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MP becomes a time traveller

22 October 2004


The University of Teesside enrolled a special student when Redcar Member of Parliament Vera Baird signed up to study a Masters in Local History.

Mrs Baird, who became the Redcar MP in the 2001 election, is a qualified lawyer and the Vice-Chair of the Society of Labour Lawyers and serves on the Joint Committee for Human Rights. She is also leading a Home Office funded team to monitor gender impact of all criminal justice proposals and legislation and has written extensively on women’s issues.

Mrs Baird said: “This is really the University of Teesside at its best. I began an MA at a London university in 2000 in Modern Women’s History, but since becoming an MP I was to busy to continue with it.

“I really wanted to pick up where I left off and contacted the University of Teesside, who were very helpful. The course tutors, Barry Doyle and Tony Pollard, went out of their way to help and are very understanding about the fact I need to be flexible in my studies. The words ‘access’ and ‘opportunity’ spring to mind.

“I’ll spend most Sunday’s studying, with the rest of the week taken up with my Constituency and Parliamentary work. I’ll be very busy, but I’m confident I can balance my life, work and study.”

Vera, who has spoken at several University of Teesside conference on women’s issues, will carry out a dissertation project focusing on the almost unknown history of the region’s suffragettes.