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Janet Anderson (born 6 December, 1949) is a Britishmarker Labour Party politician. She is the Member of Parliament for Rossendale and Darwenmarker.

Early life

Anderson was born in 1949 in Newcastle upon Tynemarker and educated in the south west at the Trowbridgemarker Girls' High School (now John of Gaunt School) and the Kingswood Grammar School (now Kingsfield School) in Kingswoodmarker, South Gloucestershire. She attended the Polytechnic of Central Londonmarker and the Université de Nantesmarker.

In 1971, she joined the offices of the The Scotsman and The Sunday Times as a secretary. In 1974 she became the personal assistant to the MP for Blackburn, Barbara Castle and to her successor Jack Straw until the 1987 general election, when she unsuccessfully fought the marginal seat of Rossendale and Darwen; losing to David Trippier by 4,982 votes.

Anderson became a campaigns organiser for the Parliamentary Labour Party, and then the northern regional organiser for the Shopping Hours Reform Council campaigning to extending the Sunday trading laws. She also ran her own public relations company, with clients such as the Royal College of Nursing and Safeway plc.

Parliamentary career

Janet Anderson fought Rossendale and Darwen again at the 1992 General Election, and this time she was successful, albeit very narrowly, ousting Trippier by just 120 votes. Almost immediately on entering Parliamentmarker she became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Margaret Beckett, which she held for a year.

She was an opposition whip for two years, 1994-1996, before being appointed Shadow Minister for Women. While in this role she notoriously remarked in an interview that women would become more promiscuous under a Labour government.

Following the 1997 general election Anderson was given a job in Tony Blair's new government as a junior whip, before being promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 1998, where she was the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting and was responsible for bringing in the popular free TV licences for the over-75s.

Anderson left government following the 2001 general election. She subsequently served on the Home Affairs Select Committee, before becoming a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and the House of Commonsmarker Administration Committee. She is also on the Chairmen's Panel.

In February 2007, when MP's travel expenses were published, it was revealed that Anderson claimed the largest amount in expenses for car journeys of any MP; £16,612 for 60,118 miles travelled. This was £4,500 more than the next highest claimant, Laurence Robertson, the MP for Tewkesbury.

Anderson is a member of the GMB Union, and was formerly secretary of the Tribune Group.

Anderson regularly attends Darwen library, which is host to Rossendale & Darwen's MP surgery, where the public can air their views.

Personal life

Anderson married solicitor Vincent Humphreys and they have three children together. In 1999 she had an affair and left (and later divorced) Humphreys for fellow Labour MP Jim Dowd, though they remain on good terms.

Anderson lists her pastimes as swimming, playing the piano, listening to opera, gardening and cooking Sunday roasts for her family. She speaks fluent French.


  1. The Daily Telegraph - 'Women like seeing men as sex objects'
  2. The Independent - MPs' travel expenses revealed after two-year battle for secrecy
  3. The Daily Telegraph - A Blair babe who amuses Her Majesty
  4. Janet Anderson MP - biography

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