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Former Harlow MP sets record straight on “romance with dance professor”.

Politics / Sat 19th Oct 2013 at 09:22am

rammellFORMER HARLOW MP Labour minister has admitted that he has started a relationship with a senior academic at the university he now runs.

Bill Rammell, who was MP for Harlow between 1997 and 2010 is now the vice-chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire.

He told colleagues about his romance with Helen Bailey, a professor of dance, to avoid any perceptions of a conflict of interest.

The former MP married his wife, Beryl, in 1982 and they have two grown-up children, but the university refused to confirm whether they were still together when he began his new relationship reports Luton Today.

Mr Rammell, 54, served as higher education minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, took over running the university in August last year after losing his seat at the 2010 general election.

Prof Bailey, 46, a Labour-supporting academic who has a young son from a previous relationship, was appointed to a senior management role in June.

The university, which has campuses in Luton, Bedford and Aylesbury, confirmed that Mr Rammell sat on the board that made her “interim executive dean of partnerships” with responsibility for developing links with other academic institutions and organisations.

However, it stressed that his relationship with Prof Bailey began after this and so had no influence on the appointment.

Mr Rammell’s revelations about his relationship with Prof Bailey have required changes to the institution’s management structure.
The university said in a statement: “The University of Bedfordshire can confirm that vice chancellor Bill Rammell has recently formed a relationship with work colleague Professor Helen Bailey.

“In accordance with the university’s policies relating to personal relationships at work, Professor Bailey, who is interim executive dean of partnerships, will move to report to the University’s deputy vice chancellor.

“She has also stepped down as a staff governor to avoid any potential conflict of interest.”

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