Barbara Roche

Barbara Maureen Roche (née Margolis; born 13 April 1954) is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hornsey and Wood Green from 1992 until 2005, when she lost the seat, despite having previously enjoyed a majority of over 20,000.[1]

Barbara Roche
Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration
In office
29 July 1999  11 June 2001
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byThe Lord Rooker
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
4 January 1999  29 July 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byDawn Primarolo
Succeeded byStephen Timms
Member of Parliament
for Hornsey and Wood Green
In office
9 April 1992  11 April 2005
Preceded byHugh Rossi
Succeeded byLynne Featherstone
Personal details
Born (1954-04-13) 13 April 1954
Political partyLabour
Alma materLady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Family and education

The daughter of Barnet and Hanna Margolis[2] she was educated at the Jews Free School, Camden Town and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).[3] She trained to be a barrister and was called to the bar at the Middle Temple, 1977.


She first stood for Parliament in the 1984 Surrey South-West by-election, before standing in Hornsey and Wood Green in 1987.

First elected to Parliament in 1992, she saw her majority soar to 20,500 in 1997 (including polling 26,000 votes more than the Liberal Democrats' candidate, Lynne Featherstone, who eventually unseated her). However, by 2001 her majority had almost halved to 10,500, and in 2005 she unexpectedly lost her seat on a large 14.6% swing.

Factors in her defeat include her association with many of the government's more unpopular policies, such as the crucial 26 March 2003 vote on the war on Iraq,[4] and on mass immigration.[5] [6]

A local newspaper described her in 2005 as "a fiercely loyal Labour MP, who has only rebelled against the Government in four out of 1,570 votes."[7]


During her time in Government, she held several ministerial offices; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry, 1997–1998; Financial Secretary to the Treasury, 1999; Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration, Home Office, 1999–2001; Cabinet Office, 2001–2002; Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2002-2003.


She is an avid theatre-goer and reader of detective fiction. After her defeat in 2005 and prior to the 2010 General Election, she attempted to re-enter the Commons, seeking the Labour Party nomination (and being shortlisted) in the 'safe' Labour seats of Stockton North,[8] Houghton & Sunderland South,[9] Wigan,[10] and Stalybridge & Hyde[11] but was not selected for any of them, despite the support of the Labour-affiliated Unite union.[11]


  1. "What happens to ex-MPs? | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. Dodd's Parliamentary Companion 2005, 173rd edition, London 2004, p.291.
  3. "LMH, Oxford - Prominent Alumni". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. "Commons vote on war - 26 March". 26 September 2006. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  5. Green, Lord Andrew. "Was Mass Immigration a Conspiracy?". Migration Watch UK. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  6. Mendick, Robert (27 February 2016). "Tony Blair accused of conspiracy over mass immigration". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  7. Martyn Kent (19 January 2005). "Majority rules (From Times Series)". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  8. Passant, Andy (14 January 2008). "Veteran Stockton MP loses selection battle". Gazette Live. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  9. "Bridget Phillipson set to become one of Britain's youngest MPs - The Journal". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  10. "Labour unveils its election candidate". Wigan Today. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  11. "News : Politics". The Times. Retrieved 11 May 2016.

The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray Pages 19–20 Barbara Roche

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Hugh Rossi
Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green
Succeeded by
Lynne Featherstone
Political offices
Preceded by
Dawn Primarolo
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Stephen Timms
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