MP for East Lothian
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65 High Street Tranent EH33 1LN
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About Fiona O'Donnell
Fiona grew up in a working class family in the Scottish Highlands. Along with her three brothers she attended the local comprehensive schools and went on to study English and History at Glasgow University. Fiona remembers,
“It was Labour that made it possible for people like me, from working class backgrounds, to have that kind of opportunity. My parents always encouraged us to work hard at school believing that education was the best route out of poverty.”
Fiona carried on her parents’ commitment to education and all her children attended comprehensive schools.
She has four grown up children. Three sons, Lawrence, Stephen and Michael and one daughter, Kathleen, who was born when Fiona lived in Port Seton.
“Education must be in my family’s genes as Kathleen is a teacher. I brought my children up to make a positive contribution to society, to want to make a difference. Stephen works in the European Parliament where many of the improved rights for workers have been won. Lawrence and Michael are musicians and have worked with children in outreach projects at home and in India, Uganda and Iraq. I am so proud of the people they have become.”
It was Labour that gave birth to the National Health Service and we remain committed to its founding principles -
When my twin sons were born prematurely, I was so grateful that the NHS was there for our family and that the Special Care Unit, which I had campaigned to keep open, could provide all the specialist care and attention they needed. Care we could never have afforded.
During a long and varied career, Fiona has worked for elected representatives at Westminster and in the Scottish and European Parliaments. She also has extensive experience of working in the voluntary sector with children and families, and people with physical and learning disabilities and now works as an organiser and development officer with the Labour Party.
Fiona says, “Raising a family during the Thatcher years was tough. There were no free nursery places and childcare was sparse and expensive. I don’t want families in East Lothian to return to those days. Labour has done so much to help families and the Tories would put all of that at risk.”