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  • Who was Glenys Kinnock? All you need to know as former minister and campaigner dies aged 79
Glenys Kinnock recently passed away (Image via X / @ecwestcott / @RobertJEEvans)

Who was Glenys Kinnock? All you need to know as former minister and campaigner dies aged 79

British politician Baroness Glenys Kinnock passed away at her home in London. She was 79. Early on Sunday morning, December 3, Kinnock, the wife of former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, passed away quietly in her sleep, according to her family. According to the BBC, after her diagnosis in 2017, she had "endured Alzheimer's" and had shown "innate courage" in dealing with the illness.

They were "devastated" by her death, according to her family, which includes Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and daughter Rachel.

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Glenys Elizabeth Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, FRSA, was appointed as the Minister of State for Europe in June 2009 and Minister of State for Africa and the UN in 2009–2010.

In addition, she was a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. On December 21, 1989, precisely one year after UN Commissioner for Namibia Bernt Carlsson's death in the Pan Am Flight 103 accident, she established One World Action, formerly known as The Bernt Carlsson Trust.

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Glenys Kinnock was a politician and a campaigner

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Lorraine King also paid tribute to Glenys Kinnock (Image via X / @LabourWomensNet / @lorrainemking)

After serving as an MEP for about 15 years as a former teacher, Baroness Kinnock left Brussels in 2009 to accept a life peerage after being appointed minister for Europe by then-prime minister Gordon Brown.

In 2009, Gordon Brown made Glenys Kinnock a baroness so that she could be a minister in his cabinet for the Foreign Office.

Kinnock, a politician and a member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) political group, served as Wales' representative in the European Parliament from 1994 until 2009. She also served as a substitute member of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs, and a member of the Development and Cooperation Committee of the European Parliament.

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From 2002 to 2009, she served as a co-president of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. She further served as the European Parliament's Labour spokeswoman on international development.

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Moreover, in November 2006, the government of Barbados invited her to co-preside over the 12th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which was discussing international aid and development.

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After Caroline Flint resigned in 2009, Kinnock was named Minister for Europe in the cabinet shuffle. On June 30, 2009, she was bestowed with a life peerage, making her Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, of Holyhead in the County of Ynys Môn, and qualified to enter government service.

According to Standard, in their obituaries, Lady Kinnock's family also stated that she was an ardent educationist who taught for many years before launching her own political career as a member of the European Parliament and a peer in the House of Lords, where she served as a minister for the UN, Europe, and Africa.


Glenys Kinnock's family was very devastated by the loss

Kinnock's family members were pretty shaken up by her death. As per the Independent, her family said in a statement,

“It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Glenys Kinnock."
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They continued,

“Glenys died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning, at home in London. She was the beloved wife and life partner of Neil, the cherished mother of Steve and Rachel and an adored grandmother."

The family further said,

"Neil was with her in her final moments. They had been married for 56 years."
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They further referred to Glenys Kinnock as a staunch democratic socialist as well. They also shared that she had dedicated her life to advocating for justice and fighting poverty, both domestically and abroad.

In honoring her life and achievements, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer referred to her as a “true fighter” for the party.

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