Mary Honeyball

Mary Honeyball

Mary Honeyball in Strasbourg, 2014
Member of the European Parliament
for London
Assumed office
17 February 2000
Preceded by Pauline Green
Personal details
Born 12 November 1952
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater Somerville College, Oxford

Mary Hilda Rosamund Honeyball[1] (born 12 November 1952 in Weymouth, Dorset) is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Labour Party representing London. She has been a member of the European Parliament since 2000. Seventh on Labour's 1999 list, she had not been elected in the European Parliament Election, 1999, but replaced Pauline Green who resigned as an MEP in November 1999. She was educated at Somerville College, Oxford.


Before her election to the European Parliament, Honeyball's career was in the charitable and non-governmental sector. During the 1980s, she ran the Council for Voluntary Service in the London Borough of Newham, before going on to work as a Senior Manager for SCOPE, the disability charity. She was later the General Secretary of the Association of Chief Officers of Probation from 1994 to 1998, and prior to that Chief Executive of Gingerbread, the charity for single parent families. She was also a councillor in the London Borough of Barnet from 1978 to 1986. Honeyball unsuccessfully contested Enfield Southgate in 1983 and Norwich North for Labour in 1987.

Honeyball was Chair of the Greater London Labour Party Women's Committee during the 1980s and spent three years as Treasurer of Emily's List, an organisation that helps pro-choice Labour women campaign for seats in Parliament.[2][3]

Honeyball is the UK Labour representative in the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee in the European Parliament.[4] and Socialist & Democrat group co-ordinator on the Parliament's Culture and Education committee.[5] She is also a regular blogger on women's rights, religion and politics.[6]

When commenting on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in May 2008, Honeyball asked whether ministers should be allowed to sit on the front bench of government if they are committed Roman Catholics.[7] In the same article, Honeyball also said that Catholicism exercised a "vice-like grip" on the legislative processes over large parts of Continental Europe, blocking women in Ireland and Portugal's right to abortion.[8] The remarks were cited as a contributory reason for the resignation of Conor McGinn, the vice chairman of Young Labour, who described it as a "sectarian diatribe".[9]


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