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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Estelle Morris

Date of birth

17 June 1952

Political profile

Estelle Morris had a strong Labour background long before her election to the Commons in 1992.

She was a long serving member of Warwick council and led its Labour group for seven years.

Her father and her uncle were both former Labour MPs.

She rose quickly through Labour's ranks, becoming a whip in 1994 and an education spokesman in 1995, drawing on her professional experience as a teacher.

When Labour came to power in 1997, she entered the Department for Education and Employment as an under secretary.

After the 2001 election, she became the first secretary of state for the new Department for Education and Skills.

However her time in the post was not a happy one, as severe problems with the new A and AS Level exams led to her being under immense political pressure - which was exacerbated when literacy and numeracy standards failed to match targets on which she had staked her career.

Despite having the apparent support of the prime minister she resigned in October 2002, saying she had not enjoyed the job and adding that she was better at being schools standards minister than running the huge education department.

But she made a return to government outside the cabinet in June 2003 as arts minister.

Contact

Constituency office 0121 706 6418

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