Emily Anne Thornberry (born 27 July 1960) has been the Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury since the 2005 general election.
Thornberry was re-elected in the 2010 general election, and appointed Shadow Attorney General in Edward Miliband's shadow cabinet, serving until she resigned on 20 November 2014. After Jeremy Corbyn won the 2015 leadership election on 12 September, Thornberry was appointed Shadow Minister of State for Employment. In a shadow cabinet reshuffle in January 2016, she became Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, replacing Maria Eagle. In June 2016, she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. She was also Shadow "Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union" from July 2016 to October 2016. Following the June 2017 general election, she was appointed the additional role of Shadow First Secretary of State.
Early parliamentary career (2005–10)
Following the decision of Chris Smith MP not to stand again, Thornberry was selected as the Labour candidate for Islington South and Finsbury for the 2005 general election. She was elected to Parliament with a majority of 484. Nick Smith (who subsequently was elected to Parliament representing Blaenau Gwent) served as her election agent.
In Parliament, she has been a member of the Environmental Audit Committee and was on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee during the 2005–10 Parliament. She is vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Choice and Sexual Health Group.
Thornberry's main interests since becoming an MP have been in health, housing, the environment, and equality. She has also spoken on the need for more affordable housing, particularly in Islington. In 2006, Thornberry introduced the Housing Association Bill – a Private Member's Bill which sought to improve the control of housing association tenants over their landlords. Many of the ideas from this bill were taken up by the Cave Review. On environmental matters, Thornberry has worked with Friends of the Earth and World Wide Fund for Nature to campaign for a Climate Change Bill and a Marine Bill. In 2006, Thornberry won the ePolitix Award for Environment Champion of the Year after being nominated by WWF.
Though normally voting with the Labour Whip, Thornberry voted against her party's government on national security matters, regarding the detention of terror suspects without charge for 90 days in the Terrorism Act 2006, on the same matter for 42 days in the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, and against the renewal of Trident.
Opposition under Ed Miliband (2010–15)
In May 2010, Thornberry was returned as MP for Islington South and Finsbury with an increased majority, in a seat identified as the Liberal Democrats' top target in England for the 2010 general election.
Thornberry was promoted to Shadow Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change in May 2010. Thornberry missed out on a place in Labour's Shadow Cabinet by one vote, but she was promoted to the role of Shadow Care Minister, under Shadow Health Secretary John Healey
In this role, Thornberry challenged the coalition government's lack of action over failing care home operator Southern Cross, calling for action and that the government put in place a plan B should the operator fail. She criticised the government over the Winterborne View care home abuse scandal, calling for an investigation into the affair.In April 2011, Thornberry surveyed all the Local Government Directors of Adult Social Care and highlighted the pressures on care for the elderly by the coalition government's cuts to Local Authority funds.
Thornberry was appointed Shadow Attorney General in October 2011, in which capacity she attended Shadow Cabinet meetings.