AFTER a whirlwind few months Anneliese Dodds is taking a well-earned summer break with her family.

But after winning a huge majority for Labour in her Oxford East seat in the General Election on June 8 she is not resting on her laurels.

Like her predecessor Andrew Smith, Oxford East MP for 30 years until he stood down earlier this year, Ms Dodds lives in the constituency.

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And the Rose Hill resident tries to go door-knocking as often as she can to gauge what the key issues are for her constituents.

The former MEP for the South East demonstrated her dedication after the election, in which she polled 35,118 votes, by Skyping an Oxford Labour Party meeting at Rose Hill Community Centre to speak to the members.

The mother-of-two, who lives with partner Ed Turner, deputy leader of Oxford City Council, and their two children Freddie, four and Isabella, one, said: "General election night, and all the excitement that came with it, doesn't seem that long ago.

"So many people got engaged in politics for the first time during this election campaign and that excitement is still there.

"I will have to work hard to make sure they stay engaged in politics and that their voices are heard."

After gaining a majority of 23,284 votes, up on Mr Smith's majority of 15,280 in 2015, Ms Dodds was rewarded by being appointed to Jeremy Corbyn's front bench as a shadow treasury minister.

Last month she gave her maiden speech in the House of Commons, watched closely from the gallery by Mr Turner and Freddie.

According to Ms Dodds the youngster behaved 'very well' and there were no interruptions after he was promised an ice-cream.

The 39-year-old said the key difficulty with the speech was keeping it short enough, as there was so much she wanted to say, not least paying tribute to Mr Smith.

In the speech she described Mr Smith, a resident of Blackbird Leys as a 'diligent' constituency MP who was so humble that when he was in the Cabinet running Britain’s welfare state, 'his own television was so dilapidated that it had to be whacked repeatedly to get it to work'.

On the troublesome topic of Brexit she said it was 'essential' that European markets remained open to businesses like BMW in Cowley.

Ms Dodds confirmed it was 'an enormous relief' when BMW Mini announced last month that the electric Mini would be built at the plant in Oxford but pledged she would not 'take her eyes off the ball long-term' as concerns about trade barriers would remain post-Brexit.

She also told MPs that Britain, especially Oxford where there were high house prices, urgently needed more genuinely affordable homes.

"Those classed as affordable are simply out of reach, given that a house worth £400,000 can currently, ridiculously, be classified as affordable," she warned.

Ms Dodds gave her maiden speech the day after the funeral of long-serving Labour campaigner and former Lord Mayor Bill Buckingham.

She told MPs that the Rose Hill estate was 'a wonderful, friendly place, albeit one where almost half the children on the estate grow up in poverty'.

Even though she was elected on June 8 Ms Dodds is still getting used to finding her way around Westminster.

She has been working hard to get her new parliamentary office up and running, one which she shares with the new Labour MP for Canterbury, Rosie Duffield.

She added: "I have been trying to get all the phones and computers sorted out.

"But working in the Commons is much better for my family, much more doable than when I was heading back and forth to Brussels all the time.

"Now I am the new constituency MP I know I can be in the constituency at weekends, which wasn't always the case in the past."

Ms Dodds has been based in Oxford since she moved from Aberdeen in 1996 to read politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) at Oxford University's St Hilda's College, gaining a first-class degree.

Afterwards she studied for a Master's in social policy at the Edinburgh University, followed by a PhD in government at the London School of Economics.

She was elected as an MEP for the South East in 2014 and sat on the European Parliament's committee on economic and monetary affairs.

Ms Dodds voted for Yvette Cooper in the Labour leadership contest in 2015 but her rapid promotion to the front bench suggests leader Jeremy Corbyn has already recognised her talent and dedication to the cause.

Throughout June 8 she and Mr Turner knocked on hundreds of doors and in a telling aside on election night he revealed he was glad she would no longer be representing a region the size of Austria.

He also confided that his partner had 'an incredible work ethic' and that he sometimes had to plead with her to take a break.

That plea must have fallen on deaf ears on a freezing winter's morning in January when she joined a handful of the party faithful at Oxford rail station to lobby commuters on Labour's plans to combat rising rail fares.

Although Ms Dodds did agree to take a summer holiday while the Commons was in recess this month she is looking forward to returning to work for her constituents.

As she concluded in her maiden speech: "As their MP I'm ambitious for our city and its people and will devote the time they have given me in this place to ensure a better, brighter and fairer future for them and people like them across the country."

There may be time in the months and years to come when Mr Turner's pleas fall on deaf ears.

This feature was first published in 2017