I was born and brought up in North London and have lived in the Hornsey & Wood Green constituency for over 30 years. I went to primary school in Highgate, and still live there today, having lived off the Archway Road for several years in the meantime.
I used to run my own London design company and was then the strategic design consultant for the UK’s largest transport consultancy. I have also worked at University College Hospital and was director of an electrical business with ten branches across London.
The Daily Telegraph called me one of the “frugal few” in its coverage of MPs’ expenses and the Ham & High has kindly said that, “‘In addition to the number of times she is seen in the constituency, Ms Featherstone has been extremely busy in the Commons.”
I served on the London Assembly 2000-5, before stepping down after being elected as MP for Hornsey and Wood Green. During my time on the GLA, I chaired the Transport Committee and also served on the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA). I served as number two in the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team in Parliament and the party’s London spokesperson. I was promoted to the party’s Shadow Cabinet as International Development spokesperson in December 2006, giving up my London and Home Affairs posts. In December 2007, after Nick Clegg’s election as party leader, I switched to the role of Youth and Equalities Spokesperson in the Shadow Cabinet.
I first became involved in politics when I helped form a residents’ association in order to fight council plans to introduce a parking scheme. I was a councillor on Haringey Council (Muswell Hill ward, 1998-2006), where I was Leader of the Opposition 1998-2002.
I spent time as a volunteer in the Royal Free Hospital, helping seriously ill patients. I have written a textbook on marketing architecture and in my spare time I have been both an amateur actress and a hospital radio disc-jockey.
My blog keeps people in touch with my work in Haringey and Parliament. It was one of the runners-up in the Guardian’s political blog of the year awards 2004. The Guardian praised the blog as being a “down-to-earth, good-humoured blog … Praised for its ability to make road humps, leafleting and Fire Service modernisation interesting.” My blog has also twice been nominated for the New Statesman New Media Awards and won the Campaign for Gender Balance’s Best Female Blog (People’s Choice) category in 2008. It was rated the fifth best blog by an MP and the sixth best Liberal Democrat blog in the 2008 Total Politics magazine poll.
I was short-listed in the “Rising Stars” category for the 2006 Channel Four Political Awards and short-listed for the Dods Woman MP of the Year award in 2007.
In the 1998 local elections I and my two colleagues took Haringey’s Muswell Hill ward from Labour; a Labour lead of 1,091 was turned into a LibDem majority of 831. At the time Muswell Hill had the largest Labour party ward membership in London. I became Leader of the Opposition on Haringey Council in 1998, a post that I served in until 2002.
I was elected to Parliament with a 15% swing from Labour in May 2005 and then held the seat with an increased majority in May 2010. I also became a Home Office minister in May 2010, then appointed Minister in the Department for International Development in September 2012. I then served as Minister for Crime Prevention.