Rachael Maskell
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
27 June 2016 – 1 February 2017
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Kerry McCarthy
Succeeded by Sue Hayman
Shadow Minister for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans
In office
18 September 2015 – 27 June 2016
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Gemma Doyle (Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans)
Succeeded by TBD
Member of Parliament
for York Central
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded by Hugh Bayley
Majority 18,575 (35%)
Personal details
Born (1972-07-05) 5 July 1972 (age 51)
Website Official website

Rachael Helen Maskell (born 5 July 1972) is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of York Central after retaining the seat for her party at the 2015 and 2017 general elections.

Political career

Maskell worked as a care-worker and physiotherapist in the National Health Service for 20 years. Maskell has also been a trade-union official.[2][3]

On Wednesday 8 July 2015, Rachael Maskell was one of four Labour MPs elected to the Health Select Committee.

Maskell voted against the Welfare Bill in the House of Commons on 20 July 2015. Maskell made a statement saying "I have a duty to protect our vulnerable people. I could not stand by and let the most vicious Tory attacks on some of the poorest in our city go unchallenged."

In September 2015, during the European refugee crisis, Maskell called on the UK to open its doors to refugees; she said "we can all have a bit more compassion. If it was the other way round and we were in that desperate situation, we would expect somebody to show compassion to us." Speaking as 20,000 refugees arrived in Munich in one weekend, and as the German Government gets ready to receive 800,000 refugees in 2015; Maskell said that the UK Government must do more. She questioned David Cameron in the House of Commons asking "what criteria has the Prime Minister used to arrive at a figure of just six refugees per constituency per year?" She is quoted as saying "20,000 is not enough and 30,000 is not enough' and that "We will keep going until we hit our saturation point because what does it matter if we have to wait another week for a hospital visit? Or if our class sizes, are slightly bigger? Or if, our city is slightly fuller? What does it matter, if things are slightly more challenging? If we have to pay a little bit more in to the system?"; in a statement on the crisis, she urged local authorities to help in every way they can and use every space they had to offer to aid people fleeing war in Syria and Northern Iraq, she said "we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis that is getting worse, I am incensed that Turkey is hosting over one and a half million refugees and our government says we will open our borders to no more than six men, women and children a year in each constituency."

Maskell spoke in the Trade-Union Bill 2nd Reading debate on 14 September 2015. She referred the house to her Register of Interests as a member of Unite the Union declared "I am a proud trade-unionist" – she subsequently voted against the Bill.

Following a period working part of the Shadow Defence Team under Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Maria Eagle, Maskell was appointed Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary as part of the Labour Party's post-Brexit reshuffle. Maskell resigned from her position ahead of the vote on the second reading in the House of Commons European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017 which triggers Article 50 which carried a three-line whip imposed on Labour MPs.

She returned to the Labour front bench on 3 July 2017 as Shadow Rail Minister.