This book describes Jenny Tonge's journey from the pit banks and smoke of the Black Country in the post-war years, as a doctor working for thirty years in the NHS before she entered the House of Commons as MP for Richmond Park and became Spokesperson for International Development for the Liberal Democrats. In that role, she visited war zones in the Middle East, natural disasters in Africa and the Caribbean, and after a family tragedy, she went to the red leather benches of the House of Lords.
As the story unfolds, Jenny discovers the issues that she cares deeply about, remembering all those influences on her life that led her to her ultimate goals: fighting for women's reproductive rights in developing countries; and defending human rights worldwide, most famously (and controversially) in Palestine.
Be warned. It is not a standard political memoir or autobiography.
'From the Pit Banks to the Red Benches' features a foreword by Lord David Steel, the last leader of the Liberal Party before it merged with the Social Democrats.