Labour veteran Dame Margaret Hodge elevated to House of Lords

Former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, ex-PM Theresa May & 1922 Committee Chair Sir Graham Brady also set to become peers


LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Parliamentary Chair of JLM, Dame Margaret Hodge MP, attends a press conference on the findings of The Equality and Human Rights Commission into antisemitism in the Labour Party at the offices of Mischon de Raya on October 29, 2020 in London, England. The Equality And Human Rights Commission published its report into anti-semitism in the Labour Party under the rule of former leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn was suspended after his response to the report. Labour said: "In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation." (Photo by Ian Vogler - Pool/Getty Images)

Former Labour MP Margaret Hodge and ex-Prime Minister Theresa May are among those set to be appointed to the House of Lords.

Earlier tonight, the government released its dissolutions honours list of those set to become life peers.

Among those set to join May and Hodge also include Sir Graham Brady, the former Chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs; Chris Grayling the former secretary of state for transport; Dame Eleanor Laing the former deputy speaker; former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett, former Labour Party deputy leader Harriet Harman; and former defence minister and Labour Friends of Israel vice chair John Spellar.

Hodge posted on Twitter: “I feel humbled, honoured & delighted to be asked to go into the House of Lords. Having immigrated here as a young girl, neither I nor my parents would have ever dreamt that I would become a Peer of the Realm. I am looking forward to continuing my commitment to public service.”

Last month, 79-year-old Hodge, who served as the MP for Barking since 1994, spoke to the JC about her life in politics. Her over 50 years in public office included a stint as leader of Islington Council, taking on corporations and how they pay tax as chair of Parliament’s public accounts committee, and fighting both the BNP and Jeremy Corbyn.

Born Margaret Oppenheimer in Egypt in 1944 to German parents who left Europe before the Holocaust, Dame Margaret lived her early life in the shadow of the Shoah. Most of her extended family were slaughtered by the Nazis, and her parents feared surging Jew-hate in the Middle East. When a stone was thrown through her father’s office window in Alexandria, the family fled Egypt. They arrived as refugees in the UK, the only English-speaking country that would accept them, in 1948.

Dame Margaret joined the Labour Party aged 17, “because it was an international party and it fought racism.” Her father, a Tory-voting steelworker, nearly kicked his socialist daughter out of the family home when Harold Wilson was elected in 1964.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive