Prentice, Bridget

Bridget Theresa Prentice (nee Corr, born 28 December 1952) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Lewisham East from 1992 to 2010. She was married to fellow Labour MP Gordon Prentice from 1975 until their divorce in 2000. Prentice was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1952. She attended Our Lady and St Francis School, the University of Glasgow (MA English Literature and Modern History 1973), University of London (PGCE 1974) and South Bank Polytechnic (LLB 1992).

After beginning her working life as the Rector's Assistant at Glasgow University (1972-3), she became a History and English teacher at the Roman Catholic London Oratory School in Fulham (1974–86) and later Head of Careers (1984-6) before switching to John Archer School in Wandsworth as Head of Careers between 1986-88.

She contested Lewisham East at the 1992 general election, a Conservative seat with a majority of 4,846 in the 1987 general election, taking it for Labour with a majority of 1,095, and increased the majority to 12,127 in the 1997 general election. In general elections since she has held the seat with reduced majorities of 9,003 in June 2001 and 6,751 in May 2005.

Appointed a Labour Whip in 1995 by Tony Blair, on Labour entering government in May 1997 she continued in the role into government, before becoming PPS to the Minister for Trade (1998–1999), and then PPS to the Lord Chancellor (1999–2001), leaving government in 2001 to become a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee (2001–2003).

She rejoined the government in 2003 on appointment to the Government Whips Office again. She later became a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs, continuing in the role in the department's successor, the Ministry of Justice. Within the department, she was responsible for reform of electoral administration, legal services, legal services complaints, legal services commissioner and ombudsman, asylum and immigration, devolution and regional policy.

Bridget Prentice was admitted the London Borough of Lewisham Friday 20 May 2016.

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