Rachel Reeves to publish Alice Bacon biography

Written by David Singleton on 12 September 2016 in Culture

Bacon was the first woman to represent Leeds in the House of Commons.

As Jeremy Corbyn looks set to be remain in place as Labour leader, moderate MPs are keeping themselves busy outside of his shadow cabinet.

Some Labour MPs have tried to be regional mayors. Others are setting their sights on the chairmanship of the home affairs select committee.

And former shadow work and pensions secretary and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves is to publish a political biography.

Reeves is writing about Alice Bacon, the first woman to represent Leeds in the House of Commons.

Bacon defied the odds to be elected Labour MP for Leeds North East in the 1945 general election. Mentored by Labour heavyweights Herbert Morrison and Hugh Gaitskell, she rose through the party becoming a Home Office minister under Roy Jenkins and latterly an education minister.

In the Home Office in the 1960s she oversaw the introduction of societal changes including the abolition of the death penalty, the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the legalisation of abortion. As education minister she had responsibility for the introduction of comprehensive schools.

Reeves said: “When I was elected to the House of Commons in 2010, I was amazed to find out that I was only the second woman MP for Leeds. I was curious about the life and career of Alice Bacon and wanted to discover more about her work.”

Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon will be published this December by I.B Tauris.



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