A tribute to Janet Anderson

ALCS is deeply saddened by the news that Janet Anderson, a passionate champion of writers’ rights, has passed away aged 73.

Janet Anderson, the former MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Writers’ Group (APWG) was a tireless advocate of writers and their rights and frequently collaborated with ALCS to improve conditions for writers.

In her role as Chair of the APWG, Janet represented the interests of writers to parliament; advocated for policies that safeguarded and extended their rights; and ensured fair remuneration for their contribution to society.

In the face of public spending cuts, Janet campaigned to protect public libraries and the Public Lending Right, which compensates authors when their books are lent. She also fought for fairer pay for authors during the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. Janet was a key supporter of our work to strengthen author protections in the EU Directive on the Digital Single Market and ensuring that UK writers retained those protections when the UK left the EU.

As well as her work championing authors, Janet pioneered hugely significant legislative changes throughout her parliamentary career, being the first to propose laws prohibiting stalking and the use of mobile phones while driving.

ALCS CEO Barbara Hayes said: “Everyone at ALCS was incredibly sad to learn of the death of Janet Anderson. A former DCMS minister, she was a passionate advocate of writers’ rights and the arts and was one of the earliest members of the All-Party Parliamentary Writers’ Group which she went on to chair.

“After she left parliament, she worked with us for many years as an advocacy consultant where I hugely valued her mentorship and counsel; Janet was warm, funny, compassionate and a lot of fun to be around. She will be very much missed.”

Our thoughts are with Janet’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.