Linda has been a Labour Party member since 1980 and is a member of the Cooperative Party, the Fabian Society, UNISON and UNITE the Union. She is also the Vice President of the Labour Campaign for International Development.
As one of nine, Linda was born and raised in Eccleshill in Bradford but now lives in Sheffield with her husband Paul Blomfield, the MP for Sheffield Central.
Linda has a long background of working on EU affairs and has always believed in the strong benefits of EU membership. She worked in Brussels from 1984-1991, before returning to work in the UK as a regional policy specialist for the Coalfield Communities Campaign and Barnsley Council.
She was first elected as an MEP in 1998 in a by-election for what was then the South Yorkshire European Parliamentary seat. She was re-elected as an MEP for the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber under the new proportional representation system in 1999, 2004, 2009 and again in 2014.
As a Labour MEP, Linda sits in the Socialist and Democrat (S&D) Group in the European Parliament, the second largest political group.
From 1999 to 2004 Linda was Deputy Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party and represented the Socialist Group on the Convention on the Future of Europe. She was Vice President of the Socialist Group from 2004 to 2009 and in 2002, was voted British European Woman of the Year for her efforts to engage women in the future of Europe.
Having previously served as the S&D coordinator on the Committee for the Environment, Food Safety and Public Health (ENVI), Linda was appointed as the Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee for International Development (DEVE) following the 2014 European elections.
During her time on the ENVI committee, Linda led for the S&D group on issues relating to the European Emissions Trading System. She delivered new EU laws on pharmaceuticals and was Parliament’s rapporteur on pharmcovigilance (drug safety) in 2010. She was also the Rapporteur for one of the most significant pieces of legislation of the last Parliament, the Tobacco Products Directive which delivered a raft of changes, all designed to make smoking less attractive to young people.
As the Chair of the International Development Committee, with two major UN summits taking place this year, she is working to shape the EU’s position on both the UN’s sustainable development goals and climate change policy. The European Commission has designated 2015 to be the European Year for Development and Linda will play a leading role in the programme of events both in Brussels and here in the UK.
She has worked on the EU’s response to the Ebola crisis, pushing for greater coordination as well as raising much needed funds for Doctors without Borders here in the region. She is co-chair of the MEP Heart Group Linda and is very active on issues relating to neurological disorders. Linda has a passion for promoting Fairtrade and is the founder and chair of the European Parliament’s Fairtrade Working Group.
Back in the region, Linda has worked to ensure that Yorkshire and the Humber is leading the UK in tackling climate change with its ambitious plans for cleaning up coal fired power stations and heavy industry. Drax power station is set to benefit from millions in European funding set aside for Carbon Capture and Storage projects, a fund which Linda helped to establish.
She is also incredibly active on ensuring that Yorkshire and the Humber gets its fair share of European Regional Development funding and that the funding is put to good use.
Constituency Office: 79 High Street, Wath-upon-Dearne,
Rotherham, South Yorkshire S63 7QB
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