I have been a Labour MEP since 1994. But I've always been passionate
I Joined the Labour Party at 18, and served 11 years as a district
councillor, including three as Leader of Harlow Council.
What does politics mean to me?
I was brought up in a single parent family, in a council house and
went to a comprehensive school. In many ways I experienced at first
hand how the decisions of governments and institutions can have a
dramatic impact for - good or bad - on ordinary people's
After leaving University I worked for four years in the voluntary
sector and eight years for a disability organisation. This is the
background that has helped develop the values I now hold - a
belief that equality of opportunity is the right of all.
Since becoming an MEP I have used my position to further that aim
and have been rewarded with high profile positions that have enabled
me to score some significant goals in that direction.
Please click here for a full biography