North East Derbyshire MP’s historic appointment

North East Derbyshire Labour MP Natascha Engel.
North East Derbyshire Labour MP Natascha Engel.

MP Natascha Engel has made history after she became the first Derbyshire MP to be elected as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

North East Derbyshire Labour MP Ms Engel, 48, was elected as Deputy Speaker on Wednesday, June 3.

She said: “It is a great honour to hold this position in my role as MP for North East Derbyshire. The constituency will continue, as always, to come first.”

As Deputy Speaker, Ms Engel will have to chair debates in the House of Commons and will therefore no longer be able to speak or vote.

The role does, though, give Ms Engel privileged access to ministers which means that constituents will continue to be represented with their issues raised at the highest level and their cases dealt with.

Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner: “Natascha has played a very prominent part over the last five years in Parliament.

“First she captured the important Backbench Business Committee which gave her control of the agenda in the House and now she’s got the job to control it.

“Her experience in and knowledge of North East Derbyshire will stand her in good stead.”

Toby Perkins, Chesterfield’s MP, also praised Ms Engel and is confident she will do the region proud.

He said: “It is a tremendous honour for the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire area that Natascha should be appointed Deputy Speaker.

“It is a mark of the respect in which she is held by members of all parties in recognition of her commitment to fair and frank parliamentary debate, and I’m sure she’ll do us all proud.”

Ms Engel has been North East Derbyshire’s MP since 2005 and she has served on the Works and Pensions Select Committee and as chairman of the Backbench Business Committee.

She was born in Berlin and she moved to Kent and trained as a linguist in German and Portugese. Ms Engel has worked with Amnesty International while she earned a living as a teacher. She has focussed over the years on parliamentary reform, Europe, planning reforms, youth issues and welfare rights. The new Deputy Speaker stated that she will also continue to campaign on local issues that matter to her and the people who live in her constituency.