Sophie Linden

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Sophie Linden was a special adviser to the Labour Party from 1997 to 2005[1] and is a former lobbyist for Bell Pottinger Public Affairs.


Prior to the 2001 election, Linden was a part-time special adviser to Labour MP David Blunkett at the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE); later moving to the Home Office.

2006, Lobbying

In January 2006, she joined the lobbying firm Bell Pottinger Public Affairs (BPPA) as a Director, where her biography apparently "highlights her SA role".[2] BPPA Managing Director Peter Bingle described Linden as "one of the best ministerial advisers of this generation".[3]

2010, Labour parliamentary candidate for Leyton and Wanstead

In 2006, Linden became Labour Councillor for the Dalston Ward in Hackney.[4] In 2010, she was shortlisted for consideration as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Leyton and Wanstead, angering local Labour activists who felt that local members were "sidelined" by regional bosses.[5] Linden lost out to John Cryer, now MP for Leyton and Wanstead, who held the seat for Labour.[6]

Linden's biography on her candidacy bid website - which omits to mention her role at BPPA - reads as follows:[7]

I am a committed, hard working campaigner with strong local and national experience. I have been a member of the party for over 20 years. I have spent my adult life standing up for Labour values and for those who most depend on us.
My earliest experience of elections was taking numbers at polling stations for my mother who won a council seat off the Tories in the early 1980s.
From 1992-1997 I worked as a researcher to David Blunkett MP. I have experience of developing Labour policy in opposition and Labour’s attacks on the Tories and Liberal Democrats.
From 1997-2005 I was privileged to serve the Labour government in the Department for Education and the Home Office as a special adviser. I personally worked with Labour MPs and the party to deliver historic Labour goals of lowering class sizes, providing free nursery education and Sure Start; reducing crime and anti-social behaviour; delivering neighbourhood policing and reducing the harm that drugs cause.
Since 2006 I have served as a Hackney councillor and a cabinet member for customer services and sustainability. I work tirelessly as a ward councillor. I am passionate about building safer communities and tackling inequality.
I work with the Labour group to implement and develop our manifesto commitments. I have developed our environmental policies to ensure that our work to reduce carbon emissions is focused on tackling fuel poverty.
Other life experience:
I am rooted in East London. I have lived in Hackney for 20 years, I moved here when I was 16, and chose to come back and live in East London after university. I would love the opportunity to use my experience to serve the people of Leyton and Wanstead. I have also worked for the End Child Poverty campaign – building up its membership and campaigning to raise the profile of the injustice of child poverty in Britain.
I have taken an active role in improving the life chances and opportunities of those who live in East London. I am on the board of Groundwork East London whose objective is to improve the lives and environment of residents – including Waltham Forest and Redbridge.
I am a member of Unite. I am married to a Headteacher and we have four lovely children.

Contact, Resources, Notes


Email: slinden AT


  1. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p7, accessed 20.09.10
  2. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p7, accessed 20.09.10
  3. Staff writers, "Bell Pottinger appoints former New Labour aides", PR Week UK, 05.01.06, accessed 20.09.10
  4. Hackney Labour Party, "Your Labour councillors for Dalston", accessed 20.09.10
  5. Carl Brown, "LEYTON/WANSTEAD: Anger as Labour sidelines local party members", Waltham Forest News, accessed 20.09.10
  6. BBC, "Leyton & Wanstead", accessed 20.09.10
  7. Sophie Linden, "About Me", accessed 20.09.10