Maggie Jones, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

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Margaret Beryl Jones, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (born 22 May 1955) is a British trade union official and Labour politician. She was Chair of the Labour Party from 2000 to 2001.

Jones is Director of Policy and Public Affairs of the trade union UNISON. In 1979 she became a regional official of National Union of Public Employees (NUPE), which merged into UNISON. She has a background of fighting low pay and discrimination at work. She is on the boards of the charities Shelter and the Empty Homes Agency, both of which campaign for affordable housing for all, in conjunction with which she is chairperson of the Board of Directors of Circle 33 housing trust. In 2005 Jones was appointed to the board of the School Food Trust, a new public body.

Jones was born and brought up in South Wales, and was educated at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff and then the University of Sussex.[1] She now lives in Brighton.

Labour Party positions[edit]

Jones was a member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee (NEC) within the trade union section from 1993 to 2005. She was elected Chair of the Labour Party in 2000, the year the Prime Minister Tony Blair controversially appointed Charles Clarke to be the similarly named Party Chairman.[2] She was co-convener, along with Tony Blair, of the NEC Joint Policy Committee for much of her time on the NEC.

Parliamentary candidate for Blaenau Gwent[edit]

Jones was the Labour Party parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Blaenau Gwent at the 2005 general election, the safest Labour seat in Wales, and fifth safest in the UK. She was selected from a women-only shortlist imposed upon the local party;[3] subsequently eight of twelve members of the local executive resigned in protest.[4] The retiring MP Llew Smith also criticised the selection method.[5]

Peter Law, the Labour Welsh Assembly Member for the constituency, stood against her as an Independent and won with a majority of 9,121 votes, creating one of the media highlights of the election.

Peerage & Shadow Minister[edit]

Jones was nominated for a Life Peerage in 2005 by the Labour Party, according to a list leaked to The Times.[6][7][8] This leaked list eventually led to the Cash for Peerages scandal. On 10 April 2006, her nomination for a peerage was officially announced,[9] and she was gazetted as Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, of Whitchurch in the County of South Glamorgan on 5 June 2006.[10]

In June 2010 Jones joined Labour's Shadow Ministerial Team, as Shadow Education Minister and Labour's House of Lords spokeswoman on Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.


  1. ^ Martin Shipton (2005-02-17). "Controversial candidate strikes back at 'smear'". Western Mail. WalesOnline. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  2. ^ Roy Hattersley (July 26, 2001). "Blair mistook his Clarke for a chair". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-05-24. 
  3. ^ "Row as candidate elected". BBC News. 2003-12-11. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  4. ^ "Resignations over women-only shortlist". BBC News. 2003-12-12. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  5. ^ "Victorious Law attacks 'thuggery'". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  6. ^ Greg Hurst (November 8, 2005). "Sleaze row as election donors get peerages". The Times. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  7. ^ Martin Shipton (2005-11-10). "Peerage for woman who lost safest seat". Western Mail. WalesOnline. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  8. ^ "Losing candidate may become peer". BBC News. 2005-11-09. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  9. ^ "Working Life Peers List". 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 58005. p. 7857. 8 June 2006.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Vernon Hince
Chair of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Margaret Wall