Single-parents' ally quits crusading post

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The Independent Online

Sue Slipman, veteran campaigner for the rights of Britain's 1.3 million single parents, has resigned from her position as director of the National Council for One Parent Families after more than 10 years.

Ms Slipman, 44, a former president of the National Union of Students, has won widespread respect - and some condemnation - as the Government focus on "family values" moved the council centre-stage in recent years.

She has played a key role in defending the Child Support Agency in the past 12 months and is regarded as a "consummate lobbyist", claiming some credit for the Family Law Reform Act, which removed the stigma of illegitimacy and highlighted child-care allowances for low-income families.

It is understood that Ms Slipman, had been wanting to move for some time. In 1993, she was tipped as the next chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, but her appointment is believed to have been vetoed by Downing Street. She will shortly take up a new post with an unnamed organisation.

Ms Slipman, a former Communist who defected to the SDP in 1981, is credited with reforming the National Council for One Parent Families from a "hotbed of radical left-do-goodery" into a strong operation with a £1m turnover, and which observers claim is a model of managerial efficiency.

A friend said yesterday: "Sue felt she had been in one place for a long time and was in need of new challenges."

Ms Slipman, who is on holiday and was unavailable for comment yesterday, lives with her seven-year-old son in south London.