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Dame Margaret Mary Beckett, DBE is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Derby South since 1983. She was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under John Smith from 1992 to 1994, and briefly served as Leader of the Labour Party after Smith died suddenly. She later served in the Cabinet under Prime Minister Tony Blair in a number of roles, becoming Britain's first female Foreign Secretary in 2006.

The Right Honourable

DBE MP
Margaret Beckett May 2007.jpg
Minister of State for Housing and Planning
In office
3 October 2008 – 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Caroline Flint
Succeeded by John Healey
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Jack Straw
Succeeded by David Miliband
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
8 June 2001 – 5 May 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by John Prescott
Nick Brown
Succeeded by David Miliband
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord President of the Council
In office
27 July 1998 – 8 June 2001
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Deputy Paddy Tipping
Preceded by Ann Taylor
Succeeded by Robin Cook
President of the Board of Trade
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
In office
2 May 1997 – 27 July 1998
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Ian Lang
Succeeded by Peter Mandelson
Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
In office
19 October 1995 – 2 May 1997
Leader Tony Blair
Preceded by Jack Cunningham
Succeeded by Michael Heseltine
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
In office
20 October 1994 – 19 October 1995
Leader Tony Blair
Preceded by David Blunkett
Succeeded by Harriet Harman
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
In office
21 July 1994 – 20 October 1994
Leader Tony Blair
Preceded by Nick Brown
Succeeded by Ann Taylor
In office
24 July 1992 – 12 May 1994
Leader John Smith
Preceded by Jack Cunningham
Succeeded by Nick Brown
Leader of the Opposition
In office
12 May 1994 – 21 July 1994
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by John Smith
Succeeded by Tony Blair
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
18 July 1992 – 21 July 1994
Leader John Smith
Preceded by Roy Hattersley
Succeeded by John Prescott
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
9 January 1989 – 18 July 1992
Leader Neil Kinnock
Preceded by Gordon Brown
Succeeded by Harriet Harman
Member of Parliament
for Derby South
Assumed office
9 June 1983
Preceded by Walter Johnson
Majority 8,828 (21.6%)
Member of Parliament
for Lincoln
In office
10 October 1974 – 3 May 1979
Preceded by Dick Taverne
Succeeded by Kenneth Carlisle
Personal details
Born Margaret Mary Jackson
(1943-01-15) 15 January 1943 (age 73)
Ashton-under-Lyne, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Leo Beckett
Alma mater University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
Website parliament..margaret-beckett

Dame Margaret Mary Beckett, DBE (née Jackson; born 15 January 1943) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Derby South since 1983. She was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under John Smith from 1992 to 1994, and briefly served as Leader of the Labour Party after Smith died suddenly. She later served in the Cabinet under Prime Minister Tony Blair in a number of roles, becoming Britain's first female Foreign Secretary in 2006.

Beckett was first elected to Parliament in 1974 for Lincoln and held junior positions in the governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. She lost her seat in 1979, but returned to the House of Commons in 1983, this time representing Derby South. She was appointed to Neil Kinnock's Shadow Cabinet shortly afterwards, being elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in 1992, becoming the first woman to hold that role. When John Smith died in 1994, she became the first woman to lead the Labour Party, although Tony Blair won the election to replace Smith shortly afterwards to assume the substantive leadership.

After Labour returned to power in 1997, Beckett became a member of Tony Blair's Cabinet initially as President of the Board of Trade. She was later the Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, before becoming Foreign Secretary in 2006, the first woman to hold that position, and—after Margaret Thatcher—the second woman to hold one of the Great Offices of State. Following Blair's resignation as Prime Minister in 2007, Beckett was not initially given a position by new Prime Minister Gordon Brown. After some time, Brown appointed her Minister of State for Housing and Planning in 2008, before she left the government for the last time in 2009.

She is the longest-serving female MP in the House of Commons, as well as being one of the longest-serving ministers in government history. She is also one of the few remaining MPs who served in the Labour governments of the 1970s. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 New Year Honours for public and political service.

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