Charlotte Atkins

Charlotte Jean Scott Atkins (born 24 September 1950) is a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. She is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Staffordshire Moorlands.

Early life

The daughter of Ron Atkins, the former left wing Labour MP for Preston North, Atkins was educated at the Colchester County High School, and is a graduate of the London School of Economics, gaining a BSc in Economics. From the University of London, she also gained an MA in Area Studies She worked as a community relations officer with the Luton Community Research Council from 1974-6, before joining the Trade Union Movement. For four years she was a researcher with the UCATT union from 1976-80, then a researcher from 1980-4 for the TASS and AUEW, before becoming a press officer for UNISON and COHSE from 1984-7.

She joined the Labour Party in 1965. In 1982 she was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Wandsworth, and was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Group from 1983-6. In 1981 she wrote a book with Chris Mullin entitled How to Select or Reselect Your MP.

Parliamentary career

In 1990 Atkins unsuccessfully contested the Eastbourne by-election caused by the assassination of the Conservative MP Ian Gow by the Provisional IRA. She entered the House of Commons at the 1997 general election in the Labour landslide as the Member of Parliament for Staffordshire Moorlands, a seat held previously by David Knox and which had been Conservative for 27 years.

After the 2001 general election Atkins was appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport in 2004, but was dropped after the 2005 general election. In July 2005 she became a member of the Health Select Committee.

Atkins has largely been loyal to the Labour government during her time in Parliament and rarely rebelled.

Atkins is Vice-Chair of the All-Party Hill Farmers Group and a volunteer for the Manchester-based British Fluoridisation Society

Personal life

She married Gus Brain in June 1990 in Bromley and has one daughter, Emma (born December 1986).


  • How to Select or Reselect Your Member of Parliament by Chris Mullin and Charlotte Atkins, 1981, Institute of Workers' Control ISBN 0-901740-74-8


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