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Fiona MacTaggart

Labour MP, Slough

Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK

Date of birth

12 September 1953


London University: King's College (BA English)
Goldsmiths' College (Postgraduate Teaching Certificate)
Institute of Education (MA)

Non-political career

Vice-President, National Secretary, National Union of Students 1978-81
General Secretary, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants 1982-86
Primary school teacher 1987-92
Lecturer in primary education, Institute of Education 1992-97

Electoral history

Member for Slough since 1 May 1997

Political profile

Fiona MacTaggart was first elected to the Commons in 1997, having been selected from an all-woman shortlist.

She proved to be one of Labour's most able and effective new MPs and many were surprised when she remained on the backbenches after the 2001 election when Chris Smith, whom she had served as a PPS, lost his job.

Her prospects may not have been helped when she described the Blair government as promoting "a vanilla politics which appeals to geeks".

She has often spoken critically of the executive, though she has never voted against it.

She worked as a primary school teacher in Peckham before becoming an education lecturer.

She used to chair civil rights campaign group Liberty and takes a particular interest in immigration and asylum issues. She was critical of the voucher support system for asylum seekers as encouraging racism.

Ms MacTaggart is a supporter of stem cell research, revealing during a Commons debate that she suffers from multiple sclerosis.


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© 2002, BBC