Joyce Quin

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The Baroness Quin

Official portrait of Baroness Quin crop 2, 2019.jpg
Minister of State for Europe
In office
28 July 1998 – 28 July 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byDoug Henderson
Succeeded byGeoff Hoon (Minister)
Minister of State for Prisons
In office
2 May 1997 – 28 July 1998
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byAnn Widdecombe
Succeeded byThe Lord Williams of Mostyn
Member of Parliament
for Gateshead East and Washington West
Gateshead East (1987–1997)
In office
12 June 1987 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byBernard Conlan
Succeeded bySharon Hodgson
Member of the European Parliament
for Tyne and Wear
Tyne South and Wear (1979-1984)
In office
10 June 1979 – 18 June 1989
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1944-11-26) 26 November 1944 (age 75)
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Francis Guy MacMullen
Alma materNewcastle University
London School of Economics

Joyce Gwendolen Quin, Baroness Quin, PC (born 26 November 1944) is a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom.

Quin was educated at Whitley Bay Grammar School,[citation needed] and Newcastle University where she gained first class honours in French and was first in her year. She subsequently gained an M.Sc. in International Relations at the London School of Economics. She worked as a French language lecturer and tutor at the University of Bath and Durham University. Quin is the grand-niece of Labour Party politician Joshua Ritson (1874–1955).

She was the Labour spokesperson on Fisheries for 1979-1984 and served as Member of the European Parliament for Tyne South and Wear and Tyne and Wear successively from 1979 to 1989. During her time as an MEP she served on the Agriculture, Women's Rights, Regional and Economic Affairs Committee. In 1979, she tabled the resolution to set up a Register of Members’ Interests which was eventually accepted by the European Parliament.

Quin entered the House of Commons in the 1987 election as Member of Parliament for Gateshead East. In Opposition (1987-1997) she served on the Labour front bench as a Shadow Minister for a) Consumer Affairs b) Trade Policy c) Regional Policy d) Employment (dealing with the EU Social Chapter). From 1994-1997 she served as Shadow Europe Minister and was Deputy to Shadow Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

After boundary changes for the 1997 general election, she represented the new Gateshead East and Washington West constituency from 1997 until she stepped down at the 2005 general election and was replaced by Sharon Hodgson. Quin served as prisons minister, Minister for Europe, and as Minister of State for Agriculture (and deputy to Cabinet Minister, Nick Brown). She asked to retire as a minister in 2001 to concentrate on her constituency interests. She had intended to stand for membership of a North East Regional Assembly on her retirement from Westminster, but the proposed body was rejected by a margin of 4–1 in a referendum in November 2004. In Parliament as a backbencher Quin was the first woman to chair the Northern Group of Labour MPs and Chaired the All-Party Group for France (Franco-British Parliamentary Group). She successfully lobbied Chancellor Gordon Brown to bring in the nationwide concessionary bus travel scheme for pensioners [1]

In April 2006, it was announced that Quin had been nominated for a life peerage by the Labour Party.[2] On 30 May, she was created Baroness Quin, of Gateshead in the County of Tyne and Wear.[3] In November 2007, she was appointed Chair of the Franco-British Council (British Section). In 2010 she was awarded "Officier de la Légion d'Honneur" by the French Government. She was appointed a shadow Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister by Harriet Harman in May 2010, and was retained in that role by Ed Miliband after his election as Leader of the Labour Party. She stood down from this position in July 2011. She was interviewed in 2014 as part of The History of Parliament's oral history project.[4]

Quin has volunteered as a Newcastle City Tourist Guide since 1976. She is President of the Northumbrian Pipers Society (since 2009) and President of the Northumberland National Park Foundation (since 2016). Since September 2017 she has been Chair of the Strategic Board of Tyne and Wear Museums.

In 2010 Quin authored a book titled "The British Constitution, Continuity and Change - An Inside View: Authoritative Insight into How Modern Britain Works" [5] published by Northern Writers ISBN 9780955386985 and is co-author of the book “Angels of the North - Notable Women of the North-East” with Moira Kilkenny, published 2018, reprinted 2019 by Tyne Bridge Publishing ISBN 978-0951048863.


  1. ^ "The Honourable Ladies: Profiles of Women MPs 1918–1996" (Vol 1) Edited by Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith ISBN 9781785902444
  2. ^ "New working life peers unveiled". BBC News Online. 11 April 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
  3. ^ "No. 58001". The London Gazette. 5 June 2006. p. 7665.
  4. ^ "Joyce Quin interviewed by Isobel White". British Library Sound Archive. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  5. ^ Robert Waller, Byron Criddle, The Almanac of British politics (vol 7), Routledge (2002); ISBN 0-415-26833-8, ISBN 978-0-415-26833-2, page 383.
European Parliament
New constituency Member of the European Parliament
for Tyne South and Wear

Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of the European Parliament
for Tyne and Wear

Constituency abolished
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Bernard Conlan
Member of Parliament
for Gateshead East

Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Gateshead East and Washington West

Succeeded by
Sharon Hodgson
Political offices
Preceded by
Ann Widdecombe
Minister of State for Home Affairs
Succeeded by
The Lord Williams of Mostyn
Preceded by
Doug Henderson
Minister of State for Europe
Succeeded by
Geoff Hoon