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Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP

Margaret Beckett MP has been Member of Parliament for Derby South, since 1983. She was previously MP for Lincoln from 1974 until 1979.

Mrs Beckett served for 10 years in the Cabinet of the current Labour Government. She was the first female Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from May 2006 to June 2007. From 2001 to 2006 she was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and from 1998 to 2001 she was President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons. Prior to this she was appointed President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Labour Party was elected to Government in May 1997.

Margaret Beckett MP became a Research Assistant for the Labour Party in 1970 and served as a Political Advisor to the Ministry for Overseas Development in 1974.

Margaret Beckett MP served for 15 years on the frontbench in Opposition. She was PPS to the then Minister of Overseas Development between 1974 and 1975. She then served as a Government Whip in 1975 and was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Education and Science in 1976, serving in that position until 1979.

Between 1979 and 1983, Mrs Beckett worked as Principal Researcher for Granada Television.

Mrs Beckett was appointed shadow Minister for Social Security from 1984 to 1989, shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1989 to 1992, and shadow Leader of the House from 1992 to 1994.

She was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party between 1992 and1994 and became Leader between May and July 1994 after the death of the Rt Hon John Smith MP.

She then served as shadow Secretary of State for Health from 1994-1995, and shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry from 1995-1997.