About me

I have been the Labour Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands since 2006 and I’m Labour’s Leader in Europe.

In the European Parliament

I was elected as Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party in January 2009 and re-elected following the European elections in June 2009 & May 2014.


In the European Parliament I am a full member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. Responsibilities of the committee include environmental protection measures, regulating pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, and taking measures to ensure our food is safe and properly labelled.

I’m also a member of the Delegation for relations with Canada.

I am a substitute member of the Committee on Employment & Social Affairs, which is responsible for employment policies, social policy and working conditions, vocational training and the free movement of workers and pensioners. Read more about the role of an MEP here.

You can find out more about my work within the European Parliament including my Declaration of Financial Interests here

Other appointments

Member of the Labour Party National Executive Committee and also attend Shadow Cabinet.

Honorary Vice President of the Local Government Association and Vice President of the Labour Movement for Europe.

Honorary associate of the British Vetinarary association

In the European Parliament I am a member of the MEPs against Cancer Forum.

My background

I was born in 1951 in Horden, Co. Durham.

I have an HNC in medical science, specialising in Clinical Chemistry (circa 1974); an HNC specialising in Haematology (circa 1984). I worked as a Medical Scientist from 1969-1987.

I was Parliamentary Assistant to Alan Meale, MP for Mansfield 1987-1990. From 1990-2006 I worked as a trade union officer for the GMB Union in the East Midlands.

My Labour Party experience includes: Regional Board member, East Midlands Labour Party (1990-present). Two terms as Chair of Regional Labour Party, most recently 2002-2004. In the GMB Trade Union: political officer (1990-2006); organiser (1992-1995); senior organiser (1995-2006). Secretary, East Midlands Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Committee (1990-2006).

I was a County Councillor on Nottinghamshire County Council (1989-1993).

I was a Member of the TUC regional council from 1990-2004.

I’m married to Ted and live in Leicestershire.

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