Margaret McCrorie Herbison (known as Peggy Herbison)

(11 March 1907 – 29 December 1996)

Scottish Labour politician.

Margaret Herbison will feature in the March of Women on 7th March 2015, a procession of women from Glasgow and beyond spilling out of Glasgow Women’s Library onto the streets of Bridgeton to celebrate the achievements of women past and present.

Educated at Bellshill Academy and the University of Glasgow, her early career was spent as a teacher of English and history and as an economics lecturer for the National Council of Labour Colleges. The daughter of a miner, she would later serve on the Miners' Welfare Commission. She was elected as Labour Member of Parliament for North Lanarkshire at the 1945 general election, defeating the Conservative incumbent, future Deputy Speaker of the House William Anstruther-Gray. She held the seat until she retired at the 1970 general election.

In government, she held office as Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland from 1950 to 1951, as Minister of Pensions and National Insurance from 1964 to 1966, and as Minister of Social Security from 1966 to 1967. She was opposition spokesperson on Scotland (1951–1956, 1959–1962), Education (1956–1959), and Pensions (1958–1959 and 1962–1964).

She was a Member of Labour National Executive Committee, and Labour Party Chairman in 1957. In the House of Commons, she was Chairman of Select Committee on Overseas Aid in 1969-70. She was a British delegate to the Council of Europe.

A lifelong member of the Church of Scotland, from 1970 to 1971 she became the first woman to serve as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

She died of cancer on 29 December 1996 at St Mary's Hospital, Lanark.

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