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Home > The Department > Department overview > Who does what? > The Ministerial Executive Board > Baroness Ashton of Upholland

The Rt Hon the Baroness Ashton of Upholland

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Baroness Ashton of Upholland


  • Human Rights (including Commission for Equality and Human Rights)
  • European Union and International Policy
  • International Legal Trade
  • Information Rights - Freedom of Information, data sharing and data protection
  • Administrative Justice, including the creation of the Tribunals Service
  • Associated offices
    • Statutory Publications Office
    • Public Guardianship Office (including Mental Capacity Implementation Programme)
    • Official Solicitors Office
    • The National Archives


Cathy Ashton was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Constitutional Affairs on 9 September 2004.

Cathy was born in Upholland in Lancashire, from where she takes her title 'Baroness Ashton of Upholland'.

From 1983-89 she was Director of Business in the Community working with business to tackle inequality, and established the Employers’ Forum on Disability, Opportunity Now, and the Windsor Fellowship.

Cathy chaired the Health Authority in Hertfordshire from 1998 to 2001, and her children’s school governing body, and became a Vice President of the National Council for One Parent Families.

In 1999 she was given a life peerage. She became an Education Minister in 2001. In 2005 she was voted House Magazine Minister of the Year and Channel 4 Peer of the Year. In 2006, she was voted Stonewall Politician of the Year. She became a Privy Councillor in May 2006.

Cathy has 3 stepchildren and 2 children.


Economics at London University.

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