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Barbara Follett

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Barbara Follett

Daphne Barbara Follett (born 25 December 1942) is a British politician - she is the Labour Member of Parliament for Stevenage, which she first won at the 1997 general election. She is married to author Ken Follett.

Biography

Barbara Follett was born Daphne Barbara Hubbard in Kingston, Jamaica 25 December 1942 where her father was an insurance executive.

In 1946 the family returned, first to Jersey then in 1947 to Billericay, Essex. In 1952 the family moved to Ethiopia. In 1957 after an unfortunate incident involving her father (an alcoholic), the family went to Cape Town in South Africa. She began a University degree in Art, but in 1962 had to give it up and started work with Barclays Bank.

She married Richard Turner in 1963 and they went to Paris where she worked for the Berlitz School of Languages. They returned to South Africa in 1966 to run a fruit farm in Stellenbosch. In 1969 she started working for Kupugani, an organisation that provided cheap food for the poor.

In 1970, on the breakdown of her marriage, she became acting Regional Secretary at the Institute of Race Relations. She worked again for Kupugani from 1971 to 1978. After a brief marriage to Gerald Stonestreet, she married architect Les Broer. In 1978, shortly after her ex-husband Richard was assassinated, the family fled back to England, living at Farnham in Surrey, where she worked for the Centre for International Briefing, and joined the Labour Party.

She stood unsuccessfully as Labour candidate for Woking in the 1983 general election. In 1985 she married author Ken Follett. From 1984 to 1992 she was a freelance lecturer and consultant, contesting Epsom and Ewell for Labour in 1987. She joined the Fawcett Society and the National Alliance of Women's Organisations and jointly founded the Labour Women's Network in 1987.

She obtained a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics, and was Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Public Policy Research 1993 to 1997. She became a patron of Action on Pre-Eclampsia.

In 1997 she was elected as MP for Stevenage. She has served on many groups and committees, and is a member of the Fabian Society.

She has many outside interests and now has an extended family.

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