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The Right Honourable
 Sylvia Heal

Assumed office 
23 October 2000
Preceded by Michael Martin

Member of Parliament
for Halesowen and Rowley Regis
Assumed office 
1 May 1997
Preceded by Constituency Created
Majority 4,337 (10.5%)

Member of Parliament
for Mid Staffordshire
In office
22 March 1990 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by John Heddle
Succeeded by Michael Fabricant
Majority 9,449 (16.8%)

Born 20 July 1942 (1942-07-20) (age 67)
Shotton, Flintshire
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Keith Heal
Relations Ann Keen MP & Alan Keen MP
Alma mater Swansea University

Sylvia Lloyd Heal (born 20 July 1942) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Halesowen and Rowley Regis since 1997, and is the First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.


Early life

Born as Sylvia Lloyd Fox in Hawarden, north-east Wales, the daughter of Shotton steelworker John Lloyd-Fox and Ruby Hughes, she was educated at the Elfed Secondary Modern School (now called Elfed High School) on Mill Lane in Buckley, the Coleg Harlech, and the University of Wales, Swansea where she was awarded a BSc in Economics in 1968. She worked as a medical records clerk at the Chester Royal Infirmary for six years from 1957. In 1968 she was appointed as a social worker with the Department of Employment for two years. For ten years from 1980 she worked as a social worker within a drug rehabilitation centre. During her parliamentary interregnum she worked as a young carers officer with the National Carers Association from 1992-7.

Parliamentary career

She was a member of the Young Socialists National Council for four years from 1960, and was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1973. She was first elected to the House of Commons at the Mid Staffordshire by-election on 22 March 1990, which followed the suicide of the sitting Conservative MP John Heddle. She won the seat with a majority of 9,449 on a massive 21% swing from Conservative to Labour in a contest that was fought largely on the single issue of the Poll Tax. She lost the Mid Staffordshire seat two years later at the 1992 general election when she was ousted by the Conservative Michael Fabricant by a majority of 6,236. She was re-elected to Parliament at the 1997 general election for the new West Midlands seat of Halesowen and Rowley Regis with a majority of 10,337 and has remained the MP there since.

In her first spell in Parliament she served for two years as a member of the education select committee. She was also promoted to the front bench by Neil Kinnock in 1991 as a spokeswoman for health and women. Following her re-election in 1997 she was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence George Robertson and from 1999 his successor Geoff Hoon. She was appointed as a Deputy Speaker of the House in 2000, in which capacity she has remained since.

Sylvia Heal announced on 9th March 2010 that she would be stepping down at the General Election 2010.[1]

Personal life

She is the sister of Ann Keen, and sister in law to Alan Keen, both fellow Labour MPs.[2] She lives in Egham, Surrey, and she takes a keen interest in South Africa and enjoys gardening.


  • Couldn't Care More: Study of Young Carers and their Needs by Jenny Frank, foreword by Sylvia Heal, 1995, The Children's Society ISBN 0-907324-96-7


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Heddle
Member of Parliament for Mid Staffordshire
Succeeded by
Michael Fabricant
New constituency Member of Parliament for Halesowen and Rowley Regis
Preceded by
Michael Martin
First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means


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