Angela was born in 1961 and spent her early years in Grimsby, her father being a printer and former fisherman. She attended Toll Bar Secondary School, which is located just outside Grimsby.
After studying at night school for her A Levels, she attended Nottingham University where she gained a First in English. She became a lecturer at Dearne Valley College, Sheffield, teaching English to post-16 year olds.
In the mid-1990s, Angela stood for Sheffield Council, taking Broomhill ward from the Conservatives. In 1998 she became Chair of Finance, guiding the city through some very difficult years. In 2002, she was appointed as the Cabinet Member for Education. Under her leadership, Sheffield became regarded as one of the leading educational authorities in the country, piloting many government initiatives.
- Became the MP for Sheffield Hillsborough at the 2005 General Election
- Ministerial aide in the Department of Communities and Local Government from 2005, then in the Treasury
- Joined the Transport Select Committee in 2009
- Re-elected to Parliament as the MP for the new constituency of Penistone and Stocksbridge in 2010
- Served as an Opposition Whip
- Promoted to the front bench as the Shadow Deputy Leader of the House, October 2011
- Became a Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister in April 2014
- Serves on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
- Became an Independent MP in February 2019