Natascha was born and raised in Berlin, Germany, with her English mother and German father, and moved to England as a child. She attended King’s College London University, training as a linguist, and after her postgraduate work as a translator Natascha volunteered for Amnesty International for two years in Madrid, earning her living by teaching English as a foreign language.
Returning to Britain, Natascha worked as a teletext subtitler, and it was in this position where she began to get involved in the Trade Union movement, eventually becoming an activist. She helped campaign for the Labour Party in marginal seats in the 2001 election, and went on to work for the Smith Institute, a think tank set up in memory of the late Labour Leader John Smith.
She was selected as Labour candidate for North East Derbyshire in the run up to the 2005 General Election, when serving MP Harry Barnes decided to step down.
Natascha’s political interests include youth policy, welfare rights and constitutional and Parliamentary reform. She was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee from 2005 to 2007 and, more recently, she was a member of the Select Committee on the Reform of the House of Commons.
From 2010 until 2015, Natascha was the first Chair of the Backbench Business Committee. This is the first business committee of any kind to be established by the House and gave an opportunity to backbench Members to bring forward debates of their choice.
At the beginning of the 2015 Parliament, Natascha was elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
She has three sons, Malek, Anton and Lukas, and can speak German, Spanish and Portuguese.