Gillian Merron

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Gillian Merron
Gillian Merron, September 2009 5 cropped.jpg
Minister of State for Public Health
In office
8 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Dawn Primarolo
Succeeded by Anne Milton (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign Office
In office
5 October 2008 – 8 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Meg Munn
Succeeded by Chris Bryant
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development
In office
24 January 2008 – 5 October 2008
Preceded by Shriti Vadera
Succeeded by Ivan Lewis
Minister for the East Midlands
In office
28 June 2007 – 24 January 2008
Preceded by New Post
Succeeded by Phil Hope
Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet Office
In office
28 June 2007 – 24 January 2008
Preceded by Pat McFadden
Succeeded by Tom Watson
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
In office
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
October 2002 – May 2006
Member of Parliament
for Lincoln
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Kenneth Carlisle
Succeeded by Karl McCartney
Majority 4,613 (12.5%)
Personal details
Born (1959-04-12) 12 April 1959 (age 57)
Ilford, Essex
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Lancaster

Gillian Joanna Merron (born 12 April 1959) was a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Lincoln from 1997 to 2010, when she lost her seat. From 2009 to 2010 she was Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health at the Department of Health.

Personal life[edit]

Merron was born in Ilford, Essex to a Jewish family, and was educated at Wanstead High School in Wanstead in east London. She went on to attend Lancaster University Management School, gaining a BSc (Hons) in Management Sciences. She worked as a local government officer, and a UNISON and NUPE union official.

Merron joined the Labour Party in 1984. Before becoming an MP, Merron was the vice 'chair' for the regional Labour Party executive.[1] She co-ordinated the shadow cabinet central region campaign in the 1992 general election and the 1994 European Parliamentary Election.[citation needed]

Since leaving Parliament, following her defeat in the 2010 general election, Merron has become Chair of Bus Users UK[2] formerly known as The National Federation of Bus Users.[3]


Merron was made a prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) through an all-women shortlist,[4] and was elected to the House of Commons in May 1997 with a majority of 11,130. From 1997 until 2007, when Quentin Davies defected to the Labour Party, she was Lincolnshire's only Labour MP - and the first since Margaret Beckett had the seat in 1979. In the 2005 general election, her majority was 4,613. She lost her seat to the Conservative candidate Karl McCartney in the 2010 general election.

From October 2002 until May 2006, she was a government whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury. She then moved to the Department for Transport, where she worked until the reshuffle on 29 June 2007, when she became a minister at the Cabinet Office and the first ever minister of the East Midlands.[citation needed]

Following Peter Hain's resignation on 24 January 2008, Merron was reshuffled again, becoming a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for International Development, leaving both of her previous roles. Following Gordon Brown's next reshuffle on 5 October 2008, Merron was moved to the Foreign Office in the same post, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. A promotion to Minister of State soon followed, with Merron moving to the Department of Health to take on responsibility for Public Health.[citation needed]

Merron followed the party line in votes on equal gay rights, the hunting ban, foundation hospitals, a ban on smoking in public places, the Iraq war, 'laws to stop climate change', and The Digital Economy Bill.[5]

She held the following positions:

  • July 1998-July 1999 - Parliamentary Private Secretary to Doug Henderson as Minister of State for the Armed Forces
  • July 1999-June 2001 - Parliamentary Private Secretary to Baroness Symons as Minister of State for Defence Procurement
  • June 2001-October 2002 - Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Reid as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • October 2002-December 2004 - Assistant Government Whip
  • December 2004-May 2006 - Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury & Government Whip
  • May 2006-June 2007 - Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport
  • June 2007-January 2008 - Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Cabinet Office
  • January 2008-October 2008 - Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development
  • October 2008-June 2009 - Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • June 2009– May 2010 - Minister of State for Public Health

Post-Parliamentary career[edit]

In May 2014, it was reported that Merron was appointed as the Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.[6]


Merron MP's expense claims have always been higher than average.[7] She is one of 98 MPs who voted to support Conservative MP David Maclean's bill to keep their expenses and correspondence secret.[8][9]

Total expenses claimed
Year Total Expenses Ranking out of
2001/02 £ 94,459 joint 178th 657
2002/03 £123,954 87th 657
2003/04 £136,706 55th 658
2004/05 £139,854 64th 659
2005/06 £133,480 - -
2006/07 £144,914 176th 645
2007/08 £155,972 172nd 645

On 19 June 2009, MP's expenses were revealed (heavily edited) on the Internet. Merron received criticism for purchasing a television, television stand, home theatre kit, and numerous other goods.[10] She claimed "The majority of claims I make directly pay for professional staff, office costs, communication with constituents, and travel. I do not have a second job, do not employ any family members or friends, nor have I taken the annual increase in ministerial salary."[11]

In the aftermath of the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal, Sir Thomas Legg recommended that Gillian Merron repay £6,305.17. [12]


  1. ^ Gillian Merron MP - Working for Lincoln - About Your MP
  2. ^ "New Chair for Bus Users UK". Bus Users UK website. Shepperton, Middlesex: Bus Users UK. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012. [Gillian Merron] is now a strategic advisor to the transport industry and will be bringing new strategic direction to Bus Users UK. ,
  3. ^ As of 23 April 2012 the name "Bus Users UK" appears on the official register of companies.
  4. ^ Rentoul, John; Stephen Ward; Donald MacIntyre (9 January 1996). "Labour blow as all-women lists outlawed". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Gillian Merron MP, Lincoln (
  6. ^ Board of Deputies new chief executive revealed, Jewish Chronicle, 7 May 2014
  7. ^ "Gillian Merron MP". TheyWorkForYou. mySociety is a project of UK Citizens Online Democracy (UKCOD). UKCOD is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1076346. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  8. ^ "How your MP voted on the FOI Bill". The Times. London. 20 May 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Policy #996: "Transparency of Parliament" — The Public Whip
  10. ^ 'I will do what I always do, my best for Lincoln'
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Expenses: The MPs paying over £1K". 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Kenneth Carlisle
Member of Parliament for Lincoln
Succeeded by
Karl McCartney
Preceded by
Pat McFadden
Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet Office
Succeeded by
Tom Watson
New office Minister for the East Midlands
Succeeded by
Phil Hope
Preceded by
Shriti Vadera
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development
24 January 2008 – 5 October 2008
Succeeded by
Ivan Lewis
Preceded by
Meg Munn
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
5 October 2008 – 8 June 2009
Succeeded by
Chris Bryant
Preceded by
Dawn Primarolo
Minister of State for Public Health
8 June 2009 – 12 April 2010
Succeeded by
Anne Milton