Ruth Margaret Cadbury is a British politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Brentford and Isleworth since 2015. She belongs to a well-known Quaker family and was privately educated at The Mount School, York, Bournville College, and the University of Salford, where she graduated BSc in social sciences in 1981. Before entering politics, Cadbury worked as a planning consultant and served as a Labour councillor for the Gunnersbury ward of Hounslow London Borough Council. She was also Deputy Leader of the Council from 2010 to 2012.
In the 2015 general election, Cadbury defeated the sitting Conservative MP, Mary Macleod, and made her maiden speech to the House of Commons on 2 June 2015, where she referenced her Quaker background and its relevance to social justice. Cadbury has been a vocal opponent of military intervention in Syria, voting against it in December 2015. In the House of Commons, she has sat on the Transport Committee and previously on the Justice Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee.
Cadbury was appointed as a Shadow Housing Minister by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in October 2016 but was ousted from the position in June 2017 for contravening a whipped vote on an amendment to the Queen’s speech. She was among 28 of the 46 London Labour MPs opposing the National Policy Statement on Airports in June 2018, which laid out government support for a third runway. In May 2021, she rejoined the Labour front bench as the Shadow Minister for Planning, receiving half of Mike Amesbury’s former brief as the Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning. In November 2021, Cadbury was appointed Shadow Trade Minister in Keir Starmer’s front bench reshuffle.
Cadbury is a Quaker and one of three Quakers elected at the 2015 general election. She is also an honorary associate of the National Secular Society and is married to Nick Gash, a non-executive director of the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and former chair of West Middlesex Hospital, which is located in Cadbury’s constituency. In 2022, she became a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, which meets to discuss issues of relevance to humanists.