Edwina Hart MBE AM, (born 26 April 1957) is a Welsh Labour Party politician who has been a Member of the National Assembly for Wales representing Gower since 1999. She is also Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Health and Social Services since May 2007.
Edwina was born and raised in Gowerton where she attended Gowerton Girls Grammar School. She especially enjoyed English and Music and became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. Today Edwina lives in Gowerton with her family, she has one daughter. Hart’s interests include music and literature. She has always been active in both local and national politics, especially the continued promotion of equal opportunities.
Hart has worked in banking, where she became active in the trade union movement. As a result of this work she was elected as the first female president of BIFU (banking services union and now part of Amicus). She also served as Chair of the Wales TUC. Edwina would later receive an MBE for Trade Union services. In 1998 Edwina also served as a member of the Broadcasting Council for Wales and sat on the board of the Wales Millennium Centre. She also sat on the Employment Appeals Tribunal, was a member of the South West Wales Economic Forum and a director of Chwarae Teg. Edwina is a member of T&GWU and Community as well as a life member of Amicus.
Hart was elected to the First Assembly with 35.4% of the vote in 1999 for the constituency of Gower. She became the Assembly’s first Finance Secretary in 2000, this was changed to include responsibility for local government and she because Minister for Finance and Local Government.
She was re-elected to the Second Assembly in 2003, increasing her majority to 5688 (+8.2%) with 43.60% of the vote. After the election she took on the newly created Social Justice portfolio and became the Assembly’s first ever Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration Minister. Being the first dedicated Minister to carry forward the Social Justice agenda for Wales, Hart has a large range of responsibilities which include community safety, youth justice, police relations, fire service, alcohol and drug abuse, social economy, anti-poverty, housing, social housing, the voluntary sector, issues relating to asylum & immigration, liaison for armed forces in Wales, veterans, regeneration of communities, and development.
She was once again re-elected to the Third Assembly in May 2007 with a reduced majority of 1192 (34.2% of the vote) and appointed Minister for Health and Social Services (May 31, 2007). She retained this position when the coalition government of Labour and Plaid Cymru was announced on July 19.
Hart was nominated the best-dressed Welsh politician of the year as judges were dazzled with her striking blue-dress-and-gloves combo at the red-carpet Royal Variety Performance. According to Peter Black AM, Hart beat some tough competition to take this prize including Welsh Secretary Peter Hain. South Wales East Tory, William Graham was also shortlisted, presumably helped by his habit of wearing a fresh orchid as a buttonhole each day, plucked from his own greenhouses.