UK

Labour MP dedicated to finding brain cancer cure collects honour from William

Dame Siobhain McDonagh met the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle.

Dame Siobhain McDonagh was recognised for parliamentary and political service
Dame Siobhain McDonagh with the Prince of Wales Dame Siobhain McDonagh was recognised for parliamentary and political service (Yui Mok/PA)

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh fought back tears as she said she was dedicated to finding a cure for brain cancer in the wake of her sister’s death from glioblastoma.

Dame Siobhain joined actress Emilia Clarke and former chancellor Sir Sajid Javid as they collected their honours from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

She said she felt her damehood had been given to her in honour of her late sister, Baroness Margaret, who was the general secretary of the Labour Party from 1998 to 2001.

“I think people put me forward as an honour to her,” she said.

Dame Siobhain McDonagh attended an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle
Dame Siobhain McDonagh at Windsor Castle Dame Siobhain McDonagh attended an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Dame Siobhain said her sister had helped Labour achieve its two biggest electoral successes.

“She used to run the Labour Party for Tony Blair,” she said.

“She organised the 1997 and 2001 elections, which were our two biggest successes in our history, and the first time we had two consecutive full-term wins.”

While housing is her main subject of interest, she said that she was now dedicated to finding a cure to brain cancer.

She added that she will raise the subject in Parliament next week, where she will call for more funding for research, better training for doctors, and further drug trials.

Dame Siobhain chatted to the Prince of Wales
Dame Siobhain chatting to the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle Dame Siobhain chatted to the Prince of Wales (Yui Mok/PA)

Looking forward to the next election, Dame Siobhain said that people were “desperate for change”.

“I’ve just come back from the Kingswood by-election, just outside Bristol, where I was the candidate’s aide,” she said.

“Damien (Egan) was a great candidate, but the voters were really angry.

“They feel a bit hopeless. They believe that we can’t make the country better, that nothing works.

“But we have to start somewhere, we start with a single step.”

Dame Siobhain has been the MP for Mitcham and Morden since 1997, and served as a whip under Gordon Brown.

She was recognised for parliamentary and public service.