Bridget Maeve Phillipson is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South since 2010. She was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education in the Shadow Cabinet of Keir Starmer in 2021. Prior to this, she served as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2020 to 2021. Phillipson was born in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear and studied Modern History at the University of Oxford, graduating in 2005. Phillipson's seat of Houghton and Sunderland South is the third most marginal seat held by Labour in the north east, after Stockton North and Sunderland Central.
Phillipson was selected from an all-women shortlist as the Labour candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South in 2009 and elected as an MP at the 2010 general election. Phillipson was the first MP to be declared to be elected to the 2010 and 2015 parliaments. After entering parliament, she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jim Murphy, who was then the shadow defence secretary. Between October 2013 and September 2015, she served as Opposition Whip in the House of Commons.
She was elected to the Home Affairs Committee in July 2010, and remained a member until November 2013. She was a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014, and of the Procedure Committee between July 2010 and October 2011. She has also been a member of the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission since October 2010, and both the Committee on Standards and the Committee on Privileges since October 2017. She is currently also a member of the Public Accounts Committee and the European Statutory Instruments Committee. From 2010 to 2015, she was secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Domestic and Sexual Violence, which published the report "The Changing Landscape of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services" in February 2015.
Despite being an opposition MP since entering Parliament in 2010, she has campaigned successfully on a number of local issues, including forcing a government U-turn on the rebuilding of Hetton School, after plans to do so were cancelled by the Conservative-led government in 2010. The school was eventually rebuilt and reopened in 2016. She also led a campaign to improve standards and affordability of bus transport in Tyne and Wear, calling for the development of a quality contract scheme to be run by Nexus, the passenger transport executive for the North East Combined Authority. The government-appointed review board eventually refused permission for Nexus to advance the scheme.
In the 2016 European referendum, she campaigned for a Remain vote, and in 2018 was one of the first Labour MPs to call for a People's Vote on any eventual deal.
In Labour Party Leadership elections, she voted for David Miliband in 2010, Yvette Cooper in 2015, Owen Smith in 2016, and Keir Starmer in 2020.
Following Starmer's leadership election victory in April 2020, Phillipson was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet for the first time, as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. On 29 November 2021 she was moved to the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
In October 2022, Phillipson criticised Suella Braverman's reappointment as Home Secretary. Phillipson stated: "One moment Rishi Sunak is telling us he will lead a government of integrity, and then another minute he's appointing someone back into the cabinet who'd been sacked only the week before for a serious breach of security and a potential breach of the ministerial code."