Obituary – Angela Clayton MBE

We’ve received the very sad news of the recent death of Angela Clayton MBE. Angela, who as a member of Prospect, was involved for many years with the TUC LGBT conference (as a delegate) and as a member of the TUC LGBT Committee. She was a powerful advocate for the rights of trans people, and was also a leading activist in the organisation Press for Change. Angela’s life will be remembered at the LGBT Conference this year and we will strive to honour Angela’s memory by redoubling our work towards trans equality.

Peter Purton

Disability and LGBT rights

Congress House, Great Russell Street

London WC1B 3LS

tel: 0207 467 1271 mob: 07788715385 fax: 0207 467 1333

e: ppurton@tuc.org.uk web: www.tuc.org.uk

Angela Helen Clayton MBE (born 1959) was an internationally known physicist working in the fields of Nuclear Criticality Safety and Health Physics. She was also a campaigner for the rights of transsexual people.

Her professional accomplishments and achievements included: Head of Criticality Safety at the Atomic Weapons Establishment for some years; Chairperson of the UK Working Party on Criticality; Member of the Working Group for American National Standard 8.15 – Nuclear Criticality Control of Special Actinide Elements coordinated by the American Nuclear Society; Participant in the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project; Member of Advisory Programme Committees and Technical Programme Committees for several International Conferences on Nuclear Criticality Safety (e.g. International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC) 1991 – UK, ICNC 2003 – Japan, ICNC 2007 – Russia); Authored or co-authored several published papers on various aspects of criticality safety.

She held various roles in Safety Committees and the Reactor Safety Panel at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (now AWE, plc).

Her passion for the subjects of criticality safety and Radiological Protection – Health Physics shone through strongly and she ensured that the ‘right thing’ was done. She was well respected in her field and will be remembered as someone who fought very hard to ensure appropriate criticality controls were used. She was known as an excellent leader of her group and helped to give team members a sense of value and purpose.

Angela was also quite active in her various National and local Prospect(trade union) activities, including serving on the pension National Executive Committee (NEC) Advisory Sub Committee and was an elected trustee of the AWE Pension Scheme from 1 February 2009 – 1 February 2011.

After her early retirement in March 2011 on medical grounds (due to complications from an old automobile accident in 1999), she pursued various artistic and intellectual activities including acquiring a large telescope with which she could engage in a life-long love of Astronomy.

Throughout her life, Angela took up various intellectual pursuits, to which she excelled. She gained degrees in a range of subjects. The most recent of which was a degree in Law from the Open University. She graduated with a first in April 2009.

After early traumatic experiences when she approached medics for help with her transsexualism, she finally transitioned without medical support and only engaged once more with medics to obtain surgery after several years living as a woman.

Clayton worked with the trans campaigning organisation Press for Change from 1999. She was one of the authors of the “Trans Data Position Paper for the National Statistics: UK Statistics Authority. She took a close interest in the role of trade unions in promoting equality for trans people in the workplace and in 2002 became the first “trans observer” to the UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) LGBT Committee when it added trans people to its remit. She has continued to work with trade unions and has served three terms as a member of the TUC LGBT Committee.

She was closely involved in development of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 which for the first time gave trans people in Britain legal recognition in their lived gender. She served as a member of the implementation team for the Act, along with her colleague Stephen Whittle, presenting the views of trans people on the implementation process.

She was made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2006 for her services to gender issues.

Clayton was a speaker at the Greater London LGBT Organising Day in February 2008.

Clayton always struggled with her weight. This led to her developing Type 2 Diabetes later in life. The incretin mimetics medication she was given to help control her diabetes had the risk of developing pancreatitis, as noted by the British Medical Journal, of which she was unaware of until December 2013.