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Karen Elizabeth Lee (born 15 January 1959)[1] is a British Labour Party politician. She has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Lincoln[2][3] since the 2017 general election.[4] She defeated the sitting Conservative MP, Karl McCartney by 1,538 votes.[4]

Karen Lee

Official portrait of Ms Karen Lee crop 2.jpg
Shadow Minister for Fire and Rescue Services
Assumed office
20 January 2018
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byChris Williamson
Member of Parliament
for Lincoln
Assumed office
9 June 2017
Preceded byKarl McCartney
Majority1,538 (3.2%)
Personal details
Born
Karen Elizabeth Lee

(1959-01-15) 15 January 1959 (age 60)
Political partyLabour

In July 2017, Lee was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.[5] In January 2018, Lee was promoted to Labour’s Shadow Home Office Team as Shadow Minister for Fire and Rescue Services.[6]

Contents

Life Prior to PoliticsEdit

Karen Lee was educated at South Park High School, Lincoln and Lincoln College, Lincolnshire.[7] She has lived in Lincoln for all of her life.

Prior to her career in politics, Lee worked in various retail jobs before training as a nurse.[8] She worked as a nurse at Lincoln County Hospital for 14 years. Since being elected to parliament, Lee has continued to serve the NHS as a nurse.[9]

Lee has described herself as a ‘proud trade unionist’,[10] and before entering politics she was a Learning Representative and a Workplace Representative for UNISON.[11]

Local GovernmentEdit

Karen Lee was first elected as a local councillor in 2003.[12] She served as Mayor of Lincoln from May 2012 to May 2013.[13][14]

Lee chaired Lincoln City Council Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, which received an award from The Centre for Public Scrutiny for its efforts to reduce the effects of poverty in the city.[15] Lee also chaired Lincoln City Council’s Equality and Diversity Group.[16]

Since being elected as Lincoln’s MP, Lee has campaigned extensively on homelessness in the city and has helped establish Lincoln’s Homelessness Hub.[17] Lee has also campaigned on local issues including transport,[18] universal credit[19] and local health services.[20]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Karen Lee made her maiden speech to parliament on 6 July 2017. She focused her speech on the historical significance of Lincoln, the impact of austerity and the “indignity” of poverty and food-bank use.[21]

In her maiden speech, Lee reiterated her support for Lincoln University in its efforts to secure funding for a Medical School.[22]

Frontbench positionsEdit

In July 2017 Lee was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.[5]

In January 2018, Lee was promoted to Labour’s Shadow Home Office Team as Shadow Minister for Fire and Rescue Services.[6] Lee is responsible for formulating Labour’s national fire policy and is the party’s spokesperson for fire and emergency services.[23]

In this role, Lee has focused on the impact of austerity on firefighter pay and working conditions and has called for sweeping reforms[24] to the substandard fire regulations[25] which contributed to the Grenfell tower fire.[26] Lee has also criticised the government for failing to urgently rehouse those affected by the Grenfell tower fire. Lee has published several articles relating to her role as Shadow Fire Minister in The Huffington Post,[25] The Morning Star[24] and LabourList.[26]

ViewsEdit

Outside of her Shadow Ministerial brief, Lee regularly participates in debates relating to healthcare. Citing her experience as a trainee Nurse, Lee has campaigned to re-instate the Nursing Bursary.[27] She has also accused the government of under-funding and privatising the NHS.[28] Lee is an Ambassador for Breast Cancer Care,[29] and helped to secure a Westminster Hall debate on the future of Breast Cancer treatment.[30]

Lee has spoken regularly in favour of the re-nationalisation of public services, such as railways,[31] and against the public sector pay cap.[32] Lee has also advocated for a more re-distributive taxation system[33] and accused the government of forcing people in Lincoln into poverty through ‘unjust’ welfare policies and the ‘chaotic’ roll-out of Universal Credit.[34]

Lee is considered to be on the left wing of the Labour Party’s political spectrum and is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs. At The World Transformed festival in September 2018, Lee spoke at a Socialist Campaign Group Rally entitled Towards a Socialist Government.[35]

Lee holds elected positions on several All Party Parliamentary Groups, such as the APPG on Breast Cancer.[29] Lee has an interest in international human rights issues; she helped to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and Human Rights in the Gulf,[36] is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba[37] and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tibet.[38]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Councillor Karen Lee". lincolnlabourparty.org.uk. Lincoln Labour Party. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Ms Karen Lee MP". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Election 2017: Lincoln". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ionescu, Daniel (9 June 2017). "Labour's Karen Lee defeats Conservative Karl McCartney in Lincoln". The Lincolnite. Stonebow Media. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Lincoln MP Karen Lee appointed as private secretary to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell". The Lincolnite. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Lincoln MP Karen Lee promoted to Shadow Minister for Fire". The Lincolnite. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  7. ^ Lee, Karen. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 14 February 2018. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  8. ^ Core Politics (20 September 2017), E13: Karen Lee MP - #MeetTheMPs, retrieved 16 November 2018
  9. ^ Franklin, Ashley (12 June 2017). "New Lincoln MP vows to give money she makes as nurse to charity". Lincolnshire Live.
  10. ^ The World Transformed (28 October 2018), "Towards a Socialist Government" at #TWT2018, retrieved 16 November 2018
  11. ^ "Karen Lee MP". Unionlearn. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  12. ^ Norton, Emily (2 May 2017). "Karen Lee named as Labour candidate for Lincoln MP seat". The Lincolnite. Stonebow Media. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  13. ^ Barnaby_B (15 May 2012). "Councillor Karen Lee sworn in as 806th Mayor of Lincoln". Lincolnshire Live. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  14. ^ Lincolnshire Echo (11 May 2013). "Councillor Karen Lee's reign as Mayor of Lincoln coming to an end". Lincolnshire Live. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  15. ^ "City Poverty Work Earns Two National Awards – Siren Radio". www.sirenonline.co.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Denocratic Lincoln Minutes" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Karen Lee on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Karen Lee: More uncertainty over East Coast Mainline". The Lincolnite. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Universal Credit: Lincoln:Written question - 132929". UK Parliament. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Karen Lee: Lincoln walk-In centre replacements are not enough". The Lincolnite. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Exiting the European Union and Global Trade - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  22. ^ Franklin, Ashley (30 November 2017). "Karen Lee backs bid to create medical school in Lincoln". lincolnshirelive. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  23. ^ "https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-10-29/debates/BAAF588B-53A1-4103-ADCF-". External link in |title= (help)
  24. ^ a b "Deregulation and austerity: public safety is still at risk post-Grenfell". Morning Star. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  25. ^ a b "The Hackitt Review Has Failed To Learn The Lessons From The Grenfell Tragedy". HuffPost UK. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Karen Lee: The government is failing to learn the lessons of Grenfell | LabourList". LabourList | Labour's biggest independent grassroots e-network. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  27. ^ "Education (Student Support) - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  28. ^ "NHS Outsourcing and Privatisation - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  29. ^ a b "Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer". Breast Cancer Now. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  30. ^ "Breast Cancer - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  31. ^ "East Coast Main Line Investment - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Budget Resolutions - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  33. ^ "Budget Resolutions - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  34. ^ "The Secretary of State's Handling of Universal Credit - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  35. ^ The World Transformed (28 October 2018), "Towards a Socialist Government" at #TWT2018, retrieved 16 November 2018
  36. ^ "APPG on Human Rights in the Gulf & BIRD Held Parliamentary Event: "A Legacy of Complicity: the British Government and Torture in Bahrain" | Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy". birdbh.org. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  37. ^ "CSC events: Public Meeting with Cuban MPs". cuba-solidarity.org.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  38. ^ "Karen Lee on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 16 November 2018.

External linksEdit