Janey Buchan

Janey Buchan (née Kent) (30 April 1926 14 January 2012) was a Scottish Labour Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Glasgow constituency from 1979 to 1994 when she retired from the post aged 67.[1]

She was born in Glasgow, a city where her father was a tram driver, and her mother was a domestic servant. She left school at the age of 14, and worked as a typist. In 1946, at the age of 19 she married Norman Buchan, a schoolteacher who later became Labour MP from 1964 for West Renfrewshire, and later Paisley South. He died in 1990.

She attended commercial college and was a councillor on Strathclyde Regional Council from 1974 to 1979, when she was elected to the European Parliament in the in 1979 for the first time. As an MEP she sat on the European Parliament's Culture Committee as well as being involved in the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Gas Consumers Council. She was Life President of the Scottish Minorities Group (later Scottish Homosexual Rights Group and subsequently Outright Scotland). [2]

Her lifetime of activity encompassed many fields. She was an early and active campaigner against apartheid. She helped run the People's Festival in 1949-52 during the Edinburgh Festival; the events helped create the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. As a Glasgow city councillor, she organised the first charity Christmas card sales in the UK. As a member of the council's arts committee she was instrumental in providing funding for the first films made by Bill Forsyth, who went on to direct major UK and Hollywood films including Local Hero. [3]


Buchan died in Brighton, East Sussex. She was survived by her brother, Enoch Kent, her son Alasdair (a journalist), four grandchildren and one great-grandson.


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