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Helen Lawrie Liddell, Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, PC is a British Labour Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Monklands East from 1994 to 1997, and then for Airdrie and Shotts until 2005. Liddell then became the British High Commissioner to Australia until 2009, having previously been appointed a Cabinet Minister as Secretary of State for Scotland. On 28 May 2010, it was announced in the Dissolution Honours List that she would be created a Life Peer.

She graduated with a BA in Economics from the University of Strathclyde and after a stint as a BBC Scotland economic journalist, she became a member of the Labour Party being the first female General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party at the age of 26 from 1977-78.

Liddell was first elected to Parliament in 1994, at the closely fought Monklands East by-election following John Smith’s death. She was Secretary of State for Scotland from 2001 to 2003, a position whose powers had been transferred to the Scottish Executive after devolution in 1999.

She took up appointment as British High Commissioner to Australia in the summer of 2005. She was succeeded in the role by Baroness Valerie Amos in October 2009.

She was named a Life Peer in 2010 taking the title Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, of Airdrie in the County of Lanarkshire, six days later becoming a House of Lords member where she sits till this day.

Baroness Helen Liddell

Member of Parliament, House of Lords, United Kindgom

  • Minister of State for Energy & Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Labour Party’s first female General Secretary (1977-1988)
  • Economics journalist, BBC Scotland (1976-1977)