Preceded byJohn Wheeler
(Kensington) EducationLondon School of Economics and Political Science Similar PeopleJoanne Cash, Lyn Brown, Emma Lewell‑Buck, Debbie Abrahams, Stephen Timms Profiles Twitter
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Karen Patricia Buck (born 30 August 1958) is a British Labour Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1997, firstly for Regent's Park and Kensington North until 2010, and for Westminster North after that. She is a former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport.
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Born in Castlederg, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, she was educated at the Chelmsford County High School for Girls and the London School of Economics, from where she was awarded a BSc and a MSc in Economics, and a MA in Social Policy and Administration. She joined the Labour Party in 1978. In 1979, she became a research and development worker with Outset, a charity working with disabled people, before joining the Hackney London Borough Council in 1983 initially as a senior disability officer, and from 1986 a public health officer. She began to work for the Labour Party in 1987 as a health directorate researcher, becoming a campaign strategy coordinator in 1992. She was elected as a councillor to the City of Westminster Council in 1990 and remained on the council until her election to parliament in 1997.
Buck was selected to stand for election for Labour through an all-women shortlist. The seat was based largely on the former Westminster North held narrowly by the Conservative former minister John Wheeler. Wheeler retired, and Buck was elected at the 1997 General Election as the Labour MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North with a majority of 14,657 and has been the MP there since. She made her maiden speech on 17 June 1997.
Following her election to parliament, Buck joined the Social Security Select Committee, and after the 2001 General Election on the Work and Pensions Select Committee. In 2001, her appointment as an Assistant Government Whip was announced without her knowledge and consent. She declined to take up the post. However, she did became a member of Tony Blair's government in the wake of the 2005 General Election as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport.
Buck made her name whilst a councillor at Westminster when she was involved in exposing fraudulent behaviour of Shirley Porter and the Homes for Votes scandal. She is more pro-hunting-ban than the average Labour MP, and against replacing Trident. At the 2010 General Election she was elected MP for the new seat of Westminster North with a majority of 2,126 over Joanne Cash, the Conservative candidate. In July 2015, she was elected as a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Buck's spouse is Barrie Taylor, a school governor and City of Westminster Council Labour Councillor. Buck chose not to adopt her husband's surname for personal reasons. They have one child.