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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Sandra Gidley

Date of birth

26 March 1957

Political profile

A pharmacist by profession, Sandra Gidley is a member of the Health select committee and a vice-chairwoman of the All Party Group on Men's Health.

In her first parliamentary question, she asked the health secretary to reconsider the Private Finance Initiative's role in the NHS.

Most of her subsequent parliamentary interventions have been on health matters, including unauthorised organ retention and access to treatment for children with Downs Syndrome.

In 2001, she became the party's spokesman on women's issues - a post which Charles Kennedy later elevated to the party's "shadow cabinet".

Gidley won Romsey in a May 2000 by-election, caused by the death of sitting Tory Michael Colvin, the only seat to change hands in Britain throughout the 1997-2001 Parliament.

The 12% swing which gave her victory was largely helped by a campaign which stressed her local roots.

She is a member of Test Valley Borough Council and was, in 1997, the youngest ever female mayor of Romsey.

Her two teenage children were both educated in the area.

She was criticised by some for opposing a draft EU Directive on tobacco, although she says that she "hates smoking", because it could have led to job losses in the constituency.

Contact

gidleys@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01794 511900

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