Portrait of Rt Hon Dame Joan Ruddock unveiled in Parliament

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22 February 2018

A new portrait of Rt Hon Dame Joan Ruddock was unveiled in Parliament last night.

The portrait of the former Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford was commissioned by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art.

Joan Ruddock was selected because of the significant contribution she made to Parliament over the course of her career, particularly in relation to women's rights and environmental issues.

The portrait was painted by Anastasia Pollard, a former winner of the Ondaatje Prize for portraiture.

Joan Ruddock

Ruddock was first elected to Parliament in 1987 and held her seat until standing down in 2015.

She began her Parliamentary career in Opposition. During this period she piloted a Private Members Bill on flytipping, which became the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989.

As Shadow Transport Minister (1989-1992), she was responsible for “greening” Labour’s roads policy and wrote the first comprehensive transport strategy for London. 

In her subsequent portfolio she led for Labour in all stages of the Environment Act 1995 and forged close links throughout the country with the major green organisations. 

As Shadow Minister for Home Affairs (1992-1994) her political vision led her to champion the cause of victims of racial violence. 

In 1997 she was appointed the first full-time Minister for Women (1997-1998). 

Over the next ten years she sat on several Select Committees (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Modernisation; International Development).

She introduced a number of bills to Parliament, including the Organic Food and Farming Targets Bill, the Prophylactic Mastectomy Bill and a bill to amend the Sex Discrimination Act, which provided a blueprint for the Government’s Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act.

In 2005 Ruddock joined the International Development Select Committee until her appointment as DEFRA Minister with responsibility for Climate Change, Biodiversity and Waste when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

Shortly after the 2010 election, she was appointed as a Privy Councillor and in 2012 she received a DBE in recognition of her public and political service. 

Anastasia Pollard

As well as the Ondaatje Prize, Pollard has previously won the gold medal awarded for the most distinguished painting in the Royal Society of Portraiture’s annual exhibition.

She is a member of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters and has exhibited at the BP awards at The National Portrait Gallery.

Image: 'Rt Hon Dame Joan Ruddock' by Anastasia Pollard, oil on aluminium, 2017 (Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA 7608)

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Works of Art (Speaker's Advisory Committee)

The Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art is appointed by the Speaker to advise on matters relating to works of art in the House of Commons

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