Louise Margaret Haigh is a British politician serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport since 2021. A member of the Labour Party, she was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Heeley at the 2015 general election, as the youngest Labour member of that parliament. She served as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2020 to 2021.
Views and policies
Haigh is concerned that forcing police to find more to pay for police pensions out of their general budget leaves less money for the police to protect the public. Haigh stated, "Forcing the police at the last minute to bear the huge cost of pension changes demonstrates the utter failure of ministers to grasp the crisis in policing caused by their cuts. They have played fast and loose with public safety and the police are right to step up and take action."
Haigh also feels it is wrong that the police are forced to deal with mental health crises that has been caused by underfunding of the NHS. Haigh said, “The government’s underfunding of mental health services is a national scandal and passing the buck to our overstretched police officers is exacerbating the crisis in policing. It is frankly shocking that the police are often the only people who someone experiencing a mental health crisis can turn to. Nearly a decade of brutal austerity has torn at the fabric of our society and the most vulnerable are being failed.”
She has spoken out about the crisis within the special education needs system. She has said, "School funding cuts that have resulted in the loss of teaching assistants, a narrower curriculum, and bigger class sizes have all made certain mainstream schools more hostile environments for children with SEN."
Haigh has also been outspoken in her opposition to fracking. She has said, "I do not support fracking for a number of reasons: health and safety; the potential for earth tremors; the likely pollution of the water table; the impact on local communities in terms of disruption and subsidence; the fact that the chemicals used are deleterious to our health. Crucially, we also know that fracking contributes significantly to climate change and so, while all of the above means that fracking should absolutely not take place on an island as populated and as unconducive as ours, the evidence clearly shows that we should reject it outright."
Haigh campaigned for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.
Labour leadership elections
Haigh was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015, although she later said she regrets this decision. She supported and campaigned for Andy Burnham, however.
In the 2016 Labour leadership election, Haigh supported Owen Smith.
In the 2020 leadership election, Haigh chaired the leadership campaign of Lisa Nandy. She also nominated Angela Rayner for Deputy.