Cyril Townsend

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Sir Cyril David Townsend (21 December 1937 − 20 November 2013) was a British politician.[1]

Following service around the world in the British Army, Townsend was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Bexleyheath at the February 1974 election, and held the seat until retiring at the 1997 election. He introduced the private member's bill that became the Protection of Children Act 1978.

Townsend defected to the Liberal Democrats in summer 2005 but only publicly announced this on 28 January 2006 in support of Sir Ming Campbell's leadership campaign.

Townsend was a Director of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding. He was knighted in the New Year Honours 1997.

He resided in the West Country and was a respected journalist for several newspapers in the Middle East, including Al-Hayat.


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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
(new constituency)
Member of Parliament for Bexleyheath
Feb 19741997
Succeeded by
(constituency abolished)