Lyn has been the Member of Parliament for the West Ham constituency since 2005. Lyn grew up in Newham; she attended Drew Road Primary School in Silvertown and Plashet Comprehensive School. She went on to study English and Religion at what is now Roehampton University. After three years studying and a year as President of the Student Union, Lyn returned to Newham where she still lives.
Before her election as Member of Parliament for West Ham, Lyn had a long career in local government. She worked for the London Borough of Waltham Forest for a number of years. Lyn also held posts in the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Local Government (ALG), now London Councils. Lyn became Chair of the LGA’s Cultural Services Committee in 2000. In Lyn’s role with the ALG she was instrumental in establishing the London Libraries Development Agency (LLDA).
In 1988, Lyn was elected as a local councillor in the London Borough of Newham and she continued to sit on Newham Council until her election as Member of Parliament for West Ham in 2005. She was re-elected as Member of Parliament for West Ham in the 2010 General Election.
Since her election in 2005, Lyn has campaigned for a Living Wage for all, for the West Ham constituency to receive inner London funding for its inner city problems and for West Ham to reap the benefits of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
In 2006, Lyn was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the former Minister for Local Government and Community Cohesion, Phil Woolas MP. In this role, she played a significant part in helping to steer the Sustainable Communities Bill through the House of Commons.
In July 2007, Lyn became PPS to the then Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham MP. In June 2009, she was promoted to the position of Assistant Government Whip. After the May 2010 General Election, Lyn became an Opposition Whip. In October 2013 Lyn was promoted onto the front bench as Shadow Communities Minister. From September 2015 to June 2016, she was the Shadow Fire Minister. She now works as the Shadow Policing Minister as part of the Shadow Home Office team.