|Preceded by David Knox|
Spouse(s) Gus Brain
Succeeded by Karen Bradley
Name Charlotte Atkins
Role British Politician
Political party Labour
Party Labour Party
|Born 24 September 1950 (age 65)
Chelmsford, Essex (1950-09-24) |
Alma mater London School of Economics
Education London School of Economics and Political Science
Books How to Select Or Reselect Your MP
Charlotte Jean Scott Atkins (born 24 September 1950) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Staffordshire Moorlands from 1997 until 2010.
The daughter of Ron Atkins, the former left wing Labour MP for Preston North, Atkins was educated at the Colchester County High School, and is a graduate of the London School of Economics, gaining a BSc in Economics. From the University of London, she also gained an MA in Area Studies She worked as a community relations officer with the Luton Community Research Council from 1974–6, before joining the Trade Union Movement. For four years she was a researcher with the UCATT union from 1976–80, then a researcher from 1980–4 for the TASS and AUEW, before becoming a press officer for UNISON and COHSE from 1984–7.
She joined the Labour Party in 1965. In 1982 she was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Wandsworth, and was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Group from 1983–6. In 1981 she wrote a book with Chris Mullin entitled How to Select or Reselect Your MP.
In 1990 Atkins unsuccessfully contested the Eastbourne by-election caused by the assassination of the Conservative MP Ian Gow by the Provisional IRA. She entered the House of Commons at the 1997 general election in the Labour landslide as the Member of Parliament for Staffordshire Moorlands, a seat held previously by David Knox and which had been Conservative for 27 years.
After the 2001 general election Atkins was appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport in 2004, but was dropped after the 2005 general election. In July 2005 she became a member of the Health Select Committee.
Atkins was largely loyal to the Labour government during her time in Parliament and rarely rebelled.
Atkins was Vice-Chair of the All-Party Hill Farmers Group, and took part in a series of adjournment debates on government funding for inland waterways. She is a volunteer for the Manchester-based British Fluoridisation Society.
Atkins lost her seat at the 2010 general election to Karen Bradley of the Conservative Party.
Charlotte has been appointed in March 2012 as the Chair of the Central Shires Canal and River Trust Partnership Board. The CRT is the charity which has taken over the work and role of British Waterways. Charlotte was heavily involved in campaigning for more funds and the regeneration of England's waterways while in Parliament and won the first ever Inland Waterways Association Parliamentarian of the Year Award in 2008.
She married Gus Brain in June 1990 in Bromley and has one daughter, Emma (born October 1986).