Lucy Maria Powell (born 10 October 1974) has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) Manchester Central since winning the seat at a by-election in November 2012.
In September 2015 she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education in Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet, but formed part of the mass resignation in June 2016.
Powell began her career working as a parliamentary assistant for Beverley Hughes MP after having worked at the Labour Party Headquarters in Millbank Tower during the 1997 general election campaign.
She joined the pro-Euro and pro-EU Treaty pressure group Britain in Europe (BiE) originally in a public relations role and later as head of regional campaigning.
She later replaced Simon Buckby as Campaign Director of BiE and in this capacity she worked with Chris Patten, Neil Kinnock, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander.
She was selected as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Manchester Withington in April 2007 to contest the seat against the incumbent Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, John Leech for the 2010 general election. In her leaflets Powell promised to stick up for Withington residents and stay in the area. She failed to defeat Leech at the 2010 general election.
From May 2010 to September 2010 Powell managed Edward Miliband's successful campaign for the Labour Party leadership.
She served as Miliband's acting and later deputy chief of staff from September 2010 to April 2012. She was selected by the local Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in April 2012 for the 15 November 2012 Manchester Central by-election. She was chosen (with 400 party members eligible to vote) from a shortlist of four candidates which also included local councillors Mike Amesbury and Rosa Battle and the London councillor Patrick Vernon. The by-election was triggered by Tony Lloyd who stepped down as its MP to contest the England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner elections, 2012 for Greater Manchester Police area.
Member of Parliament (2012–present)
Powell was elected at the Manchester Central by-election held in November 2012. She won the election with a majority of 9,936 votes.
In November 2014, she was appointed shadow Cabinet Office minister and vice-chair of the 2015 General Election campaign by Edward Miliband.
In the 2015 general election campaign, Labour suffered a net loss of 26 seats including 40 in Scotland.
Powell was appointed as Shadow Education Secretary on 13 September 2015 by Jeremy Corbyn, succeeding Tristram Hunt. As Shadow Education Secretary, she argued for bringing free schools and academies under Local Education Authority control. She resigned from the Shadow Cabinet on 26 June 2016, along with dozens of shadow cabinet colleagues unhappy with the membership choosing their leader, although she doesn't mind them voting for her and accepting the support from the membership at election time.