Labour MP and Patron of Humanists UK
Born in 1961 in Bridlington, Angela Eagle was educated at Formby Comprehensive High School Angela went on to study at St Johns College, Oxford where she was awarded with a BA(Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and was also the chair of the Oxford University Fabian Society (1980-1983). On leaving university she worked for CoHSE (now Unison) as a researcher and press officer before becoming their Parliamentary liaison officer in 1987.
Angela Eagle has been an active member of the Labour Party since her teens, and held various positions in the party before being elected to Parliament in 1992, when she became the first ever Labour Member of Parliament for Wallasey. Whilst in opposition, she became a member of the Employment Select Committee which has investigated such subjects as the role of trade unions, mothers in employment and executive salaries. In recognition of her achievements, she was promoted to the role of opposition whip in 1996. When Labour returned to government, she served as the Minister of State for Pensions and Ageing Society from June 2009 until May 2010, was elected to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2010, and was appointed by Ed Miliband to be Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. On 7 October 2011, she was appointed Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.
In April 2011, Angela Eagle was famously put down in the House of Commons by prime minister David Cameron when he used Michael Winner’s catchphrase “Calm down, dear” in a way that was widely regarded as patronising and provoked calls for an apology.
She was Parliament’s first openly lesbian member and in 2008 entered into a civil partnership. She was joined in Parliament in 1997 by her twin sister, Maria Eagle; they thus became the first set of twins to sit in the House, and they are currently the only pair of sisters in the Commons. She was ranked in the top 50 on The Independent’s ‘Pink List’ of the 101 most influential gay men and women in Britain 2009.