World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ruth Kelly

Article Id: WHEBN0000427630
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ruth Kelly  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hazel Blears, Alan Johnson, Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Geoff Hoon
Collection: 1968 Births, 21St-Century Roman Catholics, Alumni of the London School of Economics, Alumni of the Queen's College, Oxford, British Economists, British Female Mps, British People of Irish Descent, British Roman Catholics, British Secretaries of State, British Secretaries of State for Education, Fellows of the Queen's College, Oxford, Female Members of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, Female Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for English Constituencies, Hsbc People, Irish Economists, Labour Party (Uk) Mps, Living People, Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for English Constituencies, Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Opus Dei Members, People Associated with the Bank of England, People Educated at Millfield Preparatory School, People Educated at Sutton High School (London), People Educated at Westminster School, London, People from Limavady, Secretaries of State for Transport (Uk), The Guardian Journalists, Uk Mps 1997–2001, Uk Mps 2001–05, Uk Mps 2005–10, University of Navarra Faculty, Women Economists
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Ruth Kelly

The Right Honourable
Ruth Kelly
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
27 June 2007 – 3 October 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Douglas Alexander
Succeeded by Geoff Hoon
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
In office
5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by David Miliband (Minister of State)
Succeeded by Hazel Blears
Minister for Women
In office
5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Tessa Jowell
Succeeded by Harriet Harman (Women and Equality)
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
In office
15 December 2004 – 5 May 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Charles Clarke
Succeeded by Alan Johnson
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
15 May 2002 – 9 September 2004
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Paul Boateng
Succeeded by Stephen Timms
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
In office
8 June 2001 – 15 May 2002
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Melanie Johnson
Succeeded by John Healey
Member of Parliament
for Bolton West
In office
2 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Thomas Geoffrey Sackville
Succeeded by Julie Hilling
Personal details
Born (1968-05-09) 9 May 1968
Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Derek Gadd
Children 4
Alma mater Queen's College, Oxford
London School of Economics
Religion Roman Catholicism

Ruth Maria Kelly (born 9 May 1968) was a British Labour Party politician, serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolton West from 1997 until she stood down in 2010. Previously, she served as the Secretary of State for Transport, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Minister for Women and Equality and Secretary of State for Education and Skills, serving under both Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

Contents

  • Background 1
    • Family history 1.1
    • Religion 1.2
  • Career as an MP 2
    • Party loyalty 2.1
  • Secretary of State for Education and Skills 3
    • Sex offenders in schools controversy 3.1
    • Trust schools 3.2
    • Religion and political views 3.3
    • Children's schooling 3.4
    • Fathers for Justice attacks 3.5
  • Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 4
    • Catholic social views and homosexuality 4.1
    • Planning decisions 4.2
  • Secretary of State for Transport 5
    • Support for biofuels 5.1
    • Railways 5.2
    • Heathrow expansion 5.3
    • Misuse of public funds 5.4
    • Cabinet resignation 5.5
  • Parliamentary expenses 6
  • Subsequent career 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10
    • Audio clips 10.1
    • Video clips 10.2

Background

Kelly was born in Limavady, Northern Ireland. She also lived briefly in the Republic of Ireland before moving to England where she attended Edgarley Hall, the preparatory school for Millfield School. She was educated at the independent Sutton High School, run by the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST). After being moved up a year and sitting O-levels at Sutton High School at the age of 15, she decided to move back to Ireland to look after her ill grandmother. Her grandmother died after six weeks, but Kelly stayed for a year,[1] living with her aunt and taking A-level French. She returned to England on winning a scholarship to the sixth-form of Westminster School. From Westminster, Kelly went up to The Queen's College, Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1986, graduating in 1989, and then on to the London School of Economics where she was awarded a MSc degree in Economics in 1992. Kelly taught at University of Navarra, after she joined the Labour Party in 1990, becoming a member of the party's Bethnal Green and Stepney constituency party. She was an economics writer for The Guardian from 1990, before becoming deputy head of the Inflation Report Division of the Bank of England in 1994. She married Derek John Gadd, a local government officer, in 1996, and they have four children.[2]

Family history

Kelly's grandfather, Philip Murphy, served as an officer in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921). In 1922 he was interned by the Government of Northern Ireland. Murphy's detention file refers to him as 'quartermaster of the West Fermanagh IRA Battalion'. He went on hunger strike to protest at his detention. He was released unconditionally in June 1924, when internment ended. [3]

Religion

Kelly is a practising

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tom Sackville
Member of Parliament for Bolton West
19972010
Succeeded by
Julie Hilling
Political offices
Preceded by
Melanie Johnson
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
2001–2002
Succeeded by
John Healey
Preceded by
Paul Boateng
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Stephen Timms
Preceded by
Charles Clarke
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
2004–2006
Succeeded by
Alan Johnson
Preceded by
David Miliband
as Minister of State for Communities and Local Government
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Hazel Blears
Preceded by
Tessa Jowell
Minister for Women
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Harriet Harman
as Minster for Women and Equality
Preceded by
Douglas Alexander
Secretary of State for Transport
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Geoff Hoon
  • Fathers for JusticeBeing 'egged' by
  • Her housing policies being looked at closely

Video clips

  • in April 2005Westminster HourTalking about literacy on the
  • Speaking on the Today programme in 2002 about Stock Market uncertainties when Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Audio clips

  • Communities and Local Government page
  • Women & Equality Unit
  • Guardian Unlimited Politics — Ask Aristotle: Ruth Kelly MP
  • TheyWorkForYou.com — Ruth Kelly MP
  • BBC Profile (May 2006)
  • BBC Politics page
  • News article on egg 'maniac'
  • Ruth Kelly website by the Labour Party

External links

  1. ^ Aitkenhead, Decca (24 September 2005). "Interview with, and bioprofile of, Ruth Kelly". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2006. 
  2. ^ O'Neill, Sean; Peek, Laura; Halpin, Tony (17 December 2004). "Ruth Kelly – a private woman who puts faith into her work". London: The Times. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  3. ^ Sharrock, David (23 January 2006). "Ruth Kelly's grandfather was interned IRA quartermaster". London: The Times. Retrieved 22 November 2006. 
  4. ^ Opus Dei Catholic sect confirms Kelly is a member The Scotsman, 21 January 2005
  5. ^ Nick Assinder: Blair faces new Church protest, BBC News, 23 January 2007
  6. ^ Matthew Tempest: No 10 mulls Catholic opt-out from gay rights law, "The Guardian", 23 January 2007
  7. ^ Steve Bloomfield: Opus Dei: Jack Valero speaks for an evil sect, says 'The Da Vinci Code', The Independent, 10 May 2006
  8. ^ a b Gledhill, Ruth; Halpin, Tony (22 December 2004). "Scientists are alarmed by Ruth Kelly's strict beliefs". London: The Times. Retrieved 22 November 2006. 
  9. ^ "Education: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid". Socialist Review. 1 February 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2007. 
  10. ^ "Kelly on her links with secretive society". The Daily Mirror. 20 January 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2007. 
  11. ^ George Jones: Opus Dei will not limit me, says Kelly, Telegraph.co.uk, 24 January 2005
  12. ^ Marie Woolf: Ruth Kelly MP: 'I don't have the choice of taking red boxes home. I have four children, and they want their mum', The Independent, 29 March 2004
  13. ^ "Emergency powers plan published". BBC News Online. 7 January 2004. Retrieved 30 November 2006. 
  14. ^ "They Work For You". They Work For You. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  15. ^ "Ruth Kelly votes on Iraq was —". The Public Whip. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  16. ^ "Ruth Kelly votes on Iraq was —". The Public Whip. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  17. ^ "University education fees — Should be free". The Public Whip. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  18. ^ Identity cards — Against introduction' Ruth Kelly MP, Bolton West"'". The Public Whip. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  19. ^ "'"Policy report — 'Trident replacement — In favour. The Public Whip. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  20. ^ "Orders of the Day — Civil Contingencies Bill". Hansard. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  21. ^ "MPs back 24-week abortion limit", BBC News, 20 May 2008
  22. ^ Rebecca Smithers: Dawn to dusk care plan for schools, The Guardian, 13 June 2005
  23. ^ Millar, Fiona (5 January 2005). "Trust Schools". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2006. 
  24. ^ Eason, Gary (21 February 2005). "A-levels are to stay say Kelly". BBC News. Retrieved 4 December 2006. 
  25. ^ Hinsliff, Gaby (8 May 2005). "I won't quit, vows Blair as cabinet rift opens". London: The Observer. Retrieved 4 December 2006. 
  26. ^ "Review of sex offenders in school". BBC News. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  27. ^ "Sex case minister will keep job". BBC News. 13 January 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  28. ^ "Letter reveals Kelly's approval". BBC News. 15 January 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  29. ^ "'"PM talks of school reforms 'hell. BBC News. 9 February 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  30. ^ "Shaping the Education Bill – reaching for consensus". Compass. Archived from the original on 10 February 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  31. ^ Kelly 'doing right thing' for son BBC News, 8 January 2007
  32. ^ a b Times online: Ruth Kelly: 'I want to do the right thing for my son', 9 January 2007
  33. ^ "Tennis courts, 18-hole golf course and 'expert one-to-one tuition'", Graeme Paton, The Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2007
  34. ^ English Martyrs Roman Catholic School's 2002 Offsted Report (pdf)
  35. ^ BBC News: Primary schools in Tower Hamlets, 7 December 2006
  36. ^ BBC News: English Martyrs Roman Catholic Primary School, 7 December 2006
  37. ^ "Kelly accused of hypocrisy over son's private education", Will Woodward and Hugh Muir, The Guardian, 9 January 2007
  38. ^ "Kelly defends private school choice", Andrew Alexander, ePolitix.com, 8 January 2007
  39. ^ Ruth Kelly named as Labour minister sending a child to private school, This is London, Monday 8 January 2007
  40. ^ Matthew Tempest: Kelly defends private school decision, The Guardian, 8 January 2007
  41. ^ BBC News: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6495191.stm Kelly's Mirror complaint rejected, 26 March 2007
  42. ^ "Egg thrown at Kelly outside court". BBC News. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  43. ^ "Kelly egg thrower avoids prison". BBC News. 15 August 2006. 
  44. ^ "'"Kelly denies Muslims 'demonised. BBC News. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2006. 
  45. ^ "Policy report — 'Homosexuality — Equal rights' compared to Ruth Kelly MP, Bolton West". The Public Whip. Retrieved 1 December 2006. 
  46. ^ "Kelly's views on gays questioned". BBC News. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  47. ^ "Reshuffle error? Can Ruth Kelly really represent the gay community?". pinknews.co.uk. 6 May 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  48. ^ Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor (11 May 2006). "Letters to the Editor: Ruth Kelly's faith". London: The Times. Retrieved 3 June 2006. 
  49. ^ Hinsliff, Gaby (15 October 2006). "Cabinet split over new rights for gays". London: The Observer. Retrieved 22 November 2006. 
  50. ^ Branigan, Tania (16 October 2006). "Lib Dems urge Kelly to drop equalities brief". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2006. 
  51. ^ "Church gay rights opt-out opposed". The BBC. 21 January 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  52. ^ Wintour, Patrick (22 January 2007). "Cabinet row over adoptions by gay couples". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  53. ^ "Liverpool Brunswick Quay Loses Public Inquiry". SkyscraperNews. 17 November 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2006. 
  54. ^ "20 Fenchurch Street". SkyscraperNews. 14 December 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2006. 
  55. ^ "Government blocks Allies and Morrison’s Brighton tower (subscription required)". AJPlus. 18 May 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2007. 
  56. ^ "The Argus, 17 May 2007: Government dumps Beetham Tower plans". 
  57. ^ "Top ministers admit cannabis use". BBC News. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  58. ^ George Monbiot: The western appetite for biofuels is causing starvation in the poor world, The Guardian, 6 November 2007
  59. ^ Crossrail work to start in 2010, BBC NEWS, 26 November 2007
  60. ^ David Ottewell: MPs angry over London 'bias', Manchester Evening News, 24 October 2007
  61. ^ BBC News: Heathrow expansion plans unveiled, 22 November 2007
  62. ^ BBC News: Heathrow dissatisfaction revealed, 21 November 2007
  63. ^ BBC News: Heathrow expansion, in graphics, 22 November 2007
  64. ^ "Kelly offers apology", Manchester Evening News, 5 November 2007
  65. ^ Coren, Giles (27 September 2008). "Ruth Kelly at 3am: I know what happened".  
  66. ^ Gillian Hargreaves [2] "The great Commons clearout"], BBC News, 29 May 2009
  67. ^ The Times | Clean up your spin machine
  68. ^ Daily Telegraph: MPs' expenses: Ruth Kelly, 21 May 2009.
  69. ^ Larry Elliott (17 May 2010). "HSBC appoints Labour's Ruth Kelly to strategy unit". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  70. ^ Jason Groves (19 May 2010). "'"Ruth Kelly lands £200k City job – two years after quitting Cabinet to 'spend more time with family. London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 

References

See also

In May 2010, Kelly became the Global Head of Client Strategy at HSBC.[69][70] In 2015, Kelly left HSBC and was appointed to become Pro-Vice Chancellor at Research and Enterprise of St Mary's University

Subsequent career

On 18 May 2009 Kelly became involved in the MPs' Expenses Scandal when the Daily Telegraph revealed she had claimed a total of £31,000 between 2004 and 2008 for rebuilding, refurbishing, and purchasing appliances for her second home. It was subsequently revealed on 21 May 2009 that some of this money was used to repair damage caused by a burst pipe. Kelly was insured for this damage but did not claim on that insurance after being advised by the fees office that a reasonable amount could be claimed under the allowances system.[68]

Parliamentary expenses

In September 2008 Ruth Kelly announced her intention to resign from the cabinet to spend more time with her family. This ended her time as Transport Secretary and cabinet minister after four years.[65] She did not stand at the 2010 general election.[66] Damian McBride, a former senior Labour Party strategist, was shifted from being Gordon Brown's political spokesman to Number 10, after criticism of the way he handled Ruth Kelly's resignation.[67]

Cabinet resignation

In November 2007 it emerged that Kelly had misused part of her £10,000 communications allowance for party political material. The funds should have only been used for politically neutral material, and Kelly apologised for breaking the rules.[64]

Misuse of public funds

Ruth Kelly set out proposals for a third runway and a sixth terminal at Heathrow under new extensive plans.[61] Gordon Brown admitted this was one of the biggest challenges which faced the UK Government over the coming years.[62][63]

Heathrow expansion

Ruth Kelly announced a major increase of railway capacity by providing extra trains across the country by 2010 which drew criticism for her London bias as most of the funding would be spent there.[59] Kelly gave the go-ahead in 2007 for billions of pounds of public money to be spent on the Crossrail project in London, which caused outrage amongst MPs in other cities, especially Manchester, who had been told no public transport funding will be given without a congestion charge scheme.[60]

Railways

Kelly's support for biofuels drew criticism from activists who felt that it impoverishes third world farmers to assuage first world environmental guilt. "If people starve because of biofuels, Ruth Kelly and her peers will have killed them," wrote environmentalist The Guardian. "Like all such crimes, it is perpetrated by cowards, attacking the weak to avoid confronting the strong."[58]

Support for biofuels

Ruth Kelly was appointed to the position in Gordon Brown's new cabinet on 27 June in a government reshuffle, though it had been speculated she would be removed from the cabinet. Within a few days of entering her job, she faced tough work as she was responsible for securing the public's safety through transport after some attempted terrorist attacks. She came under fire for admitting along with other Labour Ministers that she had smoked cannabis as a teenager.[57]

Secretary of State for Transport

, in a bid to regenerate the area. Newcastle, Walker She approved the building of new homes and businesses in [56][55] Ruth Kelly demonstrated some opposition to the development of skyscrapers from her first months as

Planning decisions

The Observer newspaper reported on 15 October 2006 that Kelly had joined the Prime Minister in seeking to exempt churches from new laws which would force Christian churches to act against their moral teachings on homosexuality by upholding it as the same as heterosexuality.[49] Lorely Burt, the Liberal Democrat Equalities spokesperson, who opposed the right for churches to opt out if it conflicted with their beliefs, called for Kelly to be removed from the Cabinet for not enforcing pro-homosexual positions on churches.[50] It was reported in January 2007 that Kelly supported an exemption for Catholic adoption agencies from new laws that would force the Church to act against its social positions by placing adoptive children with homosexuals, suggesting instead that applicants should instead be referred to other agencies.[51][52]

Homosexual activist Peter Tatchell attacked Kelly for disagreeing with homosexuality, claiming: "Tony Blair would never appoint someone to a race equality post who had a lukewarm record of opposing racism".[46][47] In a letter published in The Times on 11 May 2006, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster voiced criticism to anti-Catholic attacks by the likes of Tatchell, who claimed that Ruth Kelly’s Catholicism might be considered incompatible with her role as Equality Minister. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor wrote "Ms Kelly may well be scrutinised for her fitness in office. That is a political judgement. But her Catholicism should not be a criterion in forming that judgement."[48]

Kelly upholds basic Catholic positions on sexual morality, including when she became Minister for Women and Equality. She was attacked by social liberals from both BBC Radio 5 Live, and on the front page of The Independent of 10 May 2006, for holding to Catholic social teaching and not voting in favour of homosexuality since 1997 when the Labour government came to power. For instance she opposed lowering the age of consent for homosexuality, as well as voting against placing children with homosexuals for adoption. Out of fourteen votes during the Blair government surrounding the political issues of homosexuality, Ruth Kelly had only attended two.[45]

Catholic social views and homosexuality

On 16 October 2006, she announced that her new role would involve cutting down on extremists within communities.[44]

After the English local elections in May 2006, Ruth Kelly was appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, a position created when these functions were split off from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The Department also took over the Home Office's responsibilities for active communities and civic renewal. She was also given the post of Minister for Women and Equality. Ruth Kelly's successor at the Department for Education and Skills was Alan Johnson.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

On two occasions Kelly has been targeted by members of fathers' rights group Fathers 4 Justice in egg-throwing incidents. On 6 February 2006, she was to give evidence at Salford Magistrates Court in the case of Fathers 4 Justice protester Simon Wilmot-Coverdale in connection with an incident in April 2005 when an egg was thrown at her. As she left the court, she was again attacked, this time by Michael Downe; the egg smashed on the back of her head.[42] Downes was fined and given an ASBO in relation to the incident, which he proceeded to rip up outside the court, promising to continue to fight for father's rights.[43]

Fathers for Justice attacks

Kelly made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the Mirror's reporting of the story, but the complaint was rejected, with the PCC ruling that the story was "a matter of considerable public interest", given that she is "a Cabinet minister – who had previously been Secretary of State for Education and Skills", and "even if government policy included an acceptance of private schooling for those with special needs, the fact that the complainant did not feel that the current state system could meet her child's requirements raised questions about the nature of publicly-funded schooling and its ability to cater for children with special needs – including those whose families would not be able to pay for private schooling."[41]

Ian Gibson, Labour MP for Norwich North, called the decision "a slap in the face for the teachers and pupils in the school the child has been taken out of".[38] However, Conservative Party leader David Cameron, whose own disabled son Ivan attended a state special needs school,[39] defended her decision, saying "People should recognise that politicians like everyone else are parents first and will act in the best interests of their children".[40]

According to Ofsted inspection in 2002[34] "those with special educational needs, make particularly good progress" at English Martyrs Roman Catholic school, and that pupils generally meet "standards that are much better than those gained by pupils in similar schools". The school achieved the best exam results in the borough of Tower Hamlets[35] and among the best in the UK, with 96% of children reaching the expected standard for English, and 100% for Maths and Science.[36] The area's education authority, Tower Hamlets, also runs six special needs schools within reach of Kelly's home and responded to the controversy saying, "We are proud of the quality of education we offer to all children. We have a strong record in helping children with a wide range of learning needs to succeed."[37]

All four of Ruth Kelly's children started at a Roman Catholic Primary School, in Wapping, a voluntary aided school.[31] However, on 8 January 2007, the Daily Mirror revealed that she had withdrawn her son from the school, and — following professional advice[32] — sent him to a preparatory school that specialises in the education of boys aged 7–13 with dyslexia and/or developmental coordination disorder.[33] Though the additional cost for specialist support outside the state sector sometimes is paid for by the local authority, Kelly stated she has not and will not seek the help of the local authority in meeting these costs.[32]

Children's schooling

The effect of her religious viewpoint on her opinions regarding controversial scientific questions has been of concern to some scientists who have speculated that her religious views could have an effect on government policy regarding stem cell research.[8]

Religion and political views

When the Education and Inspections Bill 2006 was finally published on 28 February 2006, it contained much of what had been trailed, although most notable by its absence was any mention of "trust school". Foundation and Voluntary Aided schools were left to pick up the mantle of trust schools.

A large number of Labour backbenchers, as well as numerous Labour luminaries like Neil Kinnock and former Education Secretary Estelle Morris, made known their opposition to the proposals and published an alternative white paper.[30] Faced with such a rebellion, the government initially stressed that it would press on with the reforms. However, new Tory leader David Cameron unexpectedly announced that these reforms were in line with Tory policies and that he would support the bill if presented in the proposed form. The government were faced with the prospect of pushing through their reforms only with opposition support and in the face of increased resistance from its own supporters.

A notable controversy in Ruth Kelly's time at the DfES was the proposed introduction of Trust schools. The Trusts were intended to be non-profit making and to have charitable status, although they could be formed by commercial enterprises. In fact one of the early DfES-hosted seminars on the establishment of Trusts included representatives from Microsoft and KPMG.[29] But it is their ability to set their own admission arrangements that generated the most criticism.

Trust schools

There was further controversy when it transpired that another teacher, William Gibson, 59, who had been cleared to work at Portchester School in Bournemouth despite the fact that he had been convicted in 1980 for indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl and had been previously removed from three schools. A letter from the Department for Education that suggested the Secretary of State had considered his case and found that although his past actions had been unwise and unacceptable, he had undertaken teaching work to good effect since.[28]

On 9 January 2006, it came to light that Kelly’s department had granted permission for a man, Paul Reeve, who had been cautioned by police for viewing child pornography images and who was on a sex offenders register, to be employed at a school in Norwich on the basis that he had not been convicted of an offence. He, and an unknown number of others on the sex offenders register, were not on the DfES prohibited list, "List 99".[26] On 13 January, Kim Howells, a Minister of State at the DfES, admitted that it was he who had actually made the decision, in accordance with advice given to him by civil servants that the "person did not represent an ongoing threat to children but that he should be given a grave warning". In response to the critical media coverage surrounding the issue, Downing Street issued a statement confirming their confidence in Kelly and denying rumours that she was to be replaced.[27]

Sex offenders in schools controversy

Kelly attracted considerable criticism by rejecting the proposals of the Tomlinson report on education reform for the 14–19 age group, which suggested replacing A level exams with a four-tier diploma.[24] After the 2005 election, it was rumoured that she was to be demoted back into her old post at the Treasury and although she kept her position at the DfES, she was said to have been "less than thrilled" by the appointment of Tony Blair's adviser Andrew Adonis as a Minister within her Department.[25]

The Government's Extended Schools policy, which plans to open some schools from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and provide child-care services for working parents, has been dubbed by some as "Kelly hours" after Kelly.[22] although the National Childcare Strategy with before and after school care funded in most schools by the New Opportunities Fund pre-dated extended schools (and Ruth Kelly's ministerial tenure) by several years. The extended schools initiative is predicated on wider use of and access to schools as community resources, not just for parents and children. Her proposals in the 2005 white paper to reduce the number and influence of parent governors in Trust Schools,[23] were seen as a partial reversal of this earlier stance.

In the reshuffle following the resignation of David Blunkett on 15 December 2004, Kelly entered the Cabinet (also becoming a member of the Privy Council) with the position of Secretary of State for Education and Skills. She became the youngest woman ever to sit in the Cabinet.

Secretary of State for Education and Skills

Kelly hardly ever[14] rebelled (voted) against the position of her party and in the most divisive votes over Labour's term Kelly followed the party line. She voted for the Iraq War[15] and subsequently voted against[16] an independent investigation into the run-up to the war. Kelly also voted for the introduction of tuition top-up fees[17] in a vote that saw a massive rebellion amongst Labour MPs. She also voted for the introduction of identity cards,[18] voted for replacing Trident[19] and argued against the addition of a sunset clause in part 2 of the controversial Civil Contingencies Act 2004.[20] In a free parliamentary vote on 20 May 2008, Kelly voted for cutting the upper limit for abortions from 24 to 12 weeks, along with two other Catholic cabinet ministers Des Browne and Paul Murphy.[21]

Party loyalty

In a minor reshuffle, she was promoted to be Minister for the Cabinet Office on 9 September 2004, replacing Douglas Alexander. Kelly guided the Civil Contingencies Bill through its final stages in Parliament, which faced serious objections from some civil liberties campaigns.[13]

As a mother of four young children, she refused to work the long hours normally associated with such positions and refused to take a red box in the evening whilst at the Treasury.[12]

Kelly was assigned the task of dealing with Equitable Life after the Penrose Report into the life insurance company was published. She rejected calls for government compensation to Equitable policyholders, on the grounds that the losses arose from actions of the company rather than from any defect of regulation, and that it was still trading. Equitable policyholders continued to demand redress.

After Labour won the 2001 general election, Kelly was appointed as Economic Secretary to the Treasury. Her role focused on competition policy and small businesses. After a year she was promoted to be Financial Secretary to the Treasury, giving her responsibility for regulation of the financial services industry. In both positions her principal task was in the thorough revision of the Financial Services regulation system which was introduced by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Kelly brought in new regulations to tackle the funding of terrorism after 11 September 2001 attacks.

She served on the Treasury Select Committee; she was also appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Agriculture Minister, Nick Brown from 1998. Kelly was a member of a commission set up by the Institute for Public Policy Research into the Private Finance Initiative, which expressed some scepticism about the operation of the policy.

In the 1997 general election, Kelly gained the seat of Bolton West from the Conservatives while heavily pregnant, and gave birth to her first son eleven days later. She gained her place in parliament as Tony Blair became Prime Minister with Labour's landslide election victory.

Career as an MP

[11] and saying only that she has received 'spiritual support' from them.[10] Previously, uncertainty has existed over Kelly's Opus Dei membership, partly because she herself has declined when asked to say whether or not she is a member, saying that the matter is a private one,[9]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.