Karen grew up in South Shields, went to Harton Comprehensive School in the constituency and her family still live there. She is a former member of the Conservative Future National Management Executive and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of Conservative Way Forward. Karen read English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London, after whcih she went to work in the City as a Lloyd’s Broker. She is currently employed as a Director at Tower Perrin, a global reinsurance brokerage, where she specialises in North American Casualty business.
She will be challenging Foreign Secretary David Miliband in a constituency that has never returned a Conservative MP. After minor boundary changes, Mr Miliband will defend a notional majority of 13,368 over the Lib Dems, with the Tories close behind in third place.