About Oona - Personal Biography

Oona was born on 22 October 1967 in Sheffield, and brought up in Camden, London. Oona's mother, Hazel, is a teacher from Newcastle, whose grandparents were Irish, Scottish, and Hungarian. Oona's father, Preston, is an African-American professor of political science, whose family were closely involved in America's civil rights movement.

Oona attended York University, gaining a 1st class politics degree(1990). She was also awarded a one-year scholarship to study at Berkeley, the University of California.

Oona worked as a Researcher for the Socialist Group of the European Parliament(1990), and then worked for Glyn Ford MEP(1991-3). Following that she worked for Glenys Kinnock MEP(1994-5). Oona worked as a trade union officer for the GMB (1995-97) representing low-paid workers in the public sector.

Oona was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green & Bow in May 1997. She has campaigned on issues including anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, housing, fair rents, pensioner rights, immigration, electoral reform, inner-city regeneration, comprehensive education, Europe, and a fairer international trade system. For more details on Oona's political career please see Parliamentary Biography.

In 1994 Oona married Tiberio Santomarco, and they live in Mile End. Oona is determined to see that local people share in the growing prosperity of the East End. In her spare time, Oona enjoys cinema, dance music, history, and walking, and she speaks French and Italian.