Quakers in Parliament

At most points in the past 150 years there have been a small number of Quakers elected to the UK’s parliaments. We hold in the light those Quakers who currently carry the responsibility of elected office. 

Elected Quaker Socialists - Ruth Cadbury MP

Ruth Cadbury  

Ruth Cadbury is MP for Brentford and Isleworth, having been a member since 2015. She served as Shadow Housing Minister from 2016 – 2017 and has been particularly outspoken in campaigns against the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

She was previously an elected councillor in Hounslow for 25 years where she was well known for campaigns for the living wage for all employees.

In her ‘maiden speech’ to parliament she spoke of the Quaker values of the Cadbury family, and the expectation that working people should receive good pay, good training, decent housing and adequate welfare support and job security.

Elected Quaker Socialists - Catherine West MP

Catherine West  

Catherine West is MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, having been elected to that role in May 2015. Amongst many causes, she has been a prominent spokesperson in campaigns for nuclear disarmament, for the better treatment of asylum seekers and against Brexit.

She was an elected member of Islington Council from 2002 to 2014 and leader there from 2010 to 2013. While leader, she set up the country’s first Fairness Commission, chaired by Professor Richard Wilkinson, co-author of The Spirit Level.

Catherine West became a Quaker in the 1990s and is a member of North West London Area Meeting.  She gave the Swarthmore Lecture in 2017.

Former MEPs

Elected Quaker Socialists - Jude Kirton-Darling MEP

Jude Kirton Darling MEP

Jude Kirton-Darling was an MEP for the North East of England.   She has especially focussed on trade during that time, as a member of the international trade committee.

She worked previously for the Quaker Council for European Affairs, then the European Trade Union Confederation.

She gave the Quaker Socialist Society Salter Lecture in 2015.

Elected Quaker Socialists - Molly Scott Cato MEP

Molly Scott Cato MEP

Molly Scott Cato was an MEP for the South West of England. Amongst the causes she has championed are urgent action on climate change, demilitarisation and peace in the Middle East. 

Previously a university teacher she has published widely on green economics.

She gave the Quaker Socialist Society Salter Lecture in 2017.