Jan Royall was elected as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords in May 2010 and became a member Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet at the same time. Jan joined the Lords as a life Peer in 2004 and became a member of the Privy Council in 2008.
Jan is an experienced politician who held significant ministerial and other roles in the last Labour government. Having served a Government Whip and Government Spokesperson for Health, International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2005-2008), she became Government Chief Whip in the Lords in 2008. Jan entered the Cabinet in 2008 as Leader of the Lords (2008-2010) and held the titles of Lord President of the Council (2008- 2009) and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (2009-2010).
Jan is politically experienced in European issues. Beginning with her time as Secretary General of the British Labour Group in the European Parliament (1979-1985) and Policy Adviser/Personal Assistant to Neil Kinnock as Leader of the Opposition, Jan became a member of the latter's Cabinet when he was European Commissioner for Transport (1995-1999) and Vice President of the Commission (1999-2002). Jan was then responsible for the Commission’s relationship with the European Parliament before becoming Head of the European Commission Office in Wales (2003-2004).
Jan was born in Gloucester and has lived in Blaisdon in the Forest of Dean for over 40 years. She is an active member of that community and is often found campaigning on behalf of local causes, including helping to save the Forest of Dean from the Coalition government’s forestry sell-off plans. Jan is a former Trustee of IPPR, the National Botanic Garden of Wales, and Generation Europe, and has volunteered in India through VSO.
In her spare time Jan enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, walking in the Forest of Dean and spending time with her children.
For more information, read Jan's Parliamentary biography - available here.