Jane Kennedy (politician)

Jane Kennedy
Jane Kennedy.jpg
Kennedy c. 2008–09
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner
Assumed office
15 November 2012
Preceded byOffice established
Minister of State for Farming and the Environment
In office
5 October 2008 – 8 June 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byThe Lord Rooker
Succeeded byJim Fitzpatrick
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
28 June 2007 – 5 October 2008
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byJohn Healey
Succeeded byStephen Timms
Minister of State for Northern Ireland
In office
11 June 2001 – 1 April 2004
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byAdam Ingram
Succeeded byBarry Gardiner
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
28 July 1998 – 11 October 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJohn McFall
Succeeded byTony McNulty (2001)
Member of Parliament
for Liverpool Wavertree
Liverpool Broadgreen (1992–1997)
In office
10 April 1992 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byTerry Fields
Succeeded byLuciana Berger
Personal details
Jane Elizabeth Hodgson

(1958-05-04) 4 May 1958 (age 62)
Whitehaven, Cumberland, England
Political partyIndependent (since 2019)
Other political
Labour (until 2019)
Spouse(s)Malcolm Kennedy (1977–1998)
RelationsPeter Dowling (partner)
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool

Jane Elizabeth Kennedy (née Hodgson; born 4 May 1958) is a British politician and the inaugural Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner. She was Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool Wavertree, formerly Liverpool Broadgreen, from 1992 to 2010.

Formerly a member of the Government, on 8 June 2009, she returned to the backbenches leaving her position as Minister of State for Farming and the Environment at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.[1]

Originally a member of the Labour Party, she left the party in early 2019 after the resignation of her successor, Luciana Berger MP, and the announcement that former Liverpool City councillor Derek Hatton - a former member of the Militant tendency - had been re-admitted to party membership.[2]

Early life

She was born in Whitehaven, Cumberland, and attended Haughton Comprehensive School (now part of the 'Education Village') on Rockwell Avenue in Haughton Le Skerne, then Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington.[3] She studied Chemistry at the University of Liverpool from 1976 until 1978,[3] however did not graduate from her studies, deciding to marry and settle with her family in Liverpool.[4] She worked in social care for Liverpool City Council from 1979–88, and in 1988 she became a trade union Area Organiser for the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) until 1992.[3] In Liverpool she had been active in ending the Militant group's infiltration of the Liverpool Labour Party.[5]

Member of Parliament

Kennedy had been a Member of Parliament since the 1992 general election, when she was elected for the Liverpool Broadgreen constituency. She served as a member of the social security select committee from 1992 to 1994, and in 1995 she was appointed as a Labour whip.[6]

Her constituency was abolished for the 1997 general election, but she was returned to Parliament for the new Liverpool Wavertree constituency. After Labour's victory in the 1997 election, she served as an assistant government whip until 1998 and as a government whip until 1999, sitting on the House of Commons administration select committee from 1997 until 1999.[6]

On 9 November 2009 she announced she would be standing down at the 2010 general election.[7] It was announced in January 2010 the Wavertree Labour Party had picked Luciana Berger as the candidate to succeed her.[8] This selection caused some controversy because Berger had stayed at Kennedy's home for a period before the selection, a home Kennedy shares with her partner Peter Dowling, the local Labour Party's agent.[9]

In government

Kennedy was then appointed as a junior minister in the Lord Chancellor's Department from 1999 until 2001, when she became a Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office with responsibility for security and the justice system. After the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 2002, she also became responsible for education and employment in the province. In 2003, she was made a Privy Councillor.[10]

She transferred to the Department for Work and Pensions in 2004 and then to the Department of Health after the 2005 general election, remaining a Minister of State. She left the government on 5 May 2006 during a wide-ranging reshuffle. She was initially thought by journalists to have been sacked; however, she subsequently said she took the opportunity to resign from the government in light of concerns about the impact of the government's policies on the National Health Service.[11]

In Gordon Brown's first government since becoming Prime Minister, Kennedy was appointed as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, becoming the third ranked minister in the Treasury, taking on the ministerial responsibilities of the old Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo. On 5 October 2008, Kennedy was promoted to Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with the portfolio of Farming and the Environment. She resigned that position in June 2009 in protest at Gordon Brown's Leadership.[12]

Police and Crime Commissioner

Kennedy was elected to the post of Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner on 15 November 2012.[13] She was re-elected in 2016.[14]

Expenses row

In 2009 the Houses of Parliament started publishing MP expenses. Her partner Peter Dowling worked at her office handling research and parliamentary affairs,[15] and was paid out of her parliamentary expenses.[16]

Personal life

Jane married Malcolm Kennedy in 1977 in Knowsley; they divorced in 1998. They have two sons, Robert (born 1978) and Alan (born 1983). She currently lives with her partner Peter Dowling.


  1. ^ "Kennedy leaves Government", BBC.co.uk; accessed 11 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Merseyside's DPCC Councillor Emily Spurrell resigns her post with immediate effect". Merseysidepcc.info. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Jane Kennedy". LinkedIn. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner - About your PCC". www.merseysidepcc.info. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  5. ^ Crick, Michael, author. (2016). Militant. ISBN 978-1785900297. OCLC 944157366.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ a b "Jane Kennedy". UK Parliament. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  7. ^ David Bartlett (9 November 2009). "Liverpool MP Jane Kennedy to quit at next General Election". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  8. ^ David Bartlett (25 January 2010). "Labour picks Luciana Berger to fight Jane Kennedy's Wavertree seat". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Liverpool Labour candidate Luciana Berger: I'll fight on to win seat". Liverpool Echo. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Orders for 13 November 2003". Privy Council Office. Archived from the original on 3 November 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Blair 'target of Old Labour coup'", BBC News, 7 May 2006.
  12. ^ "Brown faces down Labour critics". London, UK: BBC News. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  13. ^ http://www.southportreporter.com/579
  14. ^ Traynor, Luke (6 May 2016). "Jane Kennedy re-elected as Merseyside Police and Crime boss". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  15. ^ Jane Kennedy official website[permanent dead link], janekennedymp.co.uk; accessed 11 November 2015.
  16. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/6529797/MPs-expenses-Jane-Kennedy-is-first-MP-to-quit-over-family-jobs-row.html

External links

Video clips

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Terry Fields
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Broadgreen
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree
Succeeded by
Luciana Berger
Political offices
Preceded by
John Healey
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Stephen Timms
Preceded by
The Lord Rooker
Minister of State for Sustainable Food, Farming and Animal Health
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Jim Fitzpatrick

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