Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Right Honourable Margaret Eve, Lady Hodge (born September 8, 1944) is an Egypt-born British politician and Labour Party member of Parliament for Barking. She is also Minister for Children at the Department for Education and Skills.
She has been member for Barking since a by-election in 1994 caused by the death of Jo Richardson. She became a junior minister in 1998 and was made Minister for Universities in 2001, and remained there until 2003 when she was made Children Minister.
In 2003 she was involved in a controversy about press coverage of a man who accused her of being ultimately responsible for abuse he suffered as a child in a home overseen by Mrs Hodge as leader of Islington Council. Following a media campaign conducted by several national newspapers calling for her to resign, she was further drawn into the controversy by responding to the man in question by letter and referring to him in it as 'extremely disturbed'. Following this the man passed the letter to the press which planned to publish it, only to be judicially restrained from doing so at the instruction of Mrs Hodge. The letter was eventually published, mainly on the grounds that the blocking of the letter was seen as disproportionate to the reaction from the press, who usually resist such legal interference in their right to publish. Mrs Hodge was forced to publicly apologise and offer to contribute to a charity of the man's choosing as recompense. This effectively ended the affair in the eyes of the press.
She was the first person to be Children's Minister since the post was created in 2003 but has suffered further difficulties since the Islington controversy and the press has called for her resignation on several occasions. Usually viewed as a strong supporter of Tony Blair, she appears to retain his support despite the hostility of the press and the problems caused by it.
-  Guardian timeline of the Margaret Hodge row
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