'I don’t have a family fortune to fall back on': Ex-Labour MP says she was photographed while at local Jobcentre

James Morris
Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
Laura Smith at an anti-Boris Johnson rally in London in July 2019. (Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

A former Labour MP who lost her seat in last month’s general election has said a member of the public took an unsolicited picture of her while she was at her local Jobcentre.

Laura Smith was elected as the MP for Crewe and Nantwich in 2017 but was one of the many victims of Labour’s 2019 election disaster under Jeremy Corbyn.

On Wednesday she tweeted about the incident, adding that another person asked her if she was the “actual Laura”, as if they couldn’t believe a former MP would need to use a Jobcentre.

“Unlike many in Parliament, I don’t have a family fortune to fall back on,” Ms Smith said on Twitter.

Ms Smith said in another tweet: “I’m the same as millions of others in the country.”

The former teacher would have been on a £79,468 salary when she lost her seat. Defeated MPs who were in office for more than two years can also claim a “loss of office payment”.

Laura Smith with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Crewe during the 2019 general election campaign. (PA)

She unseated Tory Edward Timpson in 2017 with a tiny majority of 48, after winning plaudits for her local community campaigns against education cuts.

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In last month’s election, however, Ms Smith was unseated herself as Conservative candidate Kieran Mullan won a 8,508 majority.

On Tuesday, she pledged to continue running the “uniform swap shop”, in which parents can pick up schoolclothes free of charge, that she had organised as an MP.