On graduation, she worked as a researcher at the House of Commons, before handling communications for development projects at Network Rail.
She was first elected as a Councillor for Brunswick Park in the London Borough of Southwark in 2006, later becoming the Deputy Leader of the 29 strong group of Labour councillors.
She was selected as the Labour Party candidate for Wirral South in December 2009 due to Ben Chapman's decision to stand down at the next election for family reasons following adverse publicity in The Daily Telegraph over the expenses scandal, and subsequently won the seat in the 2010 general electionbeating the Conservative Party candidate, Jeff Clarke, by 531 votes.
She made her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 3 June 2010 in a debate on European Affairs. In accordance with Parliamentary tradition, she spoke in glowing terms of her constituency and praised her predecessor Ben Chapman, whom she described as "very amiable".
She became former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's parliamentary private secretary in July 2010. On 14 September 2010 she held her first adjournment debate regarding employment prospects for young people in Wirral. In November 2010 she was selected by the PLP to become a member of the International Development Select Committee.
In December 2010 she introduced a private member's bill before Parliament that would amend the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to broaden the scope of the general duty of library authorities so as to include a duty to provide related cultural facilities alongside the library service. In March 2011 she visited India as part of an International Development Select Committee delegation.
In the 2013 Labour reshuffle, she was added to the Shadow International Development team.
She is married to economics consultant Ashwin Kumar, formerly the Passenger Director at Passenger Focus.