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Shirley Summerskill

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Nationality  British
Spouse  John Ryman (m. 1957–1971)
Role  British Politician

Name  Shirley Summerskill
Political party  Labour
Party  Labour Party
Born  September 9, 1931 (age 84) (1931-09-09)
Alma mater  Somerville College, Oxford
Education  Somerville College, Oxford

Shirley Catherine Wynne Summerskill (born 9 September 1931) is a British Labour Party politician and former government minister.


Early life

Summerskill was educated at St Paul's Girls' School and Somerville College, Oxford, and trained as a doctor at St. Thomas's Hospital. She was a member of the executives of the Socialist Medical Association and of the Medical Practitioners' Union.

Parliamentary career

After unsuccessfully contesting the Blackpool North by-election, 1962, Summerskill was elected as Member of Parliament for Halifax in the 1964 general election. After being a Labour shadow minister for Health from 1970 to 1974, she served as a junior minister in the Home Office throughout the 1974–79 Labour government, under two Home Secretaries, Roy Jenkins and Merlyn Rees. In 1980 she was interviewed by the BBC's Panorama current affairs program about Britain's preparations for a nuclear attack.

When Labour returned to opposition after the Conservative victory in the 1979 general election, Summerskill became an opposition spokesperson on Home Affairs. She lost her seat in the 1983 general election to the Conservative Roy Galley.

Personal life

Sumerskill married lawyer and future Labour MP John Ryman in 1957; they divorced in 1971.

Her mother Edith Summerskill had also been a Labour MP and government minister; her nephew, Ben Summerskill, is chief executive of the UK gay equality charity Stonewall.


Shirley Summerskill Wikipedia

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