Don Touhig

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Touhig
Member of Parliament
for Islwyn
In office
16 February 1995 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Neil Kinnock
Succeeded by Chris Evans
Personal details
Born (1947-12-05) 5 December 1947 (age 67)
Abersychan, Monmouthshire, Wales
Nationality Welsh
Political party Labour Co-operative
Spouse(s) Jennifer Hughes
Religion Roman Catholic

James Donnelly Touhig, Baron Touhig,[1] PC, KSS (born 5 December 1947) is a British Labour Co-operative politician from Wales. He was the Member of Parliament for Islwyn from 1995 until his retirement in 2010.

Early life[edit]

He went to St Francis RC School in Abersychan near Pontypool, then the Mid Gwent College (now Coleg Gwent) in Pontypool. Before entering parliament, he had been a journalist from 1968-76. From 1976-90, he was the Editor of the Free Press of Monmouthshire (Monmouth Free Press). From 1988-92, he was the General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of the Free Press Group of newspapers. He was the General Manager (business development) of the Bailey Group from 1992-3, then of Bailey Print from 1993-5. He served on Gwent County Council from 1973-95. He joined the TGWU in 1962 and the Labour Party in 1966.

Parliamentary career[edit]

He contested the Richmond and Barnes seat in the 1992 general election. He was elected to Parliament in a by-election on 16 February 1995, to replace Neil Kinnock (party leader from 1983 to 1992), who had resigned. From 1996-7, he was on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. He served as parliamentary private secretary to Gordon Brown and as a whip before becoming a minister. He had to resign in 1999 when he confessed to receiving a leaked Social Security Select Committee report on Child benefit.[2] He was later suspended for three days from the Commons.[3] He was succeeded by John Healey. He was a junior minister at the Ministry of Defence, with special responsibility for veterans, but left government in the May 2006 reshuffle.[4] He was made a Member of the Privy Council on 19 July 2006.

In Paul Flynn's 1999 book Dragons and Poodles, he was described as being the seamstress-in-chief of stitch ups, and that he could be ambitious and can be pompous.[5]

On 29 January 2010, Touhig announced that he would stand down at the 2010 General Election.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Touhig was married on 21 September 1968 to Jennifer Hughes. They have two sons and two daughters.


On 28 June 2010, Touhig was made a life peer as Baron Touhig, of Islwyn and Glansychan in the County of Gwent.[7] He is also a papal knight of the Order of Saint Sylvester (KSS).


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Neil Kinnock
Member of Parliament for Islwyn
Succeeded by
Chris Evans