Yvette Cooper

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Yvette Cooper, MP

Yvette Cooper is a British politician who has been the Labour Party MP for Pontefract and Castleford since 1997. She currently holds the role of shadow home secretary [1] and shadow minister for women and equalities. [2]

After former Labour leader Ed Miliband stood down on the 8 May 2015, Cooper announced her intentions to stand as the new leader of the party.[3]

Political career

In the last Labour government until 2010 she held various ministerial positions, including secretary of state, Department for Work and Pensions (June 2009-2010), chief secretary to the Treasury (January 2008-June 2009), minister for housing (June 2007- January 2008) and chief secretary to the Treasury (2008-10).

Cooper read PPE at Balliol College, Oxford, went on to Harvard University as a Kennedy scholar and the London School of Economics where she took a masters degree in economics. She worked as economic researcher for late John Smith, policy advisor to Bill Clinton Presidential Campaign, policy adviser to Labour Treasury Team, and was an economics columnist with The Independent newspaper.[4]

Cooper is a member of the TGWU and GMB unions. She is married to Ed Balls, a former MP and former key advisor to then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. They have three children.[1]

  • January 2008-2010 | Chief Secretary to the Treasury (www.hm-treasury.gov.uk)
  • June 2007 | Minister for Housing, attending Cabinet
  • 2005 | Minister of State (Minister for Housing and Planning), Department for Communities and Local Government (formerly the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister).
  • June 2003 | appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
  • May 29 2002 | appointed Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department.
  • October 1999 | appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health.
  • May 1997 | elected Labour Member of Parliament for Pontefract and Castleford.[1]

Previously member of Education and Employment Select Committee; member of Employment Sub-Committee; member, Intelligence and Security Committee; All-party Coalfield Communities Group. [1]

As Minister responsible for Planning, she played a crucial role in determining whether new nuclear power stations are built.

Nuclear cronyism

Nuclear spin.png This article is part of the Nuclear Spin project of Spinwatch.

In May 2007, just days before the Government announced its latest White Paper on Energy, the thisislondon newspaper, ran the headline "Minister is Blasted Over 'Nuclear Cronyism'-

The article went on to say:

Planning Minister Yvette Cooper is at the centre of a 'cronyism' row after it was revealed that her father is a champion of the nuclear industry. Miss Cooper is set to announce controversial plans to help energy firms brush aside objections to new nuclear power stations.
Miss Cooper's father, Tony Cooper,[5] was chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, which lobbies Ministers on the benefits of atomic power.
Mr Cooper, 63, an ex-union boss, is now director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and has become one of the most outspoken champions of the industry's 'green' credentials."[6]

Labour Party leadership

Yvette Cooper is running against Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn to succeed Ed Miliband as the next Labour Party leader.

For her campaign, Cooper has received £81,500 in private donations:

Date received Amount Name of donor Role For
04/06/2015 £50,000 Ken Follett and Barbara Follett Married couple, Ken is an author and Barbara was a Labour Party MP from 1997 to 2010 In support of Cooper's campaign
19/06/2015 £2,500 Sonny Leong Chair of Chinese for Labour, a member of the development board of Labour Party 1000 Club and sits on the executive committee of BAME Labour[8] In support of Cooper's campaign
10/06/2015 £5,000 Trust Reservations Ltd A company based in Hungerford In support of Cooper's campaign
01/06/2015 £14,473.10 (including deposit of £9,958.02) Anwar Ansari Director at a number of property development companies, including AA Homes and Housing[9] Serviced offices for Cooper's leadership campaign 1-30 June 2015
01/06/2015 £10,000 (including deposit of £6,919.98) AA Homes and Housing Property development company owned by Anwar Ansari Serviced offices for Cooper's leadership campaign 1-30 June 2015

Stance on fracking

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

‬‬Cooper has expressed limited support for fracking, saying 'if shale gas can be developed safely, then it could contribute to our security of supply by displacing imported gas in our energy mix'. [10]

Cooper's constituency includes four oil and gas licence blocks, awarded by the Oil and Gas Authority under the 14th licensing round in 2015. One abandoned mine methane vent licence was awarded to Alkane Energy, two shale licences went to Hutton Energy and one to IGas. There are plans for five shale wells and to conduct 2D and 3D seismic surveying, but no applications are currently underway. [11]

Voting record

Cooper has a mixed voting record on fracking. [12]

  • 26 January 2015: voted in favour of making fracking companies apply for an environmental permit before conducting exploratory drilling. She was absent for a vote on an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to include an 18 month moratorium on fracking.
  • 11 February 2015: voted against requiring more pre-conditions for where fracking can take place.
  • 16 December 2015: voted against weakening regulations on fracking in protected areas and national parks.

Special advisers and aides



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Yvette Cooper, website accessed 12 July 2011
  2. The Shadow Cabinet, Labour.org, accessed 24 Sept 2013
  3. Stephen Bush And we're off! Yvette Cooper's aides register domain name New Statesman, 8 May 2015, accessed 11 May 2015.
  4. Biography on Yvette Cooper&'s website, undated, accessed February 2006.
  5. Tony Cooper's biography on Nuclear Decommissioning Authority website, undated, accessed February 2006.
  6. Thisislondon,"Minister is Blasted Over 'Nuclear Cronyism'", May 19, 2007.
  7. Parliament.uk The Register of Members' Financial Interests: Part 1(as at 13th July 2015) - Yvette Cooper, accessed 21 July 2015.
  8. Mulan Foundation Sonny Leong, accessed 21 July 2015.
  9. Endole Anwar Rauf Ansari, accessed 21 July 2015.
  10. Ben Lucas, What do the Labour leadership candidates think about fracking?, DESMOGUK, 7 August 2015, accessed 3 January 2017.
  11. Oil and gas: licensing rounds, GOV.uk, accessed 14 November 2016.
  12. | Yvette Cooper, TheyWorkForYou, accessed 3 January 2017.
  13. Linkedin Caroline Gordon, accessed 25 June 2015.