Meg Munn

Meg Munn MP
Munn attending the Policy Network Progressive Governance Conference 2009
Member of Parliament
for Sheffield Heeley
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Bill Michie
Majority 5,807 (14.2%)
Personal details
Born 24 August 1959 (1959-08-24) (age 52)
Sheffield, 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.

Contents

Early life

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 followed by a Certificate and Diploma in Management Studies from the Open University.

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.

Parliamentary career

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 and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Voice group.

Munn served as Team Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) at the Department for Education and Skills July 2003 to February 2004, then as PPS to Margaret Hodge, the Minister for Children, from February 2004 to May 2005. Munn 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.

From October 2008 to July 2010 Munn was Chair of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and subsequently elected Vice-Chair July 2010 onwards. 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 is Chair of the Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Chair of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq APPG, Chair of the Methodist APPG, Vice-Chair of the Women in Enterprise APPG, Vice-Chair of the Engineering and Information Technology APPG, and Vice-Chair of the Mexican APPG. On Thursday 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] Munn has been a Vice-Chair of the group Progress.[7]

Expenses claims

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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".[11] Munn was one of 98 MPs who voted in favour of legislation which would have kept MPs expense details secret.[12]

Personal life

She is fluent in German, French and conversational Italian and Spanish. Munn has been an active member of the Methodist Church for 30 years. She is married to Dennis Bates, who is also her researcher, and employs her sister-in-law as an assistant in her constituency.[13]

Publications

  • Vetting and Disclosures: Getting it right in practice, Child Protection All-Party Parliamentary Group.NSPCC (2011).
  • Edited Unlocking Potential: perspectives on women in science, engineering & technology, Smith Institute (2011).
  • President's Address to the Co-operative Congress, Co-operatives UK (2006).
  • Foreword to Diversity and the Economy, Tony Pilch, Smith Institute (2006).
  • A chapter 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

  1. ^ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/110124/part2.htm
  2. ^ "Meg Munn MP Official site". http://www.megmunnmp.org.uk/about_your_mp.htm. Retrieved 31 January 2007. 
  3. ^ "Congress Presidents 1869–2002" (PDF). February 2002. http://archive.co-op.ac.uk/downloadFiles/congressPresidentstable.pdf. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  4. ^ Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Megg Munn MP Profile
  5. ^ Meg Munn MP - Meeting the Kurdistan President
  6. ^ SOMA Digest - Focus on Awareness
  7. ^ "Chair & patrons". Progress. http://www.progressonline.org.uk/about/board.asp. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  8. ^ 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). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5384341/MPs-expenses-Dennis-Watts-husband-of-MP-Meg-Munn-paid-for-tax-advice-by-ministers.html. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Key details: MP expenses claims". BBC News. 19 June 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8039273.stm#munn_meg. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  10. ^ http://www.megmunnmp.org.uk/press-view-entry.asp?type=News&id=716
  11. ^ "No 10 defends ministers over tax". BBC News. 27 May 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8069371.stm. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "How your MP voted on the FOI Bill". The Times (London). 20 May 2007. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1816072.ece. 
  13. ^ 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). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5384341/MPs-expenses-Dennis-Watts-husband-of-MP-Meg-Munn-paid-for-tax-advice-by-ministers.html. 

External links

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

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