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Unsung Labour Heroines

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Committee Room 15

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

United Kingdom

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Unsung Labour Heroines

The Labour Party’s history has been shaped by many remarkable and talented individuals whose names have become legendary. Yet as time passes, some who played prominent roles in the party’s history have been in danger of being forgotten.

At this meeting we will remember three Labour women who made significant contributions to the postwar Labour Party, but whose names are not well known today. We are delighted to be joined by prominent Labour women in their own right who will talk about their predecessors:

  • Rachel Reeves on Alice Bacon
  • Helen Liddell on Peggy Herbison
  • Joyce Gould on Sara Barker
  • Chair: Anna Turley

Speakers and their subjects:

  • Rachel Reeves MP has been Labour MP for Leeds West since 2010. Previously an economist at the Bank of England, she was Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2011–13 and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2013–15. She has recently published ‘Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon’ (IB Tauris, 2016).

speaks on

  • Alice Bacon, Baroness Bacon CBE (1909-93): Labour MP for Leeds North East 1945-55, Leeds South East 1955-70; a minister at the Home Office and then Education 1964-70; a member of the Labour Party NEC 1941-70, serving as Chair in 1950-51.


  • Helen Liddell, Rt Hon Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, was Labour MP for Monklands East 1994-97, Airdrie and Shotts 1997-2005. General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party 1977-88, she was a minister at the Treasury, the Scottish Office, Transport, Trade and Industry 1997-2001, Secretary of State for Scotland 2001-03, and High Commissioner to Australia 2005-09.

speaks on

  • Rt Hon Peggy Herbison (1907-96): Labour MP for North Lanarkshire 1945-70; continuously on the frontbench 1950-67, she was a minister at the Scottish Office 1950-51, at Pensions and National insurance 1964-66 and at Social Security 1966-67; a member of the Labour Party NEC 1948-60, 1961-68, serving as Chair 1956-57



  • Joyce Gould, Baroness Gould of Potternewton, worked as a full-time member of Labour Party staff for 24 years, as Assistant Regional Organiser and Women’s Officer for Yorkshire 1969-75, Assistant National Agent and Chief Women’s Officer 1975-85 and Director of Organisation 1985-93. Created a peer in 1993, she was a Government whip 1997-98. Last year she published her memoirs, ‘The Witchfinder General: A Political Odyssey’ (Biteback, 2016).

speaks on

  • Dame Sara Barker DBE (1904-73): Secretary and Agent to Halifax Labour Party 1935–42, Woman Organiser of the Yorkshire Labour Party 1942–52, Assistant National Agent 1952–60, Senior Assistant National Agent and Chief Women’s Officer 1960–62, National Agent 1962–69, Acting General Secretary 1968.


Chair: Anna Turley MP has been Labour MP for Redcar since 2015. A former civil servant, she was Special Adviser to David Blunkett in 2005 and to Hilary Armstrong 2006-07, before becoming Deputy Director of the New Local Government Network 2007-10.

Date: 6.30pm, Monday 24th April 2017

Venue: Committee Room 15, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA (please allow at least 15 minutes for security)

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Committee Room 15

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

United Kingdom

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