I entered the European Parliament in 2000, following three decades of involvement in Labour politics. Since becoming an MEP I have taken a special interest in women’s issues, and act as the Labour spokesperson for women’s rights and gender equality.

I am currently a full member of the Legal Affairs Committee and a substitute member of the Culture and Education Committee. I have contributed to securing important advances, including measures to tackle child safety online and steps to broaden employment and learning opportunities for Europe’s youth. I have also worked on copyright and cultural issues, advancing the cause of creators and the creative industries.

Prior to becoming an MEP, I worked in the charity and non-governmental sector. Following a degree from Oxford University, I joined the Greater London Council, before moving on to work within the trade union movement. I subsequently took on several roles in the voluntary and charitable sector, including a senior manager for Scope, Chief Executive of Gingerbread lone parents’ charity, and serving as General Secretary of the Association of Chief Officers of Probation.

I have a long track record in London politics, having spent eight years on Barnet Borough Council as well as chairing the London Labour Party Women’s Committee. I was a founder member of the Labour Party National Policy Forum and spent three years as treasurer of Emily’s List, an organisation which helped women secure seats in Parliament.