Angela Mason

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Angela Mason CBE
Angela Mason, speaking at the CHE conference, 2010
Angela Mason, speaking at the CHE conference, 2010
Born Angela Margaret Weir
9 August 1944 (1944-08-09) (age 69)[1]
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire,
England
Nationality British
Ethnicity White British
Education Basingstoke High School
Alma mater Bedford College, University of London
London School of Economics
Occupation politician, activist
Years active 1960s–present
Title Director of Stonewall (1992–2002)
Chairman of The Fawcett Society (since 2007)
Successor Ben Summerskill
Political party
Labour Party
Spouse(s) William Mason (m. 1971–80)
(divorced)
Partner(s) Elizabeth Wilson
Children 1 daughter

Angela Margaret Mason[2] CBE[3] (born 9 August 1944) is a British civil servant and activist, and a former director of the UK-based lesbian, gay and bisexual lobbying organisation Stonewall. She is currently the Chair of the Fawcett Society, a UK women's rights campaigning organisation and a Labour Party councillor in Camden.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born Angela Margaret Weir in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, she grew up on the Isle of Sheppey and was educated at Basingstoke High School, Bedford College, University of London, and the London School of Economics.[citation needed] She was an early member of the Gay Liberation Front in the UK.

Terrorism charges[edit]

She was one of the Stoke Newington Eight charged with planting or sending bombs which aimed to maim or kill government Ministers, their families and Conservative Party officials. She was one of the four accused who was acquitted following a long and still controversial trial.[5] Mason still refuses to discuss the trial in interviews today.[6]

Mason was an activist in the trade union and radical movements.

Career after Angry Brigade[edit]

Mason became a lecturer at the LSE then the Principal Solicitor for the London Borough of Camden. She became a member of gay rights organisation Stonewall in 1989, becoming its director in 1992.

In government[edit]

From 2003 to 2007 she was the director of the UK government's Women and Equality Unit quango, now the Government Equalities Office, with her high salary attracting media attention.[7] Mason has also been a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission and an advisor to the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. Controversially she used her position as a senior civil servant to oppose one measure of legislative equality for gay people - protections against discrimination in the delivery of public and commercial services - in 2005 and 2006.[citation needed] She was, however, unsuccessful and the measure was passed in the Equality Act 2006. She was awarded the OBE in 1999[8] and promoted to CBE in 2007.[3]

Since 2007 she has been an advisor to IDeA, a government quango which provides guidelines and regulations for all local authorities in England on equality issues. She was also appointed as Chair of the feminist group the Fawcett Society in the same year.

In 2010, she was elected as a Labour councillor to Camden London Borough Council; she represents the borough's Cantelowes ward.[9] She served as Deputy Leader of the borough council, and cabinet member for sustainability but was dismissed from the roles in May 2011.[4] She was, however, reappointed to the Council's Cabinet the following year, and is now Cabinet Member for Children.

Personal life[edit]

Mason married scriptwriter William Mason in 1971, they divorced in 1980 with Mason retaining her married surname. She is in a Civil Partnership with Marxist academic Elizabeth Wilson and has a daughter who was conceived by artificial insemination.[6][7][10]

Later life[edit]

See also[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Tim Barnett
Director of Stonewall
1992–2002
Succeeded by
Ben Summerskill

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Researcha". Retrieved 2013-12-04. [dead link]
  2. ^ Researcha.co.uk
  3. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58557. pp. 7–8. 29 December 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Ditching of deputy leader Angela Mason sparks an F-word quarrel". Camden New Journal. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  5. ^ Martin Bright (3 February 2002). "Investigation: The Angry Brigade". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  6. ^ a b Lucy Ward and Tania Branigan (14 November 2007). "Interview: Angela Mason". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  7. ^ a b "A Labour crony is made [pounds sterling]80,000 voice of Britain's women; From anarchist bomb trial defendant to Establishment pillar. | HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared". Business.highbeam.com. 2002-11-22. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  8. ^ "Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)". BBC News (London). 12 June 1999. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Cantelowes — Camden elections 2010". .camden.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  10. ^ Bright, Martin (24 November 2002). "The Observer profile: Angela Mason". The Guardian (London). 

External links[edit]