Beverley Hughes

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Hughes of Stretford
PC
Beverley Hughes 3.jpg
Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families
In office
5 May 2005 – 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded by Maria Eagle (Undersecretary of State for Children and Families)
Succeeded by Dawn Primarolo
Minister of State for Immigration, Citizenship and Counter-Terrorism
In office
29 May 2002 – 1 April 2004
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by The Lord Rooker (Asylum and Immigration)
Succeeded by Des Browne
Member of Parliament
for Stretford and Urmston
In office
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Kate Green
Personal details
Born (1950-03-30) 30 March 1950 (age 64)
Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Thomas McDonald
Alma mater University of Manchester
University of Liverpool
Profession Academic
Website bevhughes.co.uk

Beverley June Hughes, Baroness Hughes of Stretford PC (born 30 March 1950) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stretford and Urmston from 1997 to 2010. In 2004, she was appointed to the Privy Council. From 2005 to 2009, she served in the Government as the Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Beverley Hughes was born in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire in 1950 and was educated at Ellesmere Port Girls' Grammar School (now called The Whitby High School) on Sycamore Drive in Whitby, Ellesmere Port. She moved to Flixton in 1976, and has lived there ever since.

Hughes studied for a BSc in Social Science at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1971. After graduation she continued her studies at the University of Manchester, carrying out postgraduate research into the care of people with schizophrenia, for which she was awarded a Master of Science degree in 1978. She also gained a Diploma in Applied Social Studies in 1974 from the University of Liverpool. She worked as a probation officer in Merseyside from 1971-6.

From 1976 - 1997 Hughes worked first as a research associate, then lecturer (from 1981) and then a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Policy at the University of Manchester, a department that she became the head of in 1994.

Political career[edit]

Hughes' political career began with election to Trafford Borough Council in 1986. She established herself, and was appointed leader of the council's Labour Group in 1992. She became Trafford Borough Council Leader in 1995 until her election to the UK Parliament in the 1997 general election.

From June 1997 to July 1998 she was a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, until she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Hilary Armstrong, Minister for Local Government and Housing. In July 1999 she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

In 2001 she was appointed the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prisons and Probation in the Home Office.

In July 2001 she received significant ridicule and criticism in the media after it was revealed that along with other politicians she had repeatedly denounced an edition of the Channel 4 television show Brass Eye as being "unbelievably sick", but then subsequently admitting that she'd never seen it and refused to ever watch it.[2] The programme was in fact parodying hysteria surrounding the issue of paedophilia and the media, thus commentators suggested that extreme reactions such as those by Hughes had in fact emphasised the need for such programming. Sir Paul Fox criticised Hughes and her colleagues suggesting they "have to have the courtesy to have seen the programme before they go in at the deep end",[3] with Christopher Howse even more critical, suggesting "it was as if paedophilia were sacred and not to be blasphemed against" and that the idiocy of Hughes' performance on the affair was "hard to beat".[4]

In 2002 Hughes was appointed Minister of State for Immigration, Citizenship and Counter Terrorism, but was forced to resign in April 2004 when it was shown that she had been informed of procedural improprieties concerning the granting of visas to certain categories of workers from Eastern Europe - she had earlier told the House of Commons that if she had been aware of such facts she would have done something about it.[5]

Upon resignation, she made clear that she had not set out to "intentionally mislead anyone", but she could not "in conscience continue to serve as immigration minister". The prime minister replaced Hughes with Work and Pensions Minister Des Browne.

She was re-appointed into government after the 2005 general election as the Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families in the Department for Education and Skills. Following Gordon Brown being appointed as Prime Minister, Beverley Hughes was promoted to Cabinet Minister rather than Government Minister. Beverley Hughes became the Regional Minister for the North West as of 19 July 2007.[6]

On 2 June 2009, Hughes announced she was resigning her ministerial position of Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families within that week following the Local and European elections with a cabinet reshuffle anticipated. She stood down at the 2010 General Election for "personal reasons" and specifically denied that she was standing down due to the ongoing expenses scandal.[7] She was made a life peer on 15 July 2010 taking the title Baroness Hughes of Stretford, of Ellesmere Port in the County of Cheshire.[8]

Personal life[edit]

She married Thomas McDonald in 1973 in West Cheshire and has three grown up children - one son and two daughters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bev Hughes — About Me
  2. ^ Mp, Labour (16 October 2002). "Beverley Hughes". BBC News. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Morris, Nigel (31 July 2001). "'Brass Eye': Ministers say no plan to interfere". The Independent (London). Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Howse, Christopher (31 July 2001). "Meddling ministers who can't tell satire from voyeurism". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Mp, Labour (2002-10-16). "Beverley Hughes". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  6. ^ Number 10 — Minister for the North West
  7. ^ "Beverley Hughes to stand down as MP at general election". London: The Daily Telegraph. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59493. p. 13809. 20 July 2010.

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New creation Member of Parliament for Stretford and Urmston
19972010
Succeeded by
Kate Green
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Rooker
as Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration
Minister of State for Immigration, Citizenship and Counter-Terrorism
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Des Browne
Preceded by
Maria Eagle
as Undersecretary of State for Children and Families
Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Dawn Primarolo