Jo has been the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central since 2019, and lives in Bucknall.
Since her election in 2019, Jo has worked tirelessly to secure the biggest investment in the area for decades. Government funding includes £56 million for levelling up projects, transforming key brownfield sites, £29 million for better transport connections in the city, over £31 million for bus improvements, and £5.3 million for our museum and libraries. Jo personally secured over £10 million from government to clear a dangerous city centre site of in excess of 23,000 tonnes of combustible industrial waste, which had been a blight on the city and a significant risk since 2014.
Jo stood down from a government role in July 2021 to spearhead a campaign on button battery safety following the tragic death of toddler Harper-Lee Fanthorpe. Together with Harper-Lee’s mother Stacy, Jo established the Harper-Lee Foundation and has been working with government, industry and charities to improve awareness and product safety.
Before entering Parliament Jo was a social entrepreneur, small business owner and worked in enterprise and innovation units at two universities. She has been a district councillor for 13 years where she learned about grassroots politics. She has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. Jo’s father, Eric, served with the British Army in the Second World War and was awarded the Légion d'Honneur in recognition of his participation in D-Day shortly before his death in 2017. Her mother was a music teacher.
At Westminster Jo is an active backbencher. She is on the 1922 Executive, and serves on the Public Administration & Constitutional Affairs Committee, a Select Committee that scrutinises a wide range of processes in government and the Civil Service. Jo is a member of the UK delegation on PACE – the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Previously Jo served as Vice Chair of the 1922 Backbench Committee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, producing reports on energy and enterprise. She is a Commissioner on the cross-party Commission on Carbon Competitiveness.
She currently sits on a wide range of All-Party Parliamentary Groups, including Left Behind Neighbourhoods, Business Resilience, Entrepreneurship and Social Integration. Jo is Vice Chair of the BBC, Charities and Volunteering, Women and Enterprise APPGs and Chair of the Ceramics, Social Enterprise and Youth Affairs APPGs.
From 2020 to 2022, Jo was Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the National Food Strategy where she listened to the wealth of evidence backing fundamental reforms to our food system, from the food we grow, to the way we manufacture, distribute, market and consume food. In November 2022 Jo hosted a Food Summit in Stoke-on-Trent, bringing together representatives from across the food system with health and sustainability experts.
Jo champions our local manufacturers, small businesses and charities, as well as the voice of young people at Westminster. She believes in supporting neighbourhoods through investment in grassroots organisations and campaigns on growing community based assets and community banking.