Barbara Mary Keeley (born 26 March 1952) is a British Labour Party politician who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Worsley and Eccles South. She represented the predecessor constituency of Worsley from 2005 to 2010, after the retirement of Terry Lewis. She was Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from 2009 to 2010.
Keeley's early career was with IBM, working first as a Systems Engineer and then as a Field Systems Engineering Manager. Later she became an independent consultant, working on community regeneration issues across the North West region.
She was elected as a Labour councillor on Trafford Council in 1995, serving as a member for Priory ward until 2004. As a member of the SDP she had previously unsuccessfully contested Altrincham ward. She was Cabinet member for Children and Young People, Early Years and Childcare and Health and Wellbeing. From 2002 to 2004, was Cabinet member for Education, Children's Social Services and all services for children and young people and Director of a Pathfinder Children's Trust. She is a member of the GMB Union, the Co-operative Party and the Fabian Society.
From 2002 to 2005, she worked as a consultant to the charity, the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, researching carers' issues — particularly those related to primary health care. She is co-author of the reports Carers Speak Out and Primary Carers.
In the House of Commons, Keeley served as a member of the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee and from February 2006, the Finance and Services Committee. On 8 February 2006, she was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS), to the Cabinet Office, working with the Cabinet Office Minister, Jim Murphy MP. In June 2006, she moved to be PPS to Jim Murphy as Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions.
On 16 December 2006, Barbara Keeley won the nomination to be the Labour Party candidate for the constituency of Worsley and Eccles South, following boundary changes affecting Worsley.
In 2007, Barbara Keeley served as the Parliamentary Champion for Carers Week (11 June – 17 June). She introduced a Private Members Bill — The Carers (Identification and Support) Bill — into the House of Commons on 24 April 2007. The Bill would require health bodies to identify patients who are carers or who have a carer and would make provision in relation to the responsibilities of local authorities and schools for the needs of young carers.
In June 2007, Barbara was appointed as PPS to Harriet Harman as Secretary of State for Women and Equality. She was also appointed by Gordon Brown to chair the Labour Party's manifesto group on Social Care. In October 2008 she became an Assistant Government Whip. Then in June 2009 she was promoted to Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.
In June 2010, Barbara was appointed as a member of the Shadow Health Team and as the Shadow Deputy Leader of the House.
She stood in the 2010 Shadow Cabinet elections, coming 23rd. She was shadow minister for the Department of Communities and Local Government until October 2011.
She is married to Colin Huggett.
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Meet the MP
- BBC Politics