Fri, 23 February, 2024


Meet our Patrons

Posted: June 1st, 2022

LORD AUSTIN OF DUDLEY became a Patron during his 14 years as an MP, and has continued the connection as a life peer in the House of Lords.

A former media officer for the Labour Party in Scotland, he was the MP for Dudley North until he resigned from the Party in 2019 when he became ashamed of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn.

Adopted as a baby by a Jewish couple (they were refugees from the Holocaust), the anti-Semitism issue caused him great distress, and he said in his resignation statement:

“A culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance is driving out good MPs and decent people who have committed their life to mainstream politics.” As Lord Austin, he is chairman of Mainstream UK, a new cross-party campaign to combat extremism in public life. He is a non-affiliated peer – his Twitter account says: “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.”

Ian says: “I’m pleased and proud to continue as AMP Patron in the Lords. Pensions is an important issue on which we always have to be vigilant.”

 

 

 

CHRISTINE JARDINE, MP is our Patron in the House of Commons, succeeding Ian Austin (see top post).

She is a former editor of the Press Association in Scotland, and has twice held Edinburgh West for the Liberal Democrats. She is the Lib Dems’ spokesperson on the Treasury.

Christine was delighted to accept our invitation to become a Patron, and as a senior journalist was well aware of Robert Maxwell’s pension plunder. She said: “If I had ever doubted the value of a pension, or the cruelty of an employer mining it for their own benefit, it would have been brought home to me when my husband died in 2017.

“What would it have been like to discover that the pension he had contributed to for 25 years was gone? Yet that was the reality which so many Mirror Group employees faced.”

Before entering politics Christine was a well-known journalist in Scotland, having worked on the Scotsman, at the BBC and PA, and taught both post- and undergraduate students at the University of the West of Scotland.

She added: “That pension funds must be protected and the state pension kept ahead of inflation are surely principles to which we can all lend support. The memory of how Robert Maxwell stole his employees’ future security and the lack of protection and justice for them is one we should learn from and ensure never happens again.”

 

 

RONA MACKAY, a former Daily Record sub-editor during her 20-year career on national newspapers, is a Member of the Scottish Parliament.

She left full-time journalism to become Parliamentary assistant to a Glasgow MSP for nine years. Then in 2016 she was herself elected for the Scottish National Party, with a solid 8,100 majority.

Shortly after her election, Rona became the AMP’s Patron in the Scottish Parliament, when she agreed: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that we need a voice on financial and pension issues. During the 30 or so years since their members’ pension fund was raided by Robert Maxwell, the Association has fought valiantly on behalf of its members. I am proud to be a voice for justice and for the AMP.”

As MSP, she has taken a leading interest in issues such as animal welfare, fair trade, LGBTI+, men’s violence against women and children, tourism and women’s justice.

Rona lives in Glasgow with her husband and son.

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