Ann Taylor, Baroness Taylor of Bolton
Winifred Ann Taylor, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, PC (born 2 July 1947) is a British Labour Party politician, who was Minister for International Defence and Security, based at both the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, from October 2008 until 11 May 2010. She served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolton West from 1974 to 1983 and for Dewsbury from 1987 to 2005. After standing down she was appointed a life peeress in the House of Lords.
Taylor served as an Assistant Whip in the Government of James Callaghan from 1977 to 1979. When she returned to the House of Commons in 1987, she became a shadow minister under Labour leader Neil Kinnock. She then served in the Shadow Cabinets of John Smith and Tony Blair. She went on to become the first woman to serve as Leader of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, the first woman to serve as Lord President of the Privy Council and the first woman to serve as House of Commons Chief Whip (both in the First Blair Ministry).
House of Commons
Taylor fought Bolton West in February 1974 (failing to win by 603 votes), then was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the seat from October 1974 to 1983. She fought the new seat of Bolton North East in 1983, being defeated by the Conservative Peter Thurnham, before representing Dewsbury from 1987 until 2005.
Ann Taylor has held the following positions:
- 1977–1979: Assistant Government Whip in the Callaghan Government
- 1979–1981: Opposition Spokesman for Education & Science
- 1981–1983: Opposition Spokesman for the Environment
- 1988–1992: Opposition Spokesman for the Environment
- 1992–1994: Shadow Secretary of State for Education
- 1994–1995: Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
- 1994–1997: Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
- 1997–1998: Leader of the House of Commons & Lord President of the Council
- 1998–2001: Government Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
- 2001–2005: Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee (Her appointment to this post was criticised by opposition Liberal Democrats.)
Backbenches and retirement
House of Lords
She was made Minister for Defence Procurement on 7 November 2007, following Lord Drayson's decision to resign to compete in the American Le Mans Series; unlike her predecessor, she was paid. Following the Brown reshuffle of October 2008, Lady Taylor was moved to a new post at the Ministry of Defence as Minister for International Defence and Security.
Votes in Parliament
The Public Whip cites her as being "Very Strongly" for the Iraq War, equal gay rights, and NHS foundation trusts (despite being noted for voting against Conservative MP Edwina Currie's 1994 proposed amendment to the Public Order and Criminal Justice Bill to equalise the age of homosexual consent to 16).
In popular culture
The 2012 play This House about the 1970s Labour Government prominently featured Ann Taylor as the first female whip.
- "Taylor of Bolton, Baroness, (Winifred Ann Taylor) (born 2 July 1947)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u37194. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
- August Artwork of the Month: Ann Taylor by Nick Sinclair
- Ann Taylor at Bradford.ac Archived 9 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 27 July 2016
- Lib Dems criticise Taylor appointment | Politics | guardian.co.uk
- Succession to the Crown (No. 2) Bill
- "No. 57676". The London Gazette. 16 June 2005. p. 7843.
- BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Bolton appointed as Defence Minister
- Lady Taylor is appointed as new International Defence and Security Minister Archived 12 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- http://www.publicwhip.org.uk The Public Whip