|Birth||25 September 1973|
Jennifer Chapman (born 25 September 1973) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Darlington since the 2010 general election.
Chapman was born in Surrey but moved to Darlington at a young age where she attended Hummersknott School and Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, before studying psychology at Brunel University, and later took an MA in archaeology at Durham University. She had work placements attached to prison psychology departments whilst studying for her undergraduate degree.
She married fellow Labour MP Nick Smith in July 2014. She has two children from a previous relationship.
Chapman worked as constituency office manager for Darlington Labour MP Alan Milburn. After a career break for children, she returned to politics at Darlington Borough Council when she was elected as borough councillor for the Cockerton West ward in 2007.
In November 2009, Chapman was shortlisted as one of four candidates to succeed Milburn as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Darlington on an open shortlist. She was selected to stand for parliament by the local constituency party the following month. Chapman said: “This shows that the people of Darlington want to choose a Darlington person who will put the town first.” She was elected Darlington MP in the 2010 general election with a majority of 3,388. As a result of her election victory, she decided to stand down as a councillor.
Chapman made her maiden speech in Parliament on 7 June 2010, during which she asked for social network services to be regulated to stop paedophiles. She also backed the Building Schools for the Future programme.
In 2011, Chapman was appointed as Shadow Prisons Minister. She had previously written policy recommendations on the subject of incarceration including a recommendation that prison officers should receive training to help them rehabilitate inmates.
Chapman became the Shadow Minister for Childcare and Early Years in January 2016, but resigned in the summer of the same year. She has since rejoined Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Frontbench as Shadow Minister for Exiting the European Union alongside Keir Starmer. The department was set up as a consequence of Britain voting leave during the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 on 23 June 2016.
Chapman is a former vice-chair of Progress.