Jan Royall is Principal of Somerville College Oxford. Under the last Labour Government she was Leader of the House of Lords and a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet. She then served for 5 years as Leader of the Opposition in the Lords. She was appointed to the Lords in 2004 and became a Government whip with responsibility for health, international development, Foreign Affairs, Equality and Northern Ireland. She previously worked in the European Commission, for Neil Kinnock and for the Labour Group in the European Parliament.
Jan is still an active backbencher with an interest in education, young people, housing, health and social care, social justice, women, diversity and foreign affairs. In addition she is Chair of Trustees of the People’s History museum, Chair of the Oxford Strategic Partnership, Vice Chair of the Conference of Colleges and is associated with many charities and voluntary organisations.
Jan has always been passionate about education and equality of opportunity and has taken many associated Bills through Parliament from the Government and Opposition benches. She also regularly visits schools in this country and in other parts of the world. She has worked on many policy areas including citizenship and democratic engagement and is a strong supporter of social action for young people.