Dame Margaret Hodge MP, who studied Philosophy at the London School of Economics, has been the Labour Member of Parliament for Barking and the heart of Dagenham since 1994.
She was a Minister in the Governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, holding portfolios in the Departments for Education, Work and Pensions, Business, and Culture.
She was the first Children's Minister from 2003 to 2005, Minister for Universities from 2001-2003 and Minister for the Arts and the Creative Industries for the last years of the Labour Government.
In 2010 she became the first elected Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and was also its first female Chair. She held the post for the full parliamentary term, retiring in 2015.
Margaret published Called to Account in September 2016, reflecting on her time as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee. This was her jaw-dropping - and intimate - account of how much of the money needed for public services is misspent,
while too many corporate giants get away without paying their fair share.
Her scrutiny of waste and inefficiency by successive governments extended to disclose the chicanery of companies out to avoid tax. It includes a fascinating journey inside the NHS, the BBC and defence as well as Amazon, Starbucks and G4S. And comes to radical conclusions about how things must be improved.
Margaret will step down as MP at the next general election.