Former Rossendale and Darwen representative Janet Anderson died unexpectedly at age 73. She was a minister in Tony Blair’s Labour government, and she was the one who brought the first bill to the House of Commons to make stalking illegal.
As a member of the government, she wrote a daily letter to the Queen about what was going on in Parliament. Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said she was “a force of nature” and that he would “miss her sorely.”
Ms Anderson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and she worked as a secretary for Baroness Barbara Castle and Mr Straw, two Blackburn MPs, before famously taking Rossendale and Darwen from Conservative MP Sir David Trippier by just 120 votes in 1992.
To learn more about the other people who have passed away in the year 2023, peruse our articles:
- Andrew Mckenna Bears Partial Owner Has Died at Age 93.
- Aidan Higgins Cause of Death: Acclaimed Irish Author Died at Age 88.
When she was the shadow minister for women in 1996, she joked that women would become “more promiscuous” under a Labour Government, which got her some attention.
Mr Straw added –
“She was terrific company, but better to be a friend and not foe of hers. She took no prisoners in argument.”
“She was a committed socialist all her life, outraged by social injustice wherever she found it.”
After Labour won the election in 1997, she became a whip and wrote a daily letter to the Queen. The Queen liked her gossipy style, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
She was re-elected four times, and from 1998 to 2001, she was the minister for tourism, film, and broadcasting. It was her job to make sure that people over 75 got free TV licences.
Jake Berry, who was a conservative, beat Ms Anderson in 2010. Sir Jake said that he was “very sorry to hear” about Janet’s death and that, even though they had different political views, he respected her service, hard work, and dedication.
Current Blackburn MP Kate Hollern said she was “a committed servant to the people of Rossendale and Darwen” and “made many personal friendships over that long period – myself included”.