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Sally Curtis Keeble (born 13 October 1951) is a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdommarker.

She has been Member of Parliament for Northampton Northmarker since the 1997 general election. She had previously been leader of Southwark Councilmarker from 1990-3.

Early life

Keeble went to the independent Cheltenham Ladies' Collegemarker, and later attended St Hugh's College, Oxfordmarker, gaining a BA degree in Theology in 1973, and a BA in Sociology from the University of South Africa in 1981. Before entering Parliament she was a journalist in South Africa for the Daily News in Durbanmarker from 1973-9 and then in Birmingham on the Birmingham Post from 1978-83. She then worked for the Labour Party as a Press Officer at Labour Headquarters from 1983-4, then the Inner London Education Authority where she was Assistant Director for External Relations from 1984-6, and was Head of Communications for the GMB trade union from 1986-90 before becoming a full-time council leader in inner London. She was a public affairs consultant from 1995-7.

Parliamentary career

In 1995 Keeble was selected to stand for election for Labour in Northampton North through an all-women shortlist . This method of selection was subsequently declared illegal in January 1996 as it breached sex discrimination laws. Despite the ruling she remained in place as the candidate for the following year's election and entered Parliament in 1997.

She served on the Agriculture Select Committee, and became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong in 1999. After the 2001 General Election she was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, where her responsibilities included planning, regeneration, housing and local transport. She chaired the taskforce on parks and urban green spaces. In 2002 she moved to the Department for International Development. In 2003 she left the Government. Since 2005 she has been a member of the Treasury Select Committee.

She introduced a private members bill to introduce the offence of causing death by careless driving: the measure was later accepted by the Government and introduced in the Road Safety Act 2006. She has also introduced ten minute rule bills on flooding, and to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol.

Keeble maintained her commitment to international development as secretary of the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group, and by setting up a charity, Schools for Africa, that links schools in the UK up with community-based organisations supporting HIV and Aids orphans in sub-Saharan Africa.

Personal life

Keeble married Andrew Hilary Porter on 9 June 1990 in Camberwellmarker and they have a son and daughter. She is an honorary fellow of South Bank Universitymarker. Her sister, Jane Mahoney, and her sister's husband Anthony were killed on 12 July 1998 near Darwinmarker in Australia. A Hells Angel motorcyclist had ploughed into them whilst they were waiting by the roadside after Anthony was changing a wheel. The Hells Angel carried on driving and failed to report the accident. After the accident, her father, Sir Curtis Keeble, the former British ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1978-82 and governor of the BBC had a heart attack.



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