Linda Riordan

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Linda Riordan
Member of Parliament
for Halifax
In office
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byAlice Mahon
Succeeded byHolly Lynch
Personal details
Linda June Haigh

(1953-05-31) 31 May 1953 (age 66)
Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Alan Riordan (died 2007)
Alma materUniversity of Bradford

Linda June Riordan[1] (née Haigh; 31 May 1953) is an English Labour Co-operative politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Halifax from the 2005 general election until standing down in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Riordan was born in Halifax and graduated from the University of Bradford.[2][3] She served as a Calderdale councillor for eleven years,[2] representing the Ovenden ward from 1995 to 2006, when she stood down to devote herself full-time to her role as an MP. She worked as private secretary for her predecessor as Halifax's Labour MP Alice Mahon between 2001 and 2005,[2] and was active in the local Co-operative Party as secretary and treasurer.[3] She was chosen as the Labour candidate from an all-women shortlist but her candidature was at first opposed by the Party's ruling National Executive Committee owing to concerns about selection process. She was later allowed to stand.[4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Riordan was elected in 2005 and returned to Parliament with a reduced majority in 2010[5]

She served on various select committees including the Justice Committee, the Procedure Committee, the Environmental Audit Select Committee, the European Scrutiny Committee and the all-Party Crossrail Committee. She was one of 16 signatories of an open letter to Ed Miliband in January 2015 calling on the party to commit to oppose further austerity, take rail franchises back into public ownership and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements[6] In February 2015 she announced that she would be standing down at general election in May, citing ill health.[5]


In December 2010 it was revealed that Riordan had secretly repaid £105.86 in wrongly claimed expenses. The repayment came about after Riordan had used House of Commons stationery for party political purposes. Riordan apologised, blaming volunteers for the incident.[7][8]

In October 2012, the Commons Speaker John Bercow blocked the release of data showing which MPs were letting their homes to other MPs for financial gain. However, a study of parliamentary records was published in The Daily Telegraph.[9] This article listed problematic expense claims of Riordan and 26 other MPs,[10] and said that she received rental income from a flat she owned in London which was rented out through an agency[10] to fellow Labour MP Iain McKenzie and was, at the same time, able to claim expenses on another flat she rented in the city under an arrangement allowed by IPSA rules.[11] Riordan, along with other MPs, said that under new rules she was banned from receiving mortgage interest expenses by IPSA and, as a result, had been forced to let the property.[10]

Days after the report, Riordan put the flat on the market, having previously tried to sell the flat in 2010. She pledged to ensure that any profit she gained from the sale would be paid back to the taxpayer.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

She was married to Alan Riordan from 1979 until his death in April 2007, of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 65.[13]


  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8739.
  2. ^ a b c ‘RIORDAN, Linda’, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, December 2012; online edn, November 2012 Profile,; accessed 7 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b Linda Riordan - Parliamentary candidates Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 7 May 2015.
  4. ^ Victory for councillor in Labour candidate battle,; accessed 7 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Halifax MP Linda Riordan to stand down at general election". BBC. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  6. ^ Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction - why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^ MPs' expenses: the secret deals revealed,; accessed 7 May 2015.
  9. ^ Expenses scandal: Labour MP made thousands letting flat to fellow member, Daily Telegraph, 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  10. ^ a b c MPs in expenses row defend renting arrangements, The Guardian, 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  11. ^ a b Linda Riordan promises to pay back profit on flat sale after renting to fellow Labour MP, The Daily Telegraph, 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  12. ^ Update on Halifax MP Linda Riordan revelations – she says flat will be put up for sale, Halifax Courier, 23 October 2012; retrieved 10 February 2013.
  13. ^ MP's tribute to husband, Alan, 65,; accessed 7 May 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alice Mahon
Member of Parliament for Halifax
Succeeded by
Holly Lynch