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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Meg thrilled to be FO Deputy

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A SHEFFIELD MP who spent two years at the forefront of advancing women’s rights is relishing the challenge of moving into one of the great male bastions of politics the Foreign Office.

 

Meg Munn, who has represented Heeley since 2001 and was Minister for Women and Equality from 2005, has been appointed as one of four deputies to Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

She is now responsible for Britain’s network of embassies and the remnants of the former British Empire: 13 dependent territories including the Falklands, Gibraltar and a string of islands across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Ms Munn also looks after diplomatic relations with South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

 

“I’m really proud of some of the things I did but it’s good to have been given this move”, she said. "I enjoyed the previous post because the issue of equality was one of the reasons I got involved in politics in the first place. I’m really proud of some of the things I did but it’s good to have been given this move."

The Labour politician believes her main achievement in her old job was encouraging big business to create better part-time jobs for women returning to work after childbirth. She said there were too few well-paid positions, meaning that many mums had to make do with working for the minimum wage in places like shops.

"We worked with companies such as BT and banks and they are now looking at what they can do to make sure they keep women in the market for good jobs although they are available for less hours," Ms Munn said.

But her new role does not mean giving up campaigning for people’s rights.

One of the biggest challenges involves relations with the former British colony of Burma, where Ms Munn told how the UK is worried about the repressive regime and officials are "concerned about the lack of democracy."

A different matter she is also involved with is the continued reconstruction of Montserrat, the Caribbean island devastated during a volcanic eruption a decade ago. "There’s still a lot of work going on," she said.

Only weeks into her new job, Ms Munn remains on a learning curve about some of the issues she will be tackling around the world.

She said: "A lot of the first month has been spent getting to know the issues.”

 

The Sheffield Gazette 16th August 2007.


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