillor on St Helens Borough Council, on which she became chairperson of the Leisure Committee. She unsuccessfully contested the Wirral South constituency at the 1992 General Election. She was a Director at Age Concern in St Helens.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Southworth served as a member of the House of Commons select committees on Trade and Industry (1998–2001) and Procedure (1997–1999). She was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Paul Boateng, the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, from 2001 to 2005. In 2005 she was appointed a member of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, which scrutinised the implementation of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

She has served as a non-executive director on a number of bodies, including the charity Age Concern, Grosvenor Housing association and Merseyside and Knowsley Health Authority.

At Dods Women in Public Life Awards in 2008 Southworth was named MP of the year for her work involving missing and runaway children.[2]

On 16 June 2009, Southworth announced her intention to stand down at the next general election, citing her desire to spend more time with her family.[3]

Isle of ManEdit

After completing her term as an MP, Southworth moved with her husband to the Isle of Man. In 2014 she became CEO of Age Isle of Man having previously been CEO of Age Concern in St Helens for thirteen years before she stepped down in 2010.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

She is the sister of science writer Gabrielle Walker, well known for her radio shows on BBC Radio 4 and also her Antarctic studies. She married Edmund Southworth, who graduated from Lancaster University in 1977 where he studied Archaeology. Her husband has been on the North West Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, was the County Museums Officer for Lancashire County Council from 2001, and became Director of Manx National Heritage in 2009.[5]


  1. ^ "Finance sector company raises money for three good causes". 29 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Warrington Guardian article". Warrington Guardian. 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  3. ^ "Warrington South MP Helen Southworth to stand down at general election". Liverpool Daily Post. 16 June 2009.
  4. ^ "New CEO for Age Isle of Man" (Press release). Age Isle of Man. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  5. ^ "New Director of Manx National Heritage". Isle of Man Government. 3 July 2009. Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012.

External linksEdit