Gillian Merron

(Redirected from Baroness Merron)

Gillian Joanna Merron, Baroness Merron (born 12 April 1959) is a British politician and life peer serving as Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews since 2014. A member of the Labour Party, she has been a shadow spokesperson for Health and Social Care since 2021. She was previously Member of Parliament (MP) for Lincoln from 1997 to 2010 and held several ministerial offices in the Blair and Brown governments.

The Baroness Merron
Official portrait, 2021
Shadow Spokesperson for Health and Social Care
Assumed office
18 May 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Minister of State for Public Health
In office
10 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byDawn Primarolo
Succeeded byAnne Milton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
6 October 2008 – 10 June 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byMeg Munn
Succeeded byChris Bryant
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development
In office
25 January 2008 – 6 October 2008
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byShriti Vadera
Succeeded byIvan Lewis
Minister for the East Midlands
In office
28 June 2007 – 25 January 2008
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byPhil Hope
Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office
In office
28 June 2007 – 24 January 2008
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byPat McFadden
Succeeded byTom Watson
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
In office
8 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byKaren Buck
Succeeded byJim Fitzpatrick
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
17 December 2004 – 8 May 2006
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byDerek Twigg
Succeeded byClaire Ward
Parliamentary offices
Member of the House of Lords
Life peerage
8 February 2021
Member of Parliament
for Lincoln
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byKenneth Carlisle
Succeeded byKarl McCartney
Personal details
Born (1959-04-12) 12 April 1959 (age 64)
Ilford, Essex
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Alma materLancaster University
Awards Life peer
Signature

Early life and career Edit

Merron was born in Ilford, Essex to a Jewish family, and was educated at Wanstead High School in Wanstead in east London. She attended Lancaster University Management School, gaining a BSc (Hons) in Management Sciences. She worked in local government and as a NUPE (later UNISON) union official.

Merron joined the Labour Party in 1984. Before becoming an MP, Merron was the vice-chair for the regional Labour Party executive.[1] She co-ordinated the shadow cabinet central region campaign in the 1992 general election and the 1994 European Parliament election.

Parliamentary career Edit

Merron was made a prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) through an all-women shortlist,[2] and was elected to the House of Commons in May 1997 with a majority of 11,130. From July 1998 to July 1999, she served as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Doug Henderson as Minister of State for the Armed Forces and, from July 1999 to June 2001, she was PPS to Baroness Symons as Minister of State for Defence Procurement.

From June 2001 to October 2002, Merron served as PPS to John Reid as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. From October 2002 to May 2006, she was a government whip and was a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury from December 2004. At the 2005 general election, her majority was 4,613.

Merron was appointed to the Department for Transport in May 2006, where she worked until the reshuffle on 29 June 2007, when she became Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office and the first ever minister of the East Midlands.

Following Peter Hain's resignation on 24 January 2008, Merron was reshuffled again, becoming a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for International Development, leaving both of her previous roles. Following Gordon Brown's next reshuffle on 5 October 2008, Merron was moved to the Foreign Office and Commonwealth Office. A promotion to Minister of State for Public Health soon followed.

Merron followed the party whip in votes on equal gay rights, the hunting ban, foundation hospitals, a ban on smoking in public places, the Iraq war, preventative laws to stop climate change, and The Digital Economy Bill.[3] She lost her seat to the Conservative candidate Karl McCartney in the 2010 general election. From 1997 until 2007, when Quentin Davies defected to the Labour Party, she had been Lincolnshire's only Labour MP – and the first since Margaret Beckett had the seat from 1974 to 1979.

Expenses Edit

Merron expenses as MP were higher than average.[4] She is one of 98 MPs who voted to support Conservative MP David Maclean's bill to keep their expenses and correspondence secret.[5][6]

Total expenses claimed
Year Total Expenses Ranking out of
2001/02 £94,459 joint 178th 657
2002/03 £123,954 87th 657
2003/04 £136,706 55th 658
2004/05 £139,854 64th 659
2005/06 £133,480 - -
2006/07 £144,914 176th 645
2007/08 £155,972 172nd 645

On 19 June 2009, MPs' expenses were revealed (heavily edited) on the internet. Merron received criticism for purchasing a television, television stand, home theatre kit, and numerous other goods.[7] She wrote on her website: "The majority of claims I make directly pay for professional staff, office costs, communication with constituents, and travel. I do not have a second job, do not employ any family members or friends, nor have I taken the annual increase in ministerial salary."[8]

In the aftermath of the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal, Sir Thomas Legg recommended that Gillian Merron repay £6,305.17. [9] She repaid this amount in full.[10]

Post-parliamentary career Edit

Since her defeat at the 2010 general election, Merron has become Chair of Bus Users UK[11] (formerly known as The National Federation of Bus Users).[12]

In May 2014, it was announced that Merron would become Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews the following July.[13][14] Since February 2013, she has served as a Vice-President of the Jewish Leadership Council.[15] She served as external affairs officer on the board of Liberal Judaism from July 2012 to May 2014.[16]

House of Lords Edit

In December 2020, it was announced Merron would be conferred a life peerage after a nomination by Labour Party leader Keir Starmer. She took her seat on 8 February 2021, and made her maiden speech on 13 May during that year's Queen's Speech debate.[17]

In the May shadow cabinet reshuffle, she was appointed to the Shadow Health Team. In the November shadow cabinet reshuffle, she became Shadow Culture Minister.[18]

References Edit

  1. ^ Gillian Merron MP – Working for Lincoln – About Your MP Archived 17 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Rentoul, John; Stephen Ward; Donald MacIntyre (9 January 1996). "Labour blow as all-women lists outlawed". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  3. ^ Gillian Merron MP, Lincoln (TheyWorkForYou.com)
  4. ^ "Gillian Merron MP". TheyWorkForYou. mySociety is a project of UK Citizens Online Democracy (UKCOD). UKCOD is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1076346. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  5. ^ "How your MP voted on the FOI Bill". The Times. London. 20 May 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  6. ^ Policy #996: "Transparency of Parliament" — The Public Whip
  7. ^ 'I will do what I always do, my best for Lincoln'
  8. ^ http://www.gillianmerron.co.uk/mps-allowances[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Expenses: The MPs paying over £1K". politics.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012.
  10. ^ Cohen, Justin (7 May 2014). "Former Foreign Office minister appointed to lead the Board". Jewish News. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  11. ^ "New Chair for Bus Users UK". Bus Users UK website. Shepperton, Middlesex: Bus Users UK. 4 April 2011. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2012. [Gillian Merron] is now a strategic advisor to the transport industry and will be bringing new strategic direction to Bus Users UK.,
  12. ^ As of 23 April 2012 the name "Bus Users UK" appears on the official register of companies.
  13. ^ Rocker, Simon (7 May 2014). "Board of Deputies new chief executive revealed". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Chief Executive : Gillian Merron". Board of Deputies of British Jews. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  15. ^ "New Jewish Leadership Council members". The Jewish Chronicle. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  16. ^ Rocker, Simon (12 July 2012). "Ex-MP joins Liberal Judaism board". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Political Peerages 2020". Gov.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  18. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (4 December 2021). "Keir Starmer unveils new frontbench team after wider reshuffle". LabourList. Retrieved 19 May 2022.

External links Edit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Lincoln
1997–2010
Succeeded by
Preceded by Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office
2007–2008
Succeeded by
New office Minister for the East Midlands
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development
24 January 2008 – 5 October 2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
5 October 2008 – 8 June 2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Public Health
8 June 2009 – 12 April 2010
Succeeded by