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Glenys Elizabeth Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, Baroness Kinnock of Bedwellty (born Glenys Elizabeth Parry, 7 July 1944, Roademarker, Northamptonshiremarker) is an Englishmarker-born Welsh politician. She was a Labour Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1994 to 2009. Before that, she was best known as the wife of Neil Kinnock, Leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992. When Neil Kinnock received a life peerage in 2005, Glenys became entitled to the style "Lady Kinnock", which she chose not to use. She was awarded a life peerage when she joined the government in 2009.

Early life

Glenys Kinnock was educated at Holyhead High Schoolmarker, Angleseymarker and graduated in 1965 from University College, Cardiffmarker in education and history. She met her future husband Neil Kinnock at university and married him in 1967. She has worked as a teacher in secondary, primary, infant and nursery schools, including the Wykeham Primary School, Neasdenmarker, London. She is a member of the GMB, the Co-operative Party, and the NUT. She speaks Welsh.

European Parliament

Kinnock represented Wales in the European Parliamentmarker from 1994 until 2009, where she was a member of the PES political group . She was a Member of the European Parliament's Development and Co-operation Committee and a substitute member of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs. She was also co-president of the African, Caribbean and Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly from 2002 until 2009 and was Labour spokesperson on International Development in the European Parliament.

In November 2006 Glenys Kinnock was criticised in the press for "taking a junket" to Barbadosmarker to discuss world poverty issues. She was co-presiding over the 12th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly which was invited by the Barbados government to discuss international aid and development.

On 18 January 2009 Glenys Kinnock revealed on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show that she and Neil Kinnock had received a personal invitation from Joe Biden to attend Barack Obama's presidential inauguration on 20 January 2009 at the United States Capitolmarker in Washington, D.C.marker.

In 2004, Glenys Kinnock was caught up in an expenses scandal. MEP Hans-Peter Martin claimed to have caught 194 colleagues receiving the European Parliament's attendance allowance. Mrs Kinnock was among those MEPs whom Martin found and filmed leaving the building just moments after they had signed in for the day to qualify for their £175-a-day allowance, in addition to their £70,000 salaries as MEPs.(Private Eye 1238, page 5)

United Kingdom Parliament

In the 2009 cabinet reshuffle, Kinnock was appointed Minister for Europe following the resignation of Caroline Flint. To enable her to join the government, she was awarded a life peerage and became Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, of Holyheadmarker in the County of Ynys Mônmarker, on 30 June 2009. She was introduced to the House of Lordsmarker on the same day.

In September 2009 The Daily Telegraph listed Baroness Kinnock as the UK's 38th 'Most influential Left-winger', stating: "People working closely with the new minister have asked why on earth better use had not been made of her sooner. She has impressed civil servants and, more importantly, made a good impression on visits and in meetings abroad." .

On 12 October 2009 Glenys Kinnock was appointed Minister of State with responsiblity for Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and the UN, filling a post left vacant after the resignation of Lord Malloch Brown. Baroness Kinnock has long been a campaigner on issues relating to Africa and the Caribbean and cemented her reputation as an expert on the regions during her time as a Member of the European Parliament and as co-president of the African, Caribbean and Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

Patron and honours

Baroness Kinnock is a Council Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations .

She is a patron, president or board member of a number of charitable organisations, including Saferworld, Drop the Debt, EdUKaid, Parliamentarians for Global Action, The Burma Campaign UK, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Voluntary Service Overseas and the British Humanist Association.

She founded One World Action (formerly The Bernt Carlsson Trust) on 21 December 1989, exactly one year after UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was killed in the Pan Am Flight 103 crash. In December 2007, a United Nations inquiry was called for into Bernt Carlsson's death.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Artsmarker, an honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Newport, and the University of Wales, Bangormarker. She holds honorary Doctorates from Thames Valley University, Brunel Universitymarker and Kingston Universitymarker.

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