I was elected as the Assembly Member for Cardiff North on May 5th 2011. From May 2011 until April 2013, I served on the Children and Young People Committee. I am also Chair of several Cross Party Groups in the Assembly, including the Cross-Party Groups on Cancer, Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, Children, Gypsies and Travellers, Justice Unions, and the PCS.
Prior to serving in the Welsh Assembly, I was an MP. I was elected as Labour Member of Parliament for Cardiff North on 1st May 1997 and served until May 2010. At the time of my election in 1997, I was the first woman MP to represent a part of Cardiff.
I was born in Cardiff and have lived here most of my life. I studied at King's College, London, and Manchester University and hold a postgraduate diploma in Social Administration (CQSW) from Cardiff University.
Before I became an MP, I was a social worker with Barry Social Services and West Glamorgan Social Services, and an Assistant Director of Barnardo's. I sat on South Glamorgan Council between 1985 and 1997. During my time as an MP, I presented three Private Member's Bills -- one on banning smoking in public places, one on granting votes at 16, and most recently, one on preventing under-18s from using sunbeds. The latter became law in 2010.