Margaret Hodge

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Person.png Dame Margaret Hodge   PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(tax avoider)
Margaret Hodge.jpg
BornMargaret Eve Oppenheimer
8 September 1944
Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt
Nationality United Kingdom
Alma materLondon School of Economics
SpouseAndrew Watson
Member ofLabour Friends of Israel

Employment.png Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
10 June 2010 - 30 March 2015
Preceded byEdward Leigh

Employment.png Minister of State for Work

In office
9 May 2005 - 27 June 2007

Employment.png Minister of State for Children

In office
13 June 2003 - 9 May 2005

Employment.png Minister for Universities

In office
11 June 2001 - 13 June 2003

Employment.png Member of Parliament for Barking

In office
9 June 1994 - Present

Dame Margaret Hodge is a British Labour Party politician who was elected Member of Parliament for the constituency of Barking in Essex in June 1994.

Interviewed on BBC Radio 4's programme "Reflections with Peter Hennessy" on 16 August 2016, Margaret Hodge was asked why she had taken against Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party. She said:

"I'm not going to allow my be taken over as a plaything for a whole load of Trots."[1]

On 28 September 2019, Margaret Hodge was defeated in a trigger ballot in her constituency and had to stand in Open Selection against other candidates for her seat of Barking at the next General Election.[2] She was automatically shortlisted, and faced an OMOV (one member one vote) ballot of local members to hold onto her position as candidate.[3] In the subsequent UK/2019 General Election, Dame Hodge was re-elected as MP for Barking with a majority of 15,427 votes.[4]

On 2 December 2021, Margaret Hodge announced she would not be standing at the next General Election.[5]

Islington Borough Council

Margaret Hodge knew.png

While Leader of Islington Borough Council from 1982 to 1992, Margaret Hodge presided over Islington's 12 children's homes that contained pimps, paedophiles and pornographers who openly abused children.[6] Eileen Fairweather of the London Evening Standard reported that decent staff at the homes who protested were threatened or sacked. In desperation, some bravely contacted the Standard which investigated the abuse. However, Margaret Hodge labelled the newspaper's meticulously-sourced investigation as "sensationalist gutter journalism".[7]

Margaret Hodge stood down as an Islington councillor and in 1994 was elected Member of Parliament for Barking in Essex.

Parliamentary career

In Tony Blair's government, Hodge was appointed to a series of ministerial positions starting as junior Minister for Disabled People in September 1998 and including Minister for Children (2003 to 2005). Gordon Brown appointed her Minister of State for Culture and Tourism in June 2007.

Following Labour's defeat in the 2010 General Election, Hodge was elected Chair of the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, in succession to Sir Edward Leigh MP.[8] She was succeeded by Labour MP Meg Hillier in March 2015.

Née Oppenheimer

Born Margaret Eve Oppenheimer,[9] she was known as Margaret Eve Watson from 1968 to 1978. She was styled Lady Hodge after her second husband, Sir Henry Hodge, was knighted in 2004. Upon her appointment as DBE in 2015 she became Dame Margaret Hodge.

Tax avoider

In May 2013, it was revealed that Margaret Hodge is an offshore tax avoider. She has a shareholding in Stemcor – which paid just 0.01% tax in 2012. Hodge claimed in a grilling, by Channel 4's Michael Crick, that she just had a small shareholding in the company run by her brother who is an offshore tax avoider.

However it turns out that her shareholding is 1.26% of the company. That would mean that she would have been paid out £56,939 in dividends last year. Her shareholding is now worth £1.8m. That’s hardly a tiny, tiny amount as she claimed.

Stemcor have confirmed that it doesn’t even include shareholdings in her children’s names. It turns out that she owns several million pounds worth of shares when you include her children’s shareholdings. They will now pay no inheritance tax on it.

She was asked to explain what other purpose that there could be other than avoiding tax for her share in the trust? She hadn’t replied so far.[10]

Corbyn plotter

In May 2016, Hodge was reported to be plotting against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The plot, according to the Sun newspaper, could happen if a fifth of the Parliamentary Labour Party back her challenge. One MP told the paper:

"Margaret is our perfect candidate - she has a lot of gravitas but is also expendable. She is weighing it all up now but we think she sees it as her duty and will do it."

It is thought her respect among the Jewish community could allow her to make a principled stand on Labour's ongoing "anti-Semitism crisis" (Labour has secretly suspended 50 of its members over anti-Semitic and racist comments as officials struggle to cope with the crisis engulfing the party.) However, any coup against Corbyn will not happen before the 23 June 2016 EU Referendum so as not to damage the party's pro-EU efforts.[11]

Right on cue on 24 June 2016, immediately after the referendum victory for the Leave campaign, Margaret Hodge tabled a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as party leader after he failed to convince voters to back Remain. Seconding the motion, Ann Coffey criticised his campaigning over the referendum, saying that it was "lacklustre, it was unenthusiastic" and that he came across as not caring about the result.[12][13]

In July 2018, responding to the Labour Party's proposal to exclude criticism of Israel from its working definition of antisemitism, Hodge is reported to have confronted Jeremy Corbyn and to have called him a 'f***ing anti-Semite and racist' [14].


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:BBC's biased and inaccurate reporting of anti-semitism allegations towards Jeremy CorbynLetter7 August 2018Pamela Blakelock"We regret that the BBC has failed to comply with its own codes with regard to impartiality and accuracy. Given the gravity of allegations of anti-semitism, the role performed by the BBC is all the more critical if it is to live up to Reithian principles of informing the public."
Document:Corbyn fans should welcome this attempted coup, the Blairites are committing political suicidearticle26 June 2016Kerry-anne MendozaIn these uncertain days after the Brexit vote, when the Labour party needed to rally UK progressives to prevent a right-wing Brexit from the European Union – a small number of Labour MPs have instead chosen to mount a coup against leader Jeremy Corbyn. But Corbyn supporters should be ecstatic, because this opportunistic and ignorant move is an act of political suicide for the Blairites.
Document:Jeremy Corbyn’s Opponents Burned the House Down to Stop Him - Now Keir Starmer Is King of the AshesArticle25 July 2020Daniel FinnBy sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey on a trumped-up pretext, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer has set the seal on a drastic shift to the right for the Labour Party. That shift comes just as the key arguments by Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents to justify a break with his left leadership have been falling apart in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Document:Letter to Sir Keir from a newly resigned member of the Labour PartyLetter8 April 2020Bronagh WilsonThe Labour Party is now dead, it has ceased to be, it is bereft of life. You Sir Keir and your fellow travellers disgust me and it is time you PASOKed right off!.
Document:Margaret Hodge reflects on Jeremy Corbyninterview16 August 2016Peter HennessyI know John McDonnell and Ken Livingstone. And I've known Jeremy Corbyn for 35 years when he first became the MP for Islington North and I was leader of Islington Council in local government. I know what they're about: they want the party to be a movement.
Document:Twitter Roundup 20.03.18Twitter roundup13 December 2018Chris HernonA Twitter roundup from II, comments on a Moon of Alabama piece. The contents are fairly standard fare, but which users II chose to follow is very interesting, and some are indeed "other users in our field"
Document:We condemn the suspension of Jo Bird and the appointment of Lord FalconerArticle4 March 2019As Ken Loach said: “If it looks like a witch hunt and behaves like a witch hunt – it may well be just that. This is intolerable and must end now.”
Document:With a past like hers, Margaret Hodge might show a bit more humilityarticle10 March 2015Matthew NormanAs leader of Islington Borough Council, a post she held from 1982-92, Dame Margaret Hodge was aware of previous, horrendous child sex abuse in the care homes for which she was responsible, and did nothing about it.
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