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Gisela Stuart MP

Gisela Stuart at the House of Commons, London, 30 October 2008. Stuart chaired a Henry Jackson Society event where Michael Chertoff gave a speech.

Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Edgbaston
Assumed office 
1 May 1997
Preceded by Jill Knight
Majority 2,349 (6.2%)

Born 26 November 1955 (1955-11-26) (age 54)
Velden, Germany
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater London School of Economics
Religion Roman Catholic

Gisela Gschaider Stuart (born 26 November 1955) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston since 1997.


Early life

Stuart was born in Velden, Bavaria, Germany, raised in her parents' Roman Catholic faith. She attended the Realschule Vilsbiburg on Amselstraße in Vilsbiburg. She moved to Britain in 1974, to improve her English and relocated to the Midlands. She graduated from the London School of Economics with an LLB in 1993, having studied through the University of London External System. She also studied Business Studies at Manchester Polytechnic. From 1992-7, she was a law lecturer at Worcester College of Technology and researched pensions law at the University of Birmingham.

Parliamentary career

Stuart was selected to stand for election for Labour through an all-women shortlist [1]. This method of selection was subsequently declared illegal in January 1996 as it breached sex discrimination laws.[2] Despite the ruling she remained in place as the candidate for the following year's election.

In the 1997 general election, she won the Birmingham Edgbaston seat, which had been held by the Conservative Party for over seventy years. Her victory in the Labour general election landslide of 1 May 1997 was the first televised seat to change hands on election night (Crosby was actually the first but it was not covered on TV).

Stuart was a junior health minister until 2001. In that election year she once accompanied Tony Blair on a televised visit to a Birmingham hospital, where Blair was confronted by Sharron Storer, a Birmingham resident whose partner was a cancer patient at the hospital. Storer related how the cancer unit could not find a bed for her partner, and demanded in front of the cameras that the government improve health services; some commentators speculated that Blair's embarrassment at this incident during the 2001 election campaign led to Stuart being dropped from the government. She sat on the European Convention's 13-strong presidium or steering group, but after the draft constitution was published, she stated that it had been drawn up by a "self-selected group of the European political elite" determined to deepen European integration. She is a member of the UK Parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

She successfully held Birmingham Edgbaston for Labour at the 2005 General Election but her majority was exactly halved in both percentage and numerical terms.

She is a signatory of the Henry Jackson Society principles, which promote the spread of liberal democracy across the world and the maintenance of a strong military with global expeditionary reach.[1]

She is editor of the weekly political magazine The House Magazine.


Support for George W. Bush's re-election

In October 2004 she became the only Labour MP to openly support the re-election of George W. Bush in that year's US presidential election, arguing "you know where you stand with George and, in today's world, that's much better than rudderless leaders who drift with the prevailing wind." She wrote that a victory for Democratic Party challenger, John Kerry, would prompt "victory celebrations among those who want to destroy liberal democracies. More terrorists and suicide bombers would step forward to become martyrs in their quest to destroy the West."[2].

Personal life

She married Robert Scott Stuart in 1980. They divorced in 2000, and have two sons. She is currently in a relationship with (but not married to) Derek Scott, former economic advisor to Tony Blair.

Voting record

How Stuart voted on key issues since 2001 (They Work For You):

  • Has never voted on a transparent Parliament.
  • Voted for introducing a smoking ban.
  • Voted for introducing ID cards.
  • Voted for introducing foundation hospitals.
  • Voted for introducing student top-up fees.
  • Voted for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
  • Voted for the Iraq war.
  • Voted against investigating the Iraq war.
  • Voted for replacing Trident.
  • Voted for the hunting ban.
  • Voted for equal gay rights.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jill Knight
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston


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