Louise Margaret Haigh (born 22 July 1987) is a British Labour politician. She was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Heeley at the May 2015 general election, and was the youngest Labour member of that parliament.
Haigh in 2017
|Shadow Minister of State for Policing|
3 July 2017
|Preceded by||Lyn Brown|
|Shadow Minister for Digital Economy|
10 October 2016 – 3 July 2017
|Preceded by||Chi Onwurah|
|Succeeded by||Liam Byrne|
|Shadow Minister for Civil Service and Digital Reform|
18 September 2015 – 10 October 2016
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Steve Reed|
|Member of Parliament
for Sheffield Heeley
7 May 2015
|Preceded by||Meg Munn|
22 July 1987 |
|Alma mater||University of Nottingham|
Haigh grew up on Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, and now lives in Norfolk Park, Sheffield. She was educated at Sheffield High School and the University of Nottingham. Her grandfather and uncle were trade union officials.
After graduating, Haigh worked for the local council youth service between 2006 and 2008. She then began working in Parliament, where she was the co-ordinator of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Corporate Responsibility. During this time, she was also a Unite shop steward and volunteered as a Special Constable.
In September 2015, Haigh was appointed Shadow Minister for Civil Service and Digital Reform. The role, newly expanded under Jeremy Corbyn, covers the Government's digital strategy, the Freedom of Information Act, data security and privacy. In this role, Haigh was critical of a 2016 reshuffle of Permanent Secretaries which saw two fewer women as departmental heads. She opposed the closure of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills office in Sheffield City Centre, saying the decision demonstrated "contempt" for the city.
On 10 October 2016, she was made Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy. Haigh served in this role during the passage of the Digital Economy Act (2017) and introduced a number of amendments, including an obligation for television broadcasters to include subtitles and closed captioning in on-demand content online which was adopted by a subsequent Government amendment. She has repeatedly raised concerns about child protection online, including calling for social media companies to recognise “that alongside their new-found power, they have responsibilities” in dealing with harmful and illegal content.
On 3 July 2017, she was made Shadow Policing Minister. After being appointed, Haigh commissioned research from the House of Commons Library showing 48% of police officers in the UK were over 40 years old, a rise of nine percentage points since 2007.
She has used the position to call for a change in Government policy on police pay, which she said was behind “a collapse in morale” amongst officers.
Haigh has called for greater protection for police officers involved in vehicle pursuits, saying the current rules are "hampering the ability of the police to apprehend very serious offenders".
Haigh campaigned for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. In the 2016 Labour leadership election, Haigh supported Owen Smith.
Haigh was instrumental in revealing that hundreds of women had their tax credits stopped in error by US company Concentrix. The revelation led to an announcement that their HMRC contract would not be renewed. Panic alarms have been installed in Haigh's office and home by South Yorkshire Police after she received death threats for calling for a debate on the banning of Britain First, the far-right group. South Yorkshire Police have provided her with uniformed and undercover protection as she attends to her constituency activities.
In November 2016 Haigh introduced a Private Members’ Bill calling for statutory leave from work for living organ donors, after a constituent complained of being given three days’ unpaid holiday after donating bone marrow.
Haigh is a member of a number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups, including the APPGs on Corporate Governance, Refugees, Colombia and Looked After Children. In July 2017 she was elected Vice Chair of the APPG on State Pension Inequality.
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- "Louise Haigh interview: the shadow Cabinet Office minister on Jeremy Corbyn, Whitehall diversity – and why the Tories have "always understood" civil service reform | Civil Service World". www.civilserviceworld.com. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "BIS Sheffield closure confirmed – full details and reaction from staff, unions and MPs | Civil Service World". www.civilserviceworld.com. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- Haigh, Louise (10 October 2016). "Louise appointed Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy - Louise Haigh, Labour Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley". Louisehaigh.org.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "Digital Economy Bill will require on-demand programmes to include subtitles". www.cable.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- Haigh, Louise. "It is time to make the internet giants meet their responsibility". Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Why Our 'Smartphone Generation' Deserve Statutory Online Education". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- Haigh, Louise (3 July 2017). "Louise appointed Labour's Shadow Policing Minister". Louisehaigh.org.uk. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Bloom, Dan (2017-07-27). "Britain is suffering a 'lost generation' of police officers". mirror. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Special Constables - Hansard Online". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- Haigh, Louise (2017-08-04). "How can the police stop criminals on mopeds if they can’t pursue them?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- Leftly, Mark (20 February 2016). "Tory MP Royston Smith is least active among Parliament's new members". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "'Least active MP' Royston Smith defends record". BBC News. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Proctor, Kate (25 February 2016). "Louise Haigh most hard-working of all new MPs". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Haigh, Louise (23 June 2016). "Vote Remain today: Sheffield is better off in the EU - Louise Haigh, Labour Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley". Louisehaigh.org.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "Jeremy Corbyn has served Labour well. But Owen Smith is the leader we need". The Guardian. 21 July 2016. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "HMRC to axe tax credit checking firm Concentrix". Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- Byrne, Paul (13 September 2016). "Concentrix to be stripped of HMRC contract over tax credits blunders". Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- Pidd, Helen; Perraudin, Frances (15 December 2016). "Female MP received death threats for calling for ban on Britain First". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "Organ Donors (Leave) - Hansard Online". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Vice Chair of State Pension Inequality APPG". www.louisehaigh.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-08-22.