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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Profile: Sarah Teather MP
Sarah Teather MP
Sarah Teather, at 29, is Westminster's youngest MP
She is the youngest MP in Westminster but Sarah Teather has found time in her relatively brief career to build up an impressive CV.

The 29-year-old was elected to parliament on Friday, which will mean handing in her notice at Macmillan Cancer Care Relief, where she is employed to advise on health and social policy.

A scientist by training, she has concentrated on policy issues, both in the public and private sectors, since graduating from Cambridge with a degree in pharmacology.

Ms Teather advised the government on "controversial" aspects of science while working for the UK's national academy of science, the Royal Society, according to her party biography.

She went on to work for a consultancy firm, where she evaluated public policies on science and innovation for governments across Europe.

She undertook similar advisory work for the former Liberal Democrat science spokesman Evan Harris, as well as the party's policy unit.

The MP was previously employed as a medical editor and has freelanced for medical journals.

Lib Dem's triumph is just the latest in a long history of by-election upsets for parties in power

Following her historic win - Labour's first Westminster by-election loss for 15 years - Ms Teather will also give up her role as an Islington councillor, to which she was elected in May 2002.

The MP's political career took off when she joined the Liberal Democrats while still a student at St John's College, Cambridge, in 1993.

She is currently a member of the party's national policy committee, and chairs the Lib Dem's health policy working group, which is updating the party's policy on health.

Her win is in sharp contrast to her earlier, and only other, attempt to oust Labour from a North London seat.

In 2001 Ms Teather came third in the fight for Finchley and Golders Green, winning just 12.1% of the vote.

This time around, in the adjacent constituency, she homed in on local issues such as post office closures, crime, hospital waiting lists, council tax, pollution, graffiti and rubbish.

"Sharp suited"

She also condemned Labour's plans to phase out the pension book, on behalf of local elderly people.

Born in North London in June 1974, Ms Teather is the eldest of three children.

A keen musician, she was a member of the London Symphony Chorus. She is also active in her local church.

She shares a rented Victorian terraced flat in Islington, with two friends.

Living outside the Brent constituency in which she was fighting for election provided ammunition for opposers - including former MP and now London Mayor Ken Livingstone - who accused her of not being as "local" as she claimed.

Labour's candidate, Robert Evans, who lives in a detached house in Weybridge, Surrey, had promised to move to Brent if he won.

The Times described Ms Teather as a "sharp-suited Islington councillor" with a image not dissimilar to the characters from TV 20-something city drama This Life.




SEE ALSO:
Lib Dems seize Brent East victory
19 Sep 03  |  Politics
Labour MP dies
19 Jun 03  |  Politics
Blair's by-election gloom
19 Sep 03  |  Politics


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