Claire Curtis-Thomas

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Claire Curtis-Thomas
Member of Parliament
for Crosby
In office
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Malcolm Thornton
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1958-04-30) 30 April 1958 (age 56)
Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Michael Lewis Jakub
Alma mater Cardiff University, Aston University, Staffordshire University

Claire Curtis-Thomas (born 30 April 1958) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Crosby from 1997 to 2010.

Early life[edit]

Born in Neath, she was educated at the Mynyddbach Comprehensive School for Girls (since September 2001 known as Daniel James Community School after merging with the Penlan Boys School) on Heol Ddu, Treboeth, Swansea, and studied at University College, Cardiff where she was awarded a BSc degree in mechanical engineering, and at Aston University, where she obtained a MBA. She was awarded an honorary PhD in Technology in 1999.

She became a researcher at University College of Wales in Cardiff in 1984, before joining Shell Chemicals, initially as a site mechanical engineer, moving internally in 1988 as the Head of UK Supply and Distribution, and after 1990 was head of environmental strategy until leaving Shell in 1992. She became research head and development laboratory at with the Birmingham City Council in 1992, before moving internally to be the strategy and business planning head in 1993, leaving the council in 1995. In 1996 she was appointed as a Business and Engineering Dean at the University of Wales, Newport, and remained there until the following year, when she was elected to Westminster. She was elected as a councillor to the Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council in 1995, stepping down in 1997. Also in 1995, she was elected the secretary of the Eddisbury Constituency Labour Party.

Parliamentary career[edit]

She was elected to the House of Commons at her first attempt at the 1997 general election for the parliamentary constituency of Crosby. She defeated the sitting Conservative MP Malcolm Thornton by 7,182 votes, although her majority declined in the 2005 general election, standing at 5,840, holding approximately 48% of the vote in her constituency. She made her maiden speech, during a debate on the adjournment which she secured on the subject of engineering, on 31 July 1997.[1]

On being elected to parliament she changed her name to Claire Curtis-Thomas, which was a combination of her mother's maiden name of 'Curtis' and her mother's second husband's surname, 'Thomas'). After her election she became a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, on which she sat for the entirety of her first parliament. In 2003 she became a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and after the 2005 General Election she has been a member of the Trade and Industry Committee.

In 2003/2004, she had the highest expenses of any politician in Parliament, and was second highest in 2002/2003. For instance, she records very high postage bills. She was one of the few engineers in Parliament, and started an all-party parliamentary group Women in Science, Engineering and Design (WISED).

She was also involved with the Waterloo Partnership, a charity based in her constituency which raises money for Waterloo, Sierra Leone.

In June 2006, she introduced the Regulation of Sale and Display of Sexually Explicit Material Bill to stop newsagents selling certain men's magazines. Because of a lack of parliamentary time, it never became law.

Her Crosby constituency disappeared under constituency boundary changes and was succeeded by Sefton Central, which is a Labour/Conservative marginal and was won by Labour in the general election.

On 7 October 2009, Curtis-Thomas announced her decision to stand down at the 2010 general election.

Personal life[edit]

She married Colin Twiss in 1976 in Swansea Guildhall and was divorced 6 years later in 1982 during this period she was known as Claire Curtis Twiss. Claire went on to marry Philip Tansley in December 1984 in South Glamorgan, she was then divorced in 1995. She married Michael Louis Jakub in December 1996 in Cheshire; they have a son together and two daughters (from her previous marriage to Philip Huw Tansley).

Curtis-Thomas stood for the 1997 election as Claire Curtis-Tansley.

She was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic faith in November 2003.

External link[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Malcolm Thornton
Member of Parliament for Crosby
1997–2010
Constituency abolished