Former transport minister Gillian Merron made a life peer

Former Transport Minister Gillian Merron, 61, has become a member of the House of Lords, after being nominated by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. She is currently the CEO of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a post she has held since 2014.

In this role she manages the national representative body and voice of the diverse Jewish community in Britain. She is responsible for all aspects of running this high-profile and influential organisation established in 1760 and is its first female CEO.

She is also an independent non-executive director of National Grid.

She was MP for Lincoln between 1997 and 2010 and a Government Minister from 2006 to 2010 when she was a Minister in the Health, International Development and Transport departments as well as the Cabinet and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices.

These increasingly important roles involved responsibility for multi-million pound budgets, taking decisions to ensure best use of resources with public accountability.

Her experiences during this time included international and national crisis management, including swine flu, flooding, foot and mouth disease and being a lead member of emergency council COBRA.

Widely regarded as a well-informed and effective minister with genuine understanding of transport, she replaced Karen Buck – who stepped down after admitting that transport did not suit her – in May 2006.

She held the local transport brief, which included the buses portfolio and held the post for a year until promoted to the Cabinet Office.

After she left parliament (she was defeated in the 2010 general election) she continued her interest in the bus sector. She became Chair of Bus Users UK in 2011 and oversaw its restructuring, until leaving in 2015 when appointed to her current post.

When elected to the House of Commons in May 1997 with a majority of 11,130 as the MP for Lincoln, she became the county’s first Labour MP since Margaret Beckett who lost her seat in 1979. In the 2005 general election, her majority was reduced to 4,613.

From October 2002 until May 2006, she was a government whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury. She then moved to the Department for Transport, where she worked until the reshuffle on 29 June 2007, when she became a minister at the Cabinet Office and the first ever minister of the East Midlands.

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