Harriet reveals government minister’s civil partnership

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The UK’s only out female MP is to enter into a civil partnership, it was revealed yesterday.

Angela Eagle, a junior Treasury minister, is to wed her partner, engineer Maria Exall.

The happy news was revealed by the Deputy Leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman, during a question and answer session at the TUC conference yesterday.

Ms Eagle, 46, said she was “taken by surprise” at the way the news had become public.

At last year’s Stonewall Awards she won Politician of the Year jointly with Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Health, for their work on the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

She was named as one of the 50 most influential LGBT people in British politics by PinkNews.co.uk in 2007.

Ms Eagle, who has represented Wallasey since 1992, came out as a lesbian soon after the 1997 election. Her twin sister Maria is also an MP and government minister.

In June 2007 she was appointed to the government by Gordon Brown, in the newly-revived position of Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

Ms Eagle served in a series of junior posts under Tony Blair until he sacked her in 2002.

She is popular in the party, and is a member of Labour’s governing body, the National Executive Committee.