Jessica and her partner Sion live in Maindee. They have two children, Mali and Ifan, who both attend local schools.
Brought up in nearby Cwmbran, she was educated at Croesyceiliog School before reading History at Birmingham University. Following University she was also a student at Coleg Gwent Nash Campus. Before becoming a Member of Parliament Jessica worked for two local MP's (Llew Smith in Blaenau Gwent and Huw Edwards in Monmouth) and served as General Secretary for the Welsh Labour Party.
Jessica is an honorary Vice President of Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge and Newport Male Voice Choir. She is also President of the Jerome Gatehouse Collection, a member of Newport Credit Union and Newport County Supporters' Trust, and a supporter of Caldicot Male Voice Choir.
Jessica served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Wales The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP until May 2010, and later as Shadow Parliamentary Private Secretary to Owen Smith MP during his time as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
In her first term Jessica successfully completed the Police Parliamentary Scheme, spending a month during recess with a range of Departments and frontline Police Officers in Gwent Police. She was also appointed by the Speaker to the Members' Advisory Committee to oversee the setting up of the first ever Nursery in the House of Commons.
Jessica currently serves as an opposition whip, working alongside the Labour Shadow teams for Wales, Brexit, Scotland and Women & Equalities.
Posts held in Parliament:
Officer for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Steel and other Metal-Related Industries (July 2005 - present)
Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mindfulness (2017-present, Chair from 2015-2017)
Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Wales Hospitality and Tourism
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Suicide Prevention
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children in Wales
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Rail in Wales
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Parkinsons
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Energy Intensive Industries
Member of PCS Parliamentary Group
Member of GMB Parliamentary Group
Member of Committee of Selection
Member of the Speakers Committee on Electoral Registration
Member of House of Commons Administration Committee
Posts previously held in Parliament:
Secretary of the Welsh Group of MPs
President of the Young People's Trust for the Environment
Welsh Affairs Select Committee (2005-2007, 2010-2015)
Justice Select Committee (2007-2010)
Constitutional Affairs Select Committee (2005-2007)
Modernisation of the House Select Committee (2005-2006)
MPs allowances and expenses
IPSA was created in 2009 by the Parliamentary Standards Act. The Act was amended in 2010 by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act. Together they gave IPSA three main responsibilities:
- To regulate MPs’ business costs and expenses.
- To determine MPs’ pay and pension arrangements.
- To provide financial support to MPs in carrying out their parliamentary functions.
IPSA is independent of Parliament and the Government. They take decisions about the rules on business costs and expenses and on MPs’ pay, without interference from MP's.
All expenses are public and are published on their website and you can access the information here