Lyn Brown

Lyn Carol Brown (born 13 April 1960) is a British politician serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for West Ham since 2005. A member of the Labour Party, she was a Shadow Minister at the Home Office from 2015 to 2016, and Shadow Policing Minister from 2016 to 2017.

Lyn Brown

Shadow Minister for Prisons and Probation
Assumed office
9 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byYasmin Qureshi
Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
In office
12 January 2018 – 9 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byAnneliese Dodds
Succeeded byWes Streeting
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
7 June 2017 – 18 June 2017
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byDiane Abbott
Succeeded byDiane Abbott
Shadow Minister of State for Policing
In office
8 October 2016 – 7 June 2017
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byJack Dromey
Succeeded byLouise Haigh
Member of Parliament
for West Ham
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byTony Banks
Majority32,388 (53.8%)
Personal details
Lyn Carol Brown

(1960-04-13) 13 April 1960 (age 61)
London, England, UK
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)John Cullen
Alma materUniversity of Roehampton
WebsiteOfficial website
Commons website

Early life and careerEdit

Brown was born in London to Joseph and Iris Brown. She was educated at Drew Road Primary School, Silvertown and Plashet Comprehensive School before attending the Whitelands College, Putney (now part of Roehampton University).[1] In 1984 she began work as a social worker for the London Borough of Ealing.[2]

She was elected as a councillor to Newham London Borough Council in 1988. She unsuccessfully contested Wanstead and Woodford at the 1992 general election but was easily beaten by 16,885 votes by the Conservative James Arbuthnot.[3]

Parliamentary careerEdit

In 2005, West Ham MP Tony Banks retired and Lyn Brown was selected to contest the safe Labour seat through an all-women shortlist.[4] Lyn Brown became the seat's MP at the 2005 general election with a majority of 9,801 votes. She made her maiden speech on 23 May 2005.

In 2006, Brown became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Communities and Local Government Minister, Phil Woolas. In July 2007 she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

In June 2009 she was promoted to become an Assistant Government Whip. She remained as a whip, in opposition, following the 2010 general election.[5]

In June 2011, Brown was criticised by campaigners for recruiting an unpaid intern whilst also supporting "a living wage for all". Gus Baker of Intern Aware stated Brown had replaced a paid member of staff with an unpaid intern, accusing her of double hypocrisy and noting how such conduct denied opportunities to poorer people such as those from Brown's constituency. Brown stated she "would like to pay everyone" in her office, but "did not have the resources to do so".[6][7]

In October 2013, Brown was appointed by Ed Miliband to serve as Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government.[8]

In September 2015, she was appointed as a Shadow Home Office Minister by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a position from which she resigned on 28 June 2016, before subsequently supporting Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[9][10] In October 2016, Corbyn reappointed Brown to serve as a Shadow Minister, as Shadow Minister for Policing, during which time, Brown temporarily replaced Diane Abbott as Shadow Home Secretary during a period of ill health for Abbott.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

In May 2008 Brown married John Cullen and exercised her privilege as a member of Parliament to hold the ceremony in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster.[12] The ceremony was performed by fellow Labour MP and former vicar Chris Bryant.[13]

Until May 2009, Brown rented a central London flat using the second home allowance, despite her constituency being only 6 miles from Westminster.[14]

Brown's hobbies include reading crime fiction and walking.[2]


  1. ^ Debrett's People Of Today 2011. Retrieved on 16 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Ms Lyn Brown, MP Authorised Biography – Debrett’s People of Today, Ms Lyn Brown, MP Profile Archived 8 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (13 April 1960). Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  3. ^ Democracy Live | Your representatives | Lyn Brown. BBC News. Retrieved on 16 July 2011.
  4. ^ Muir, Hugh (23 January 2005). "Labour to help black candidates". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  5. ^ Lyn Brown Archived 28 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. (6 May 2010). Retrieved on 2011-07-16.
  6. ^ "MP accused of worker 'hypocrisy'". Belfast Telegraph. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  7. ^ King, Victoria (28 June 2011). "Living wage MP Lyn Brown criticised over unpaid job". BBC News. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Lyn Brown". Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Lyn Brown - UK Parliament". Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Diane Abbott to step aside 'for the period of her ill health', Corbyn says". The Guardian. 7 June 2017. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Lyn and John's Wedding Chamber!". Newham Recorder. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  13. ^ Whistle blown on footy bid. – Free Online Library. Retrieved on 16 July 2011.
  14. ^ Moore-Bridger, Benedict (29 May 2009). "West Ham's Brown gives up flat she rented 'for safety's sake'". Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2010.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tony Banks
Member of Parliament
for West Ham

Political offices
Preceded by
Diane Abbott
Shadow Home Secretary

Succeeded by
Diane Abbott