From 2011, Roberta was part of the Shadow Ministerial Communities and Local Government team. She is currently serving as Shadow Local Government and Housing Minister where she is responsible for planning and housing. In this role Roberta was part of both the Shadow DCLG team and the newly formed Shadow Housing Team, which was established due to the importance the Labour Party has put on tackling housing issues.
Prior to entering Parliament she was an academic having worked in social sciences at Newcastle University, as Dean of Social and Labour Studies at Ruskin College, Oxford and as Dean and Professor of Social Policy at the University of Northumbria. She was also a Councillor in Newcastle and Oxford.
Roberta’s interests in Parliament reflect the needs of her community and focus on regeneration, international development and education including higher education and growing a knowledge based economy.
Roberta is also a co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary University Group, is on the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK and is Chair of the PLP Northern Group.
Outside of politics, Roberta is married to Tim and they have one daughter. She is a fan of cricket, gardening and enjoys running having previously completed the Great North Run.