In May 2014, Theresa was elected to the European Parliament, as the top Labour Party candidate in her region, to represent the North West of England. In 2019, she was re-elected.
Theresa is a member of two Committees and three Delegations in the European Parliament. She is a full member and Labour Party Spokesperson on the Industry, Research and Energy committee and a substitute member on the Transport and Tourism committee. She has also been assigned to the Delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community and the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, and she is a substitute member for the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China.
Theresa is also a member of several Intergroups – similar to the ‘All Party Parliamentary Groups’ in Westminster. Theresa follows the Disability Rights, the Digital Agenda for Europe, Children’s Rights and Well-being, LGBTI, SMEs, Tourism, Trade Union and Urban Intergroups.
Theresa’s parliamentary work centres on fuel poverty, energy security, regional funding, equalities, industrial strategy, universities, health research and the promotion of a digital single market. Theresa received the 2017 Energy MEP of the Year award for her work promoting renewable energy and energy poverty reduction policies across Europe.
Theresa has been a Labour Party member for 30 years; an active campaigner at local, CLP, national and European levels. She was a member of Unite’s North West Political Committee and represented North West CLPs on the National Policy Forum. As a Liverpool City Councillor in the 1990s, she was lead member for Economic Development and Europe and was instrumental in bringing Objective One status and billions of pounds of investment to the Liverpool city region.
Theresa was born in Coventry, the fourth child of Irish immigrant parents where her father was a machinist in the British Leyland car factory and her mum was a teaching assistant. Theresa attended Bishop Ullathorne Comprehensive school and achieved a first class B.A. and an M.A. from Lancaster University. From an early career in community theatre, she became Director of Communications and Research at North West Arts. Having narrowly missed getting elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Theresa then spent five very happy years as a Regional Organiser for the public services union, UNISON.
Theresa is a committed trade union activist and has campaigned closely with all unions on employment rights, rights for young people and against the far-right.