Maria Eagle

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Maria Eagle

Official portrait of Maria Eagle MP crop 2.jpg
Eagle in 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
5 January 2016 – 27 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byMichael Dugher
Succeeded byKelvin Hopkins
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
14 September 2015 – 5 January 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byVernon Coaker
Succeeded byEmily Thornberry
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
7 October 2013 – 14 September 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded byMary Creagh
Succeeded byKerry McCarthy
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
8 October 2010 – 7 October 2013
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded bySadiq Khan
Succeeded byMary Creagh
Shadow Solicitor General for England and Wales
In office
11 May 2010 – 8 October 2010
LeaderHarriet Harman (Acting)
Ed Miliband
Preceded byJonathan Djanogly
Succeeded byCatherine McKinnell
Minister of State for Justice and Equalities[1]
In office
2 July 2007 – 6 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byGerry Sutcliffe
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children in Northern Ireland
In office
6 May 2006 – 28 June 2007
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJeff Rooker
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children
In office
17 June 2005 – 6 May 2006
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byMargaret Hodge
Succeeded byBeverley Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Disabled People
In office
11 June 2001 – 17 June 2005
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byMargaret Hodge
Succeeded byAnne McGuire
Member of Parliament
for Garston and Halewood
Liverpool Garston (1997–2010)
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded byEddie Loyden
Majority31,624 (59.3%)
Personal details
Born (1961-02-17) 17 February 1961 (age 59)
Bridlington, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materPembroke College, Oxford
University of Law

Maria Eagle (born 17 February 1961) is a British Labour Party politician who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Garston and Halewood, previously Liverpool Garston, since 1997. She was Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice and Government Equalities Office in Gordon Brown's government. She was previously a junior minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education and Skills and Northern Ireland Office.

After the 2010 general election, Eagle became Shadow Solicitor General for England and Wales. She served in the Shadow Cabinets of Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence and finally Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She resigned from the Shadow Cabinet in June 2016. Eagle is the twin sister of fellow Labour MP Angela Eagle.

Early life and career[edit]

Eagle was born in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire,[2] the daughter of Shirley (Kirk), a factory worker, and André Eagle, a print worker.[3][4] She was educated at St Peter's Church of England School in Formby and Formby High School before attending Pembroke College, Oxford, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1983.[5]

Eagle worked in the voluntary sector from 1983 to 1990, and then went to the College of Law, London, where she took her law finals in 1990, before she joined Brian Thompson & Partners in Liverpool as an articled clerk in 1990. In 1992 she became a solicitor with Goldsmith Williams in Liverpool, and later a Solicitor at Stephen Irving & Co also in Liverpool, where she remained until her election to Westminster.[5]

Political career[edit]

Early political life and election[edit]

After joining the Labour Party, Eagle was elected the secretary of the Crosby Constituency Labour Party (CLP) for two years in 1983,[6] and was also elected as the campaigns organiser with that CLP for three years in 1993.[6] She contested the Crosby seat at the 1992 general election[6] where she lost to the sitting Conservative MP Malcolm Thornton by 14,806 votes.[7]

Prior to the general election in 1997, Eagle was selected through an all-women shortlist to stand for Labour in Garston, Merseyside.[8][9] She was elected to the House of Commons with a majority of 18,417 and remains an MP, now for Garston and Halewood, following boundary changes in 2010.[6]

Backbencher[edit]

Eagle made her maiden speech on 17 June 1997.[10] She became a member of the Public Accounts Committee and in 1999 she was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Department of Health, John Hutton. Her proposed ban on mink fur farming was defeated as a Private Member's Bill but subsequently picked up by the government and enacted as the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000.[11]

Government minister[edit]

Eagle as a government minister

Eagle was promoted to the Tony Blair government following the 2001 general election as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions. After the 2005 general election, she was the Minister for Children at the Department for Education and Skills, until the May 2006 reshuffle moved her to Northern Ireland, where she was minister for Employment and Learning. She was moved to the Ministry of Justice when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007. In September 2008, she was nominated for Stonewall Politician of the Year for her work to support equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.[12] As part of the government reshuffle in October 2008, she assumed additional responsibility for Equalities. In the June 2009 reshuffle, she was promoted to Minister of State.[6] In 2010, she was given a score of 93% in favour of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality by Stonewall.[13]

Expenses controversy[edit]

On 17 May 2009 The Daily Telegraph revealed that Eagle had claimed £3,500 for the refurbishment of the bathroom of her Liverpool home property, then switched her second home designation to a different property four months later. Eagle voted in favour of legislation which would have kept MPs' expenses information secret.[14]

In opposition[edit]

After Labour lost the 2010 general election, Eagle served in interim Labour leader Harriet Harman's frontbench as Shadow Solicitor General for England and Wales and Shadow Justice Minister.[6][15][16] In October 2010 Eagle was elected to the Shadow Cabinet of new Labour Party leader Ed Miliband as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport in the Labour Party Shadow Cabinet election.[17] In February 2013, she voted in favour in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain.[18]

Eagle was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Defence in September 2015 by the newly elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.[19][20] Eagle said she was surprised by her appointment as she had disagreed with Corbyn's advocacy of unilateral nuclear disarmament and supported the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system.[21] Tasked with leading Labour's defence review, she said she would not rule out the possibility of it recommending unilateral disarmament.[21] However, she described Corbyn commenting he would not countenance using a nuclear deterrent as "unhelpful" to the policy process.[22]

In January 2016, Eagle was moved to the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.[23] She resigned from the shadow cabinet on 27 June 2016 in the mass resignation of the Shadow Cabinet following the Brexit referendum.[24] She supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party leadership election.[25]

Eagle in 2017

Eagle was re-elected in the 2017 and 2019 general elections.[26][27] She is a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Following her initial election, Eagle joined her twin sister Angela in Parliament.[n 1] Maria describes herself as "the straight one", while Angela is a lesbian.[30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ They are sometimes incorrectly described as the first set of twins to sit in the Commons at the same time;[21] in fact the first set of twins is believed to have been James and Richard Grenville, who sat together for Buckingham between 1774 and 1780.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (2007–09)
  2. ^ "The Biography of Angela Eagle". Angela Eagle. 2008. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  4. ^ McDougall, L.; McDougall, Linda (31 January 2012). Westminster Women. Random House. ISBN 9781448130498. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2016 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b Dod's Parliamentary Companion. Vacher Dod Publishing. 2005. p. 153.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Biography – Maria Eagle UK Parliament
  7. ^ "UK General election results April 9th 1992 [Archive]". www.politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2006. Retrieved 4 February 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Rentoul, John; Ward, Stephen; MacIntyre, Donald (9 January 1996). "Labour blow as all-women lists outlawed". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  10. ^ Hansard Debates for 17 June 1997 Archived 27 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine UK Parliament
  11. ^ "Maria Eagle: Political Profile". BBC. 21 October 2002. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  12. ^ Shaw, Milly (23 September 2008). "Stonewall Awards shortlist announced". Lesbilicious. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Stonewall MP Voting Records 2010 (Voting on key gay equality issues in Parliament, 2005 to date" (PDF). p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  14. ^ Sawer, Patrick (17 May 2009). "Maria Eagle: bathroom renovated on expenses before flat was 'flipped'". Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  15. ^ Thornberry among new Labour front benchers Archived 9 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine ePolitix.com, 28 May 2010
  16. ^ Opposition Front Bench Archived 5 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine Labour Party
  17. ^ Cooper tops shadow cabinet vote Archived 7 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine BBC News, 7 October 2010
  18. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 05 Feb 2013 (pt 0004)". 5 Feb 2013 : Column 231. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  19. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn announces new Shadow Cabinet appointments". Labour Press. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn shadow Cabinet live: Labour leader under fire after ignoring women for top jobs". 14 Sept. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  21. ^ a b c Eaton, George (14 October 2015). "Maria Eagle on nuclear disarmament: "I'm not ruling it out"". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  22. ^ Dathan, Matt (30 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn's ability to become Prime Minister questioned by shadow defence secretary". Independent. Archived from the original on 3 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  23. ^ Mason, Rowena; Perraudin, Frances (6 January 2016). "Labour reshuffle: Thornberry replaces Eagle for defence, McFadden sacked and Benn stays". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  24. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Election results for Garston & Halewood Constituency, 8 June 2017". Liverpool City Council. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2020.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ "Garston & Halewood parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  28. ^ "LFI Supporters In Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  29. ^ Farrell, Stephen. "Twins in Parliament: the Grenvilles and Buckingham Borough, 1774". The History of Parliament Online. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Interview: Maria Eagle defends homophobic incitement law". Archived from the original on 26 March 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2016.

Publications[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Loyden
Member of Parliament
for Liverpool Garston

19972010
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Garston and Halewood

2010–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Hodge
Minister for Disabled People
2001–2005
Succeeded by
Anne McGuire
Minister for Children and Families
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Beverley Hughes
Preceded by
Jeff Rooker
Minister for Children in Northern Ireland
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Gerry Sutcliffe
Minister for Justice and Equalities
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Jonathan Djanogly
Shadow Solicitor General for England and Wales
2010
Succeeded by
Catherine McKinnell
Preceded by
Sadiq Khan
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
2010–2013
Succeeded by
Mary Creagh
Preceded by
Mary Creagh
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2013–2015
Succeeded by
Kerry McCarthy
Preceded by
Vernon Coaker
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Emily Thornberry
Preceded by
Michael Dugher
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
2016
Succeeded by
Kelvin Hopkins