I was elected as the Assembly Member for Cardiff North on May 5th 2011 with a majority
of 1,782. After a great team effort, I won the seat with 16,384 votes – more votes
than for any other candidate in Wales. I am now serving on three Welsh Assembly committees:
Environment and Sustainability, Finance, and Public Accounts. From May 2011 until
April 2013, I served on the Children and Young People Committee. I am also Chair
of several Cross-Party Groups in the Assembly, including the Cross-Party Groups on
Cancer, Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, Children, Gypsies and Travellers, and
Prior to serving in the Welsh Assembly, I was an MP. I was elected as Labour Member
of Parliament for Cardiff North on 1st May 1997 and served until May 2010 when I
lost by only 194 votes. At the time of my election in 1997, I was the first woman
MP to represent a part of Cardiff. I was also, at that time, one of four Welsh Labour
MPs who were women. I originally contested the seat in 1992 and I was returned at
the General Elections in both 2001 and 2005.
I was born in Cardiff and educated at
Dinas Powys Primary School and Howell's School in Cardiff. I studied at King's College,
London, where I took my BA in English in 1965. I also studied at Manchester University
and hold a postgraduate diploma in Social Administration (CQSW) from Cardiff University.
Before I became an MP, I was a social worker with Barry Social Services, and an Assistant
Director of Barnardo's. I sat on South Glamorgan Council between 1985 and 1997 and
was a Cardiff Councillor from 1995.
During my time in the House of Commons, I was
a member of the Justice, Welsh Affairs, and Public Administration Select Committees,
of the Welsh Group of Labour MPs and of the Parliamentary Labour Party's Women's
Group. I was chair of several groups - the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for
Children in Wales, working with children’s voluntary groups across Wales, the APPG
for Gypsy and Traveller Law Reform, and the APPG for Sex Equality (working with the
Equality and Human Rights Commission). I was also co-chair of the APPG on Global
TB. During my time as an MP, I presented three Private Member's Bills -- one on banning
smoking in public places, one on granting votes at 16, and most recently, one on
preventing under-18s from using sunbeds. The latter became law in 2010.
I am a member of the Unite union and was a founder member of the Welsh Refugee Council.
I was also a founder member of the Women's Arts Association. I am a patron of the
Touch Trust, Advocacy Matters, Pontyclun Bosom Pals, and the Policy Forum for Wales,
a trustee of Life for African Mothers, and Vice President of George Thomas Hospice.
I am an Affiliate Member of the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and
Young People at Swansea University.
To read my profile from The House Magazine, click here.
To find out more about the CHARITIES I am involved with, click here.