Meg Munn

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Meg Munn
MP
Meg Munn 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Sheffield Heeley
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Bill Michie
Majority 5,807 (14.2%)
Personal details
Born (1959-08-24) 24 August 1959 (age 55)
Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour Co-operative
Spouse(s) Dennis Bates[1]
Alma mater University of Nottingham, University of York

Margaret Patricia Munn (born 24 August 1959) is a British Labour Co-operative politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley since 2001. On 24 January 2014 she advised Heeley constituency Labour party that she had decided not to seek reselection to stand at the 2015 general election.

Before Parliament[edit]

Munn went to Mundella Primary School on Mundella Place in Norton Woodseats then the comprehensive Rowlinson School on Dyche Lane in Jordanthorpe, Sheffield from 1970 to 1977,[2] (the site became Norton College Campus of Sheffield College, but the old school transferred to Meadowhead School across the road in 1988).

She studied languages at the University of York receiving a BA (Hons) in 1981, later gaining an MA in Social Work at the University of Nottingham in 1986. Munn later gained a Certificate and Diploma in Management Studies from the Open University and in 2012 became the first MP to be awarded Chartered Manager status by the Chartered Management Institute, subsequently becoming a Fellow of the Institute.

She worked as a Social Work Assistant for Berkshire County Council from 1981–84; as a Social Worker for Nottinghamshire County Council from 1986–90, becoming a Senior Social Worker from 1990–92; as a District Manager for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Social Services from 1992–96, as Child Services Manager for Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council from 1996–99; and Assistant Director of City of York Council Children's Services from 1999–2000.

She joined the Labour Party at fifteen, and was a Councillor on Nottingham City Council from 1987–91. Munn was on the Barnsley Regional Board of the Co-operative Group, the UK's largest co-operative society, and the management committee of Wortley Hall, a national co-operative conference centre. She was elected President of the 2006 Co-operative Congress[3] She is a member of USDAW and the Co-operative Party.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Munn attending the Policy Network Progressive Governance Conference 2009

Munn is Patron of Heeley City Farm, Patron of Home-Start Sheffield and Patron of Sheffield Young Carers.

As a backbencher, Munn served on the Education and Skills Select Committee 2001–03, and the Procedure Select Committee 2001–02. She was closely involved with the Adoption and Children Act 2002; changing national regulations to allow Local Authorities to register body-piercing studios; supporting small business, including co-operative and mutual enterprises; encouraging women to go into business; and House of Lord's reform. She also served as Chair of the Women's Committee of the Parliamentary Labour Party (2003–05) and Chair of the Parliamentary Co-operative Group (2004–05). She has been Vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, a Vice-Chair of the group Progress and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Voice group.

Munn served as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) at the Department for Education and Skills July 2003 to May 2005. She was Minister for Women and Equality, based at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) from May 2005 until June 2007. Munn introduced Civil Partnerships in the UK in December 2005. She was responsible for the Equality Act 2006, and involved in the Work and Families Act 2006. She established the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

On 29 June 2007, Munn was appointed as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She had responsibility for Overseas Territories, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean and Central America among other things.[4] She stood down from the government in October 2008.

She was Chair of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy October 2008 to July 2010, Vice-Chair July 2010 to October 2012. With the Foundation, Munn worked in the Middle East and North Africa, leading workshops and mentoring MPs in Egypt, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Morocco and Jordan. The Foundation was established in 1992 to promote democracy mainly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is a cross-party political organisation that provides funds, supports projects and arranges training in the nuts and bolts of establishing and keeping democratic forms of government.

Munn works with organisations such as the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, UN Women, the Kenya Women Parliamentarians’ Association (KEWOPA) and the Iraq Foundation to support democracy building in a number of countries. She has been engaged with a long-term project at the Iraqi national Parliament, with a number of MPs and parliamentary staff, including visiting and hosting delegations in Westminster.

In 2008, Munn became Chair of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), and visited the region a number of times to meet the leadership of the region and local officials, and has hosted visits from members of their regional Parliament in Westminster. On 12 March 2009, Munn met with Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region in the Houses of Parliament.[5] In an interview with Raz Jabary for SOMA Digest, Munn expressed her support of Article 140 to be carried out regarding the normalisation of Kirkuk and other Arabised areas, in accordance with the Iraqi constitution.[6]

In Westminster, she established and chairs the Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) who work with the NSPCC, and have issued three publications dealing with different pieces of legislation going through Parliament. She also writes regulally for the College of Social Work publication Social Work Matters.

Munn works with a range of organisations to encourage more women to consider careers in non-traditional areas of the economy including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and construction sectors. In April 2013, she became Patron of the Women's Engineering Society. She edited Building the future: women in construction, Smith Institute (2014) and Unlocking Potential: perspectives on women in science, engineering & technology, Smith Institute (2011).

On 3 January 2012 she met Sheffield Chamber of Commerce CEO, Richard Wright, with whom she discussed hosting of the second Global Manufacturing Festival which was scheduled for March of the same year.[7] Eight days later she met with Australian MP Graham Perrett at the House of Commons with whom she discussed protection for children.[8] On 16 January 2012 she commented on the effectiveness of the Tennis For Free program which according to her, will increase tennis participation because of it lack of charge.[9] On 17 January of the same year she met Ben Still, the strategic director of the SYPTE, with whom she discussed the introduction of high-speed rail in South Yorkshire. During the meeting, she said that it will reduce the speed to 70 minutes between Sheffield and London and it will also positively contribute to the environment by lowering greenhouse gases.[10] Three days later she raised support for the Daylight Saving Bill which she said could save lives for many drivers and pedestrians.[11]

On 12 December 2012 she visited Access Space where she toured with its founder James Wallbank who showed her his digital arts lab.[12]

On 17 December 2013 she visited Bloodhound Supersonic Car Exhibition where she commented on the importance of the project[13] and next day met Chris Cunningham at the Royal British Legion where she issued support for the British Armed Forces.[14] Two days before Christmas she have visited Royal Mail where its manager, Ilkin Jafarzade, showed her how well his employees were doing their job when it comes to mail delivery and handling. She thanked the Royal Mail and took a picture with an employee named Wayne as a gratitude for the yearly service.[15]

Munn is Chair of the Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG),[16] Chair of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq APPG, Chair of the Methodist APPG, Vice-Chair of the Women in Enterprise APPG, Vice-Chair of the Engineering and Information Technology APPG, Vice-Chair of the Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire APPG, and Vice-Chair of the Mexican APPG.

Expenses claims[edit]

On 26 May 2009, Meg Munn was criticised after it was alleged by The Daily Telegraph that her husband, who is also employed part-time as her parliamentary aid, received more than £5,000 over four years of public money claimed for by Members of the Parliamentary Labour Party, including Government Ministers, for assistance completing their personal tax forms.[17] Munn charged the taxpayer for the tax advice she received herself from her own husband. It was alleged that when she published the receipt on her website, she blacked out the portion indicating that her husband was the beneficiary of her expenses.[18] However the blacking out had been done by the House of Commons authorities, presumably in error as they only blacked out his name for one year but left the other three years alone. Munn stated none of the information available on her website had information blacked out by her or any of her staff.[19]

Labour MPs have argued that tax advice relating to their work is a legitimate expense, and the Labour Party issued a statement suggesting that "Many MPs rightly seek professional assistance and advice where this relates specifically to their role as Members of Parliament and the expense is therefore legitimate and justifiable. "The purpose of this is to ensure all tax liabilities connected with parliamentary duties are properly dealt with." Business groups expressed concerns said MPs might be being "treated differently" to other taxpayers. Saying, "If entrepreneurs sought professional tax advice, they had to pay the fee themselves and offset it against any profits on which they paid tax".[20] Munn was one of 98 MPs who voted in favour of legislation which would have kept MPs expense details secret.[21]

Personal life[edit]

She is fluent in German and French, conversational Italian and Spanish and is learning basic Arabic. Munn has been an active member of the Methodist Church for 30 years. She is married to Dennis Bates, who is also her researcher.

Publications[edit]

  • Edited Building the future: women in construction, Smith Institute (2014).
  • Seminar series on child sexual abuse, Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary Group. NSPCC (2014).
  • Making care proceedings better for children, Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary Group.NSPCC (2013).
  • Edited Unlocking Potential: perspectives on women in science, engineering & technology, Smith Institute (2011).
  • Vetting and Disclosures: Getting it right in practice, Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary Group.NSPCC (2011).
  • An essay in Making the progressive case for Israel, Labour Friends of Israel (2011).
  • President's Address to the Co-operative Congress, Co-operatives UK (2006).
  • Foreword to Diversity and the Economy, Tony Pilch, Smith Institute (2006).
  • An essay in Labour Looks to Israel, ed P.Richards, Labour Friends of Israel (2005).
  • Co-edited Family Fortunes: the New Politics of Childhood, eds Patrick Diamond, Sunder Katwala & Meg Munn, Fabian Society (2004)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/110124/part2.htm
  2. ^ "Meg Munn MP Official site". Archived from the original on 8 June 2002. Retrieved 31 January 2007. 
  3. ^ "Congress Presidents 1869–2002" (PDF). February 2002. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  4. ^ Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Megg Munn MP Profile
  5. ^ "Meeting the Kurdistan President". 13 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "Focus on Awareness". SOMA Digest. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Supporting Sheffield business and manufacturing". 3 January 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sharing Australian and UK child protection experience". 11 January 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Increasing tennis participation with Tennis For Free". 16 January 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Bringing High Speed Rail to Sheffield". 17 January 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Changing the clocks could save lives". 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Creative answers at Access Space". 12 December 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Supersonic engineers". 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Supporting our armed forces community". 18 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Christmas cheer at Royal Mail sorting office". 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Meg Munn". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Winnett, Robert; Hope, Christopher; Watt, Holly (25 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Dennis Bates, husband of MP Meg Munn, paid for tax advice by ministers". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "Key details: MP expenses claims". BBC News. 19 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  19. ^ "Further Information on My Parliamentary Expenses for Constituents". 4 June 2009. 
  20. ^ "No 10 defends ministers over tax". BBC News. 27 May 2009. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "How your MP voted on the FOI Bill". The Times (London). 20 May 2007. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Bill Michie
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley
2001–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Tessa Jowell
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Women and Equality), Minister for Equality
2005-2007
Succeeded by
Barbara Follett
Preceded by
Elizabeth Symons
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
2007-2008
Succeeded by
Gillian Merron