Who is Sarah Macaulay?

Who is Sarah Macaulay? The political world knows Sarah Brown  as the wife of Gordon Brown, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She is also the founding partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications, a public relations company.

Early life

Brown was born 31 October 1963 Sarah Macaulay in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire,[1] on 31 October 1963[2] to a middle-class family: her mother Pauline was a teacher and her Scottish father Iain[2] (who died in Ireland in 2007)[3] worked for publisher Longman. Brown spent her early childhood in Fife,[4] before moving to Tanzania. When she was eight, her parents separated, both remarried, and she with her two younger brothers, Sean and Bruce,[3] went to live with their mother and stepfather in North London.[5]
She was educated in North London at Acland Burghley School and Camden School for Girls, and went on to take a psychology degree at the University of Bristol.[6]
After leaving university, she worked at the brand consultancy Wolff Olins. When she was 30, she went into partnership with her old school friend, Julia Hobsbawm, starting the Hobsbawm Macaulay public relations firm together. The firm landed contracts with the New Statesman, owned by Geoffrey Robinson.[6] The firm has also won contracts with the British Council, a UK government-funded body, which led to allegations from the Conservative Party that these contracts ought to have been disclosed by Gordon Brown. No action was taken by the Government in respect of this alleged breach of the Ministerial Code.[7]

Marriage and children

She first met Gordon Brown briefly at a Labour event, but they did not speak at length until 1994 when they shared a flight from London to Scotland for the Scottish Labour Party conference. After this meeting the two began dating.[8]
The relationship was kept secret until 1997, when the News of the World published a picture of them together in a restaurant in London.[9] Allegedly, the scene was staged by spin doctor Charlie Whelan and had to be reshot when Brown failed to look suitably loving.[6]
They were married on 3 August 2000 in Brown's home town, North Queensferry, Fife.[10]
In 2001, she left Hobsbawm Macaulay after finding out she was pregnant with her first child.[11] On 28 December 2001 she gave birth prematurely to a daughter, Jennifer Jane, who died when she was only 10 days old.[12][13] In 2002 she founded charity Piggy Bank Kids, which began as a research fund to tackle complications in pregnancy, and has now expanded into a range of projects helping disadvantaged children.
Gordon Brown has spoken of Sarah's bravery after the death of their daughter.[14]
On 17 October 2003 she gave birth to her second child, a boy, John[15] and then on 17 July 2006 she had another boy, James Fraser.[16] In November of that year, James Fraser was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.[17]

She is the patron of domestic violence charity Women's Aid and of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre, set up in memory of a breast cancer victim, among others.[18] Brown is also a close friend of writer J.K. Rowling (who donated £1 million to the Labour Party in 2008),[19] and the two co-authored a children's book for the One Parent Families charity organization.[20]

Public perception

Brown is by and large favourably compared with Cherie Blair, the wife of her husband's predecessor. Cherie Blair was often portrayed as eccentric and outgoing by the media. Brown has been portrayed in contrast to this as a more reserved, though nonetheless amiable, figure.[21][22][23] British newspaper, The Guardian, noted her public image, saying, "her positive profile could be the best thing Labour has got going for it with the election looming."[24]
Brown, a member of the social networking site Twitter, has over a million members on Twitter following "SarahBrownUK", resulting in Jan Moir of the Daily Mail dubbing her "the high priestess of Twitter".[25]
Brown is scheduled to publish her biography through Ebury Press in 2011, under the working title "Behind the Black Door".[26]


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