When Lesbian Labour first came together as a collective on 2nd February 2020, I glibly suggested an acronym for the group and we became ‘Lesbians In Labour In The House’! Well, aside from the obvious ambiguity of this, it has since rebranded as the much clearer Lesbian Labour. But how many Labour lesbians are there in the House, either House, Commons or Lords? And how well do they represent us?
The first name that doubtless springs to mind is Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey. Angela is married to Marie Exall, a trade union activist who sits on the LGBT+ Labour national committee as a TULO (union) representative (more of this later). Angela is a patron, of course, in fact, all of the LGB MPs are patrons. She was elected to the House of Commons in 1992 and came out publicly in 1997.
There are three other known Labour lesbians in the House of Commons:
- Nia Griffith is the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, formerly Shadow Defence Secretary, MP for Llanelli since 2005. She came out to family and friends in the mid-1990s and publicly in 2016.
- Kate Osborne became the MP for Jarrow in 2019 after working for the Royal Mail for many years and serving on the North Tyneside Council. She is married to Pamela Brooks and is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group.
- Charlotte Nichols also entered the House in 2019 to represent Warrington North having worked as a trade union official. She became Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities in November 2020 after a rapid progression through several PPS posts. She has identified as LGBT (no, I don’t know what that means either but here’s the link).
And… that’s it. Well, four out of 103 Labour women MPs.Continue reading