Ann Coffey

Spokesperson for Children and Education

Elected in 1992, Ann Coffey is the Member of Parliament for Stockport.

Ann worked with children and families as a senior social worker and later, a fostering team leader before she was elected to parliament. She was also elected as a Councillor in 1984, leading the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Labour group between 1988-1992.

She is the author of Real Voices, an independent report into child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester published in October 2014. This was followed up with ‘Real Voices – Are They being heard?’ in March 2017. She successfully campaigned for the removal of the term ‘child prostitution’ from the statute books.

In Parliament

She is also the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults. The APPG produced a report in 2012 into children missing from care and the link between missing and child sexual exploitation. The APPG produced a further report in 2016 into Safeguarding absent children and in July 2017 a report on children who go missing and are criminally exploited. A second report was produced into disrupting the exploitation of children to involve them in County Lines in December 2017.

Most recently the APPG held an inquiry into missing adults who have mental health issues in July 2018.

In Parliament, Ann has led debates on catfishing and social media, and children missing from care.

In November 2018 Ann led a debate in which she called for an independent review of the criminal justice system including consideration to be given to the abolition of jury trials in rape cases.

“I leave the party with great sadness, but in hope”

Ann’s statement 18 February 2019

It is a great privilege to be an MP. My father died a year before I was elected. He would have been proud to see the chance for a better life he had fought to give me, realised in an achievement beyond his dreams.

He believed passionately in education. But without the Wilson’s government’s commitment to providing alternative routes to higher education through expanding places in polytechnics I would not have got a degree.

Hope and determination of an individual by itself is not enough. I spent 20 years working as a social worker with families but social work cannot be a response to inequality and lack of opportunity.

I joined the Labour Party 41 years ago to elect governments that understood that real opportunity for families only comes when the right policies are in place.

I am proud of the achievements of the last Labour government.

I thought I would be in the Labour Party for the rest of my life but political parties are not an end in themselves in a parliamentary democracy. The Labour Party has lost sight of this. It is no longer a broad church.

Any criticism of the leadership is responded to with abuse and accusations of treachery.

Anti-semitism is rife and tolerated.

The current leadership have been very successful at changing this party beyond recognition. And in doing so is failing the people who have supported the Labour Party all their lives and who I joined to help.

Loyalty cannot be an end in itself. So I leave the party with great sadness. But in hope that we as an independent group can start to change a political system in which people feel they have no voice.

I remain totally committed to continuing to serve my constituents. Our values haven’t changed. My values haven’t changed.