Open main menu

Glenys Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Glenys Elizabeth Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead FRSA (née Parry; born 7 July 1944), is a British politician and former teacher.

The Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Baroness Kinnock.jpg
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 (Africa, Asia and the United Nations)
Succeeded byHenry Bellingham (Undersecretary of State)
Minister of State for Europe
In office
5 June 2009 – 13 October 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byCaroline Flint
Succeeded byChris Bryant (Undersecretary of State for Europe and Asia)
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
30 June 2009
Life peerage
Member of the European Parliament
for Wales
In office
10 June 1999 – 5 June 2009
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDerek Vaughan
Member of the European Parliament
for South Wales East
In office
19 July 1994 – 10 June 1999
Preceded byLlew Smith
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Glenys Elizabeth Parry

(1944-07-07) 7 July 1944 (age 75)
Roade, Northamptonshire, England
Political partyLabour
Neil Kinnock (m. 1967)
Alma materCardiff University

She was a Labour Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1994 to 2009. She is the wife of Neil Kinnock, who was leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992. When Neil Kinnock received a life peerage in 2005, Glenys 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 to both hold life peerages in their own right. From 2010 to 2013 she was the Opposition Spokesperson for the Department of International Development in the House of Lords.[1]

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. She is a member of the GMB, the Co-operative Party, and the NUT. She speaks Welsh, but she did not pass this heritage on to her son, Stephen Kinnock, who is married to the former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and through him she has two granddaughters and through her daughter Rachel she has a granddaughter and a grandson.

European ParliamentEdit

Kinnock represented Wales in the European Parliament from 1994 until 2009, where she was a member of the PES political group.[2] She was a Member of the European Parliament's Development and Co-operation Committee[3] and a substitute member of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs.[4] She was a co-president of the African, Caribbean and Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly from 2002–09, 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.[5] She was co-presiding over the 12th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly,[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] She was introduced to the House of Lords on the same day.[9]

She is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.[10]

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."[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]

Patron and honoursEdit

Baroness Kinnock is a Council Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.[13]

She is a patron, president or board member of a number of charitable organisations, including Womankind Worldwide,[14] Saferworld,[15] Drop the Debt,[16] EdUKaid,[17] Parliamentarians for Global Action,[18] The Burma Campaign UK,[19] International AIDS Vaccine Initiative,[20] Voluntary Service Overseas, Freedom from Torture, and Humanists UK, and is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society.[21] 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.[22]

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.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lady Kinnock profile Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 31 December 2013.
  2. ^ "The Socialist Group in the European Parliament". Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007.
  3. ^ "The European Parliament Development and Co-operation Committee".
  4. ^ "The European Parliament committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights".
  5. ^ "Politician Glenys Kinnock of Holyhead". North Wales Daily Post. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  6. ^ "The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly".
  7. ^ Private Eye 1238, page 5
  8. ^ "No. 59121". The London Gazette. 7 July 2009. p. 11621.
  9. ^ "Lords Hansard text". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  10. ^ "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  11. ^ Dale, Iain; Brivati, Brian (6 June 2009). "Top 100 most influential Left-wingers". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  12. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (12 October 2009). "Chris Bryant replaces Glenys Kinnock". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  13. ^ "The Council".
  14. ^ "Home". Womankind Worldwide. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Saferworld".
  16. ^ "Make Poverty History". Archived from the original on 23 May 2005.
  17. ^ "Home: EdUKaid".
  18. ^ "Parliamentarians for Global Action".
  19. ^ "Glenys Kinnock MEP Patron of BCUK". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  20. ^ Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Honorary Associates". Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  22. ^ "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.

External linksEdit

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

Succeeded by
Derek Vaughan
Political offices
Preceded by
Caroline Flint
Minister of State for Europe
Succeeded by
Chris Bryant
as Undersecretary of State for Europe and Asia
Preceded by
The Lord Malloch-Brown
as Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the United Nations
Minister of State for Africa and the United Nations
Succeeded by
Henry Bellingham
as Undersecretary of State for Africa and the United Nations