Helen Liddell

(Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke)

1950 -

Helen Liddell MP
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Helen Liddell MP

Politician and broadcaster. Liddell was born in Coatbridge and educated St. Patrick's High School in the town and at the University of Strathclyde. She worked for the Scottish Trades Union Congress (1971-76), before joining BBC Scotland as their economics correspondent (1976-77). She then became General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party (1977-88) and worked for Daily Record newspaper group (1988-92). She had unsuccessfully contested the Fife East constituency in the October 1974 general election, but was elected Member of Parliament for Monklands East in 1994, following the tragic death of her friend and Labour leader, John Smith (1938 - 1994). This constituency was reformed as Airdrie and Shotts in 1997. Between 1995 and 1997, Liddell had been Opposition Spokeswoman on Scotland.

In the Blair government of 1997, she became first Economic Secretary to the Treasury, then Minister for Education at the Scottish Office, followed by Minister of Transport and Minister at the Department of Trade and Industry. Liddell was appointed the first female Secretary of State for Scotland in 2001, as part of a reshuffle of posts precipitated by the controversial resignation of Peter Mandelson. She left Parliament in 2005, having been appointed British High Commissioner to Australia. Having returned to the UK, she was raised to the peerage as Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke in 2010.

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