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Bill Newton Dunn

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Bill Newton Dunn
Member of the European Parliament
In office
2 July 2019 – 31 January 2020
Preceded byRupert Matthews
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
ConstituencyEast Midlands
In office
1 May 1999 – 2 July 2014
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAndrew Lewer
ConstituencyEast Midlands
In office
7 June 1979 – 9 June 1994
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byVeronica Hardstaff
Personal details
Born (1941-10-03) 3 October 1941 (age 82)
Greywell, Hampshire, England
Political partyLiberal Democrat
Other political
Conservative (until 2000)
SpouseAnna Terez Árki
ChildrenTom Newton Dunn
Daisy Newton Dunn
EducationMarlborough College
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge

William Francis Newton Dunn (born 3 October 1941) is a British politician who served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1979 to 1994, 1999 to 2014 and again from 2019 until the UK's withdrawal from the EU in 2020. He resigned from the Conservative Party in 2000 in protest of its euroscepticism and joined the Liberal Democrats.

Newton Dunn first represented Lincolnshire as an MEP (1979–1994), then the East Midlands (1999–2014; 2019–2020).[1]

Early life[edit]

Born at Greywell, Hampshire, son of Lieutenant-Colonel Owen Frank Newton Dunn, OBE and Barbara née Brooke, he was educated at Marlborough College, Wiltshire from 1955 to 1959. After going up to read Natural Sciences (Physics and Chemistry) at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, he studied at Paris-Sorbonne in 1960, and graduated MA (Cantab) in 1963. He then received a tri-lingual MBA from the INSEAD Business school at Fontainebleau, where he studied from 1965 to 1966. From 1963 to 1979, he worked in industry in the United Kingdom.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Newton Dunn contested Carmarthen at the February 1974 general election.

He was Conservative Party MEP for Lincolnshire from 1979 to 1994, during which time most European Parliament constituencies in the UK were single-member and the MEPs therein were elected by the first-past-the-post system. He stood for the new seat of Lincolnshire and Humberside South in 1994, but lost to Labour candidate Veronica Hardstaff by 83,172 votes (42.4%) to 69,427 (35.4%).

After a spell out of parliament, Newton Dunn was re-elected a Conservative MEP for the East Midlands in 1999, after the UK adopted systems of proportional representation generally rather than merely for Northern Ireland. He crossed the floor to the Liberal Democrats in 2000 because he felt that the Conservatives were increasingly negative towards the prospect of Britain playing a leading and positive role in Europe.

He was elected as a Liberal Democrat MEP for the first time in the 2004 election. He said he had the highest attendance record of all the UK MEPs when elected. He was re-elected in 2009.

Newton Dunn began to use the now much-used phrase "democratic deficit" in his pamphlet in the 1980s. This phrase first appeared in the manifesto of the Young European Federalists adopted at their congress in Berlin in 1977 (drafted by the future Labour MEP Richard Corbett).

In 2010, Newton Dunn signed the Spinelli Group manifesto in favour of a Federal Europe.

On 4 July 2012, he was the only British MEP to vote in favour of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Only 38 MEPs voted with him, while 478 voted against the treaty; this was the biggest defeat in the history of the European Union.

He stood for re-election in the 2014 election but was defeated.

Newton Dunn was Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Hayes and Harlington in the June 2017 general election. In May 2018, he was elected to Richmond London Borough Council as a councillor for the South Richmond ward.

In the 2019 European Parliament election, Newton Dunn was first on the Liberal Democrat list for the East Midlands[2] and was elected.[3]

At the beginning of the Ninth European Parliament, he was the longest serving MEP (discounting periods outside Parliament) and the only MEP from the First European Parliament in 1979 (40 years previously) still holding a seat.

Personal life[edit]

In 1970, Newton Dunn married Anna Terez Árki; they have two children: Tom Newton Dunn, former political editor of The Sun newspaper and Daisy Newton Dunn, a TV producer for the BBC.[4]

He and his wife divide their time between homes in Navenby, Lincolnshire, and Richmond, South West London.[5]

Newton Dunn is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Haberdashers' Company.


  1. ^ "9th parliamentary term | Bill NEWTON DUNN | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu.
  2. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated – European Parliamentary Election on 23 May 2019". Northampton Borough Council. Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Brexit Party sweeps to victory in the East Midlands". ITV News. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Daisy Newton-Dunn". IMDb.
  5. ^ "Oxford Index". Oxford Academic.

External links[edit]

European Parliament
New constituency Member of European Parliament
for Lincolnshire

Succeeded by
New constituency Member of European Parliament
for East Midlands

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of European Parliament
for East Midlands

Took office
2 July 2019