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Joan Lestor, Baroness Lestor of Eccles (13 November 1931 – 27 March 1998) was a British Labour politician.
The Baroness Lestor of Eccles
|Shadow Minister for Overseas Development|
20 October 1994 – 25 July 1996
|Preceded by||Tom Clarke|
|Succeeded by||Clare Short|
|Shadow Spokesperson for Children and Families|
2 November 1989 – 20 October 1994
|Chair of the Labour Party|
7 October 1977 – 6 October 1978
|Preceded by||John Chalmers|
|Succeeded by||Frank Allaun|
|Member of Parliament |
11 June 1987 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Lewis Carter-Jones|
|Succeeded by||Ian Stewart|
|Member of Parliament |
for Eton and Slough
31 March 1966 – 9 June 1983
|Preceded by||Anthony Meyer|
|Succeeded by||Constituency Abolished|
|Born||13 November 1931|
|Died||27 March 1998 (aged 66)|
|Alma mater||University of London|
Lestor was educated at Blaenavon Secondary School, Monmouth; William Morris High School, Walthamstow and the University of London. She became a nursery school teacher and a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, but resigned from the latter over the Turner Controversy. She became a councillor in 1958 on the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth and later the London Borough of Wandsworth. She served on London County Council, losing in Lewisham West at the 1961 election, but winning a by-election to represent Wandsworth Central from 1962 until 1964.
She was briefly a junior minister from 1969–70 with responsibility for nursery education. In March 1974 she became the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and in June 1975 moved back to Education as Under-Secretary of State, for Education and Science. In March 1976 she resigned over cuts.
Lestor was one of the founding editors of anti-fascist monthly, Searchlight, though that magazine had only a tenuous connection to the current publication.
After boundary changes in 1983, Lestor contested the new constituency of Slough but was defeated by the Conservative candidate John Watts. Neil Kinnock, who became leader of the Labour Party shortly after the election said he was "heartbroken" by Lestor's defeat. Lestor blamed the SDP for her defeat. No longer an MP, Lestor worked for the World Development Movement, campaigning for child welfare and setting up a unit to investigate child abuse, including sexual abuse, an area neglected by mainstream politicians at the time.
She was returned for Eccles in 1987, and held this seat until 1997. She served in the shadow cabinet between 1989 and 1996 firstly as Shadow Spokesperson for Children and Families and subsequently as Shadow Minister for Overseas Development. She resigned on 25 July 1996 after announcing that she was not seeking re-election at the next election.
House of LordsEdit
- "Home before midnight. Thatcher strolls back to Number 10". Glasgow Herald. 10 June 1983. Retrieved 25 February 2017 – via Google News.
- Reid, Harry (10 June 1983). "Benn ousted after 33 years". Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 25 February 2017 – via Google News.
- Jad Adams, ‘Lestor, Joan, Baroness Lestor of Eccles (1927–1998)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
- "No. 54793". The London Gazette. 13 June 1997. p. 6907.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Joan Lestor
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Eton and Slough
| Member of Parliament for Eccles
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Labour Party
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