|Born||9 September 1931|
|Spouse(s)||John Ryman 1957–1971 (divorced)|
|Alma mater||Somerville College, Oxford|
Summerskill was educated at St Paul's Girls' School and Somerville College, Oxford, and trained as a doctor at St. Thomas's Hospital. She was a member of the executives of the Socialist Medical Association and of the Medical Practitioners' Union.
After unsuccessfully contesting the Blackpool North by-election, 1962, Summerskill was elected as Member of Parliament for Halifax in the 1964 general election. After being a Labour shadow minister for Health from 1970 to 1974, she served as a junior minister in the Home Office throughout the 1974–79 Labour government, under two Home Secretaries, Roy Jenkins and Merlyn Rees. In 1980 she was interviewed by the BBC's Panorama current affairs program about Britain's preparations for a nuclear attack.
When Labour returned to opposition after the Conservative victory in the 1979 general election, Summerskill became an opposition spokesperson on Home Affairs. She lost her seat in the 1983 general election to the Conservative Roy Galley.
- "Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics: Women elected in the 1960s". qub.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
- The New York Times Biographical Service. 6. New York Times & Arno Press. 1975. ISSN 0161-2433. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Shirley Summerskill
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Halifax
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