John Golding (British politician)

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John Golding (9 March 1931 – 20 January 1999, age 67) was a Labour Party politician and Trade Union leader in the United Kingdom.

He was educated at Chester City Grammar School, Keele University and the London School of Economics. After some time working in the Civil Service he took up a research job with the Post Office Engineering Union.

Golding was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Newcastle-under-Lyme at a by-election in 1969. He served in the governments of Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan, as PPS to Eric Varley as Minister of Technology, a Labour whip in opposition, and Minister for Employment. He was an outspoken opponent of Labour left-wingers such as Tony Benn and Eric Heffer, whom he regarded as idle dreamers out of touch with the working-class.

Golding was a key figure in the fight against the Militant tendency, and especially in mobilising moderate trades union leaders to exercise their block votes to this end. After his death writings of his about this were published under the title Hammer of the Left: My Part in Defeating the Labour Left by John Golding and Paul Farrelly (see below).

In 1986 he left Parliament (by applying for the Chiltern Hundreds) to take up the post of General Secretary of the National Communications Union. He held this post until 1988. He had served as a member of the council of the Trades Union Congress.

After he vacated the Newcastle-under-Lyme seat, the resulting by-election was won by his wife Llin, who held the seat until 2001; her successor in the seat was Paul Farrelly.

John Golding's most unusual claim to fame is that he once made a speech in committee lasting eleven hours and fifteen minutes. It nominally concerned a small amendment to the bill to privatise British Telecom. This filibuster was instrumental in delaying the privatisation until after the 1983 general election, but with Margaret Thatcher obtaining a massive parliamentary majority the privatisation was soon forced through. Changes in British parliamentary procedure mean that Golding's record is unlikely ever to be beaten.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Stephen Swingler
Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme
19691986
Succeeded by
Llin Golding
Political offices
Preceded by
Bryan Stanley
General Secretary of the National Communications Union
1986 – 1988
Succeeded by
Anthony Young