Glenys Elizabeth Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead FRSA (née Parry; born 7 July 1944), is a British politician and former teacher who served as Minister of State for Europe from June to October 2009 and Minister of State for Africa and the United Nations from 2009 to 2010. A member of the Labour Party, she was previously a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Wales, formerly South Wales East, from 1994 to 2009.

The Baroness Kinnock
of Holyhead
Baroness Kinnock.jpg
Kinnock as a government minister
Minister of State for Africa and the United Nations
In office
13 October 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byThe Lord Malloch-Brown
Succeeded byHenry Bellingham
Minister of State for Europe
In office
5 June 2009 – 13 October 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byCaroline Flint
Succeeded byChris Bryant
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
30 June 2009 – 9 April 2021
Life peerage
Member of the European Parliament
for Wales
South Wales East (1994–1999)
In office
19 July 1994 – 5 June 2009
Preceded byLlew Smith
Succeeded byDerek Vaughan
Personal details
Glenys Elizabeth Parry

(1944-07-07) 7 July 1944 (age 77)
Roade, Northamptonshire, England
Political partyLabour
(m. 1967)
Alma materCardiff University

Early lifeEdit

Glenys Elizabeth Parry was born at Roade, Northamptonshire, and educated at Holyhead High School, Anglesey. She graduated in 1965 from University College, Cardiff in education and history. She met her future husband Neil Kinnock at university and married him in 1967. She worked as a teacher in secondary, primary, infant and nursery schools, including the Wykeham Primary School, Neasden, London, when she was a member of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

European ParliamentEdit

Kinnock represented Wales in the European Parliament from 1994 until 2009, where she was a member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) political group.[1] She was a Member of the European Parliament's Development and Co-operation Committee[2] and a substitute member of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs.[3] She was a co-president of the African, Caribbean and Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly from 2002 to 2009, and Labour spokesperson on International Development in the European Parliament.

In November 2006, Glenys Kinnock was criticised in the press for "taking a junket" to Barbados to discuss world poverty issues.[4] She was co-presiding over the 12th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly,[5] which was invited by the Barbados government to discuss international aid and development.

On 18 January 2009, Kinnock revealed on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show that she and Neil Kinnock had received a personal invitation from Joe Biden to attend Barack Obama's presidential inauguration on 20 January 2009 at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

In 2004, Glenys Kinnock was caught up in an expenses scandal. Fellow MEP Hans-Peter Martin claimed to have caught 194 colleagues receiving the European Parliament's attendance allowance. Kinnock was among those MEPs whom Martin found and filmed leaving the building just moments after they had signed in for the day to qualify for their £175-a-day allowance, in addition to their £70,000 salaries as MEPs.[6]

United Kingdom ParliamentEdit

In the 2009 cabinet reshuffle, Kinnock was appointed Minister for Europe following the resignation of Caroline Flint. To enable her to join the government, she was awarded a life peerage and became Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, of Holyhead in the County of Ynys Môn, on 30 June 2009.[7] She was introduced to the House of Lords on the same day.[8]

She is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.[9]

In September 2009, The Daily Telegraph listed Baroness Kinnock as the UK's 38th 'Most influential Left-winger', stating: "People working closely with the new minister have asked why on earth better use had not been made of her sooner. She has impressed civil servants and, more importantly, made a good impression on visits and in meetings abroad."[10]

In 2009, while she was Minister for Europe, the status of the Welsh language was elevated to make it equal with several other European minority languages, such as Catalan. The cost of translation services was to be met by the Welsh Assembly and the Welsh Language Board. Kinnock commented "This demonstrates a clear commitment by the EU to promote its unique and diverse cultural heritage."[11]

From 12 October 2009 to 11 May 2010 Glenys Kinnock served as Minister of State with responsibility for Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and the UN, filling a post left vacant after the resignation of Lord Malloch-Brown.[12]

From 2010 to 2013, she was an Opposition spokesperson for the Department of International Development in the House of Lords.[13]

She retired from the House of Lords on 9 April 2021.[14]

Patron and honoursEdit

Baroness Kinnock is a Council Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.[15]

She is a patron, president or board member of a number of charitable organisations, including Womankind Worldwide,[16] Saferworld,[17] Drop the Debt,[18] EdUKaid,[19] Parliamentarians for Global Action,[20] The Burma Campaign UK,[21] International AIDS Vaccine Initiative,[22] Voluntary Service Overseas, Freedom from Torture, and Humanists UK, and is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society.[23] She is also Patron to Snap Cymru, a Welsh children's charity. Council member of Overseas Development Institute Member of Advisory Board of Global Witness. Also patron to Life for African Mothers, a maternal health charity based in Cardiff and working in sub Saharan Africa

She founded One World Action (formerly The Bernt Carlsson Trust) on 21 December 1989, exactly one year after UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was killed in the Pan Am Flight 103 crash. In December 2007, a United Nations inquiry was called into Bernt Carlsson's death.[24]

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Newport, and the University of Wales, Bangor. She holds honorary Doctorates from Thames Valley University, Brunel University and Kingston University.

Personal lifeEdit

She is the wife of Neil Kinnock, who was leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992. When her husband received a life peerage in 2005, she became entitled to the style "Lady Kinnock", which she chose not to use. She was awarded a life peerage when she joined the government in 2009. She and her husband are one of the few couples each to hold life peerages in their own right.

Kinnock grew up speaking Welsh, but did not use the language in conversation with her husband or her son, Stephen Kinnock. Her son is married to the former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and through him she has two granddaughters. Through her daughter Rachel she has two granddaughters and a grandson. She is a member of the GMB trade union and the Co-operative Party.

In 2017, she was diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.[25]


  • Voices for One World, 1987
  • Eritrea – images of war and peace, 1988
  • Namibia – birth of a nation, 1991
  • By Faith and Daring, 1993
  • Zimbabwe on the brink, 2002
  • "The rape of Darfur". The Guardian. London. 18 January 2006. Archived from the original on 29 November 2018.
  • "A lethal bully that must be tackled". The Times. London: News UK. 2006.
  • "The need for an ethical foreign policy, Mark II". The Independent. London. 2007.[dead link]
  • "Cambodia's Brazen U.N. Bid". The New York Times. 16 October 2012. Archived from the original on 30 November 2018.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Socialist Group in the European Parliament". Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007.
  2. ^ "The European Parliament Development and Co-operation Committee".
  3. ^ "The European Parliament committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights".
  4. ^ "Politician Glenys Kinnock of Holyhead". North Wales Daily Post. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  5. ^ "The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly".
  6. ^ Hislop, Ian, ed. (12 June 2009). "[Unknown article title]". Private Eye. Vol. 49, no. 1238. London: Pressdram. p. 5.
  7. ^ "No. 59121". The London Gazette. 7 July 2009. p. 11621.
  8. ^ "Lords Hansard text". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  9. ^ "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  10. ^ Dale, Iain; Brivati, Brian (6 June 2009). "Top 100 most influential Left-wingers". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 29 September 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Welsh language welcomed by European Commission". The Translation People. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  12. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (12 October 2009). "Chris Bryant replaces Glenys Kinnock". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  13. ^ Lady Kinnock profile Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 31 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Retirements of Members - Tuesday 13 April 2021 - Hansard - UK Parliament". Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  15. ^ "The Council".
  16. ^ "Home". Womankind Worldwide. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Saferworld".
  18. ^ "Make Poverty History". Archived from the original on 23 May 2005.
  19. ^ "Home: EdUKaid".
  20. ^ "Parliamentarians for Global Action".
  21. ^ "Glenys Kinnock MEP Patron of BCUK". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  22. ^ Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Honorary Associates". Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  24. ^ "UK Call for United Nations Inquiry into 1988 Lockerbie Bombing". Mathaba News Network. 14 December 2007. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  25. ^ "Kinnock at 80: The former Labour leader on life, politics and his beloved wife". ITV News. London. 24 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.

External linksEdit

European Parliament
Preceded by Member of European Parliament for Wales
South Wales East (19941999)

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of State for Europe
Succeeded byas Undersecretary of State for Europe and Asia
Preceded byas Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the United Nations Minister of State for Africa and the United Nations
Succeeded byas Undersecretary of State for Africa and the United Nations