Baroness Henig

Baroness Ruth Henig CBE, DL is a British academic historian and Labour Party politician. Baroness Henig chairs the all-party Parliamentary Bridge group.

1.What do you do?
I chair a regulatory body, the Security Industry Authority, which licenses people to work in the private security industry. I am also a life peer and chair the all-party Parliamentary Bridge group.
In a former life, I was a modern historian working at Lancaster University.
2.How did you start playing bridge?
I played card games as a child, and became an enthusiastic solo whist player at university. When I got married, I watched my in-laws play bridge and was instantly hooked. I thought, `what a great advance on solo whist - I could play that`, and over 40 years later I am still trying to improve.
3.Where do you play bridge?
The unpredictable nature of Parliamentary business makes it difficult to plan too far ahead. So, if I find myself free on a Monday or Wednesday evening, I might play at Young Chelsea Bridge Club, and if on a Tues or Thurs evening, I will go to the Acol club in West Hampstead.
I also used to play a lot in Lancashire events, but only being in Lancaster on two or three week ends out of four makes that very difficult now.
Additionally, my husband and I do like to play in Brighton in August at least every other year.
4.What are your favourite films?
I love Golden Oldies - like Casablanca, Gone With the Wind and the more recent, Chariots of Fire. I really enjoyed An Education which I saw last week, which was brilliantly acted and brought back so many memories of the world of the early 1960s.
5.What are you reading?
View from the Foothills by Chris Mullin - a wonderful insight into Parliamentary life. I am also reading Europe - East and West, a collection of essays by Norman Davies, and Smuts by Antony Lentin - as a 20th century historian, who is still writing , I like to keep up with recent publications in my field of interest.
More bridge questions
6. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at the bridge table?
Many years ago, I was playing with a very pedantic elderly gentleman, very set in his bidding ways. He bid two suits and waited for me to agree one of them. But my hand was 7/6 in the other two suits. I can`t remember where we ended up - in a hopeless 5 NT I think - because his hand was 7/6 in the suits he had bid! A freakish distribution indeed - which has never happened to me since, thank goodness.

Baroness Henig is also available for additional interviews, please contact Peter Stockdale for more information.