Claire Ward
Watford Labour Party

270 St Albans Road, Watford WD24 6PE

Claire Ward Labour MP for Watford

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Claire Ward's Biography

I was born to Frank and Cathy Ward on 9th May 1972 in North Shields. My family moved around a bit in my early childhood before settling in Hertfordshire when I was about 7. I have lived in Watford since 1997 and before that in nearby Boreham Wood.

The early years
Some of my earliest memories are of accompanying my father at the age of 11 when he went canvassing for the Labour Party. Politics became a real passion of mine from an early age and I took the Young Labour place on the National Executive Committee in 1991. After attending Loreto College for Girls in St.Albans, I then went to the University of Hertfordshire to study Law and then to Brunel University to take a Masters Degree. I served as a Councillor for Elstree and Boreham Wood Town Council between 1994 and 1998 and was Mayor of Boreham Wood for one year as well.

The first female MP for Watford
Then on 1st May 1997, I became the first female MP for Watford and at 24 the youngest Labour female MP ever. After acclimatising myself to the unique environment of Westminster, I joined the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport where I contributed to reports on the Royal Opera House, the Dome, the Millennium preparations and the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium.

In 2001, I was re-elected and soon after I was asked to be the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to John Hutton. During his time as Minister for the NHS, I worked on the creation of Foundation hospitals and developed a huge interest in health policy. This contributed to the work I carried out within my constituency and specifically the redevelopment and expansion of Watford General Hospital.

2005 to Present


I was again re-elected to serve as MP for Watford in May 2005 and was then asked to join the government benches as a junior whip. In the May 2006 reshuffle I was promoted to government whip and Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury. When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007 I was pleased to be reappointed as a government whip.

In a Government re-shuffle in 2008 I was promoted to an even more senior position within the Whip's office which brings me into regular contact with the Queen.

As Vice Chamberlain of Her Majesty's Household -I have a dual role . I act as political liason between the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace as well as helping to develop a new sense of purpose and unity amongst fellow Labour MPs.

Note: ****Claire was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State on 9 June 2009 as part of Gordon Brown's re-shuffle of his Parliamentary team.

Her responsibilities in her new job are as follows:

•Criminal Justice Group (offender management strategy – joint with Maria Eagle)
•Office for Criminal Justice Reform (joint with Home Office ministers and the Attorney General) and sponsorship of
Criminal Cases Review Commission and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
•Criminal Justice System Volunteering Ministerial Champion
•ID card implementation
•Tackling Knives Action Programme
•National Crime Reduction Board – representing the Ministry of Justice – and London Local Criminal Justice Board
•NOMS operational policy and casework
◦Independent Monitoring Board (appointments, transfers, reports etc)
◦Mental Health (including Bradley implementation)
◦public protection
◦HM Inspectorate of Prisons reports
◦NOMS compensation claims
◦NOMS freedom of information
◦safer custody

Further information can be obtained from the Ministry of Justice website by clicking here.


If you would like to contact me with your queries or concerns, or make an appointment to see me.

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For important locations around Claire's constituency please use the following link...

Map of Watford (Google)

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