David Sumberg

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David Sumberg
Member of the European Parliament
for North West England
In office
1999–2009
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byJacqueline Foster
Member of Parliament
for Bury South
In office
9 June 1983 – 1 May 1997
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byIvan Lewis
Majority788 (1992)
Personal details
Born (1941-06-02) 2 June 1941 (age 78)
Stoke-on-Trent, England, UK
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of Manchester

David Anthony Gerald Sumberg (born 2 June 1941 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is a British politician, and former Member of the European Parliament for the North West England region for the Conservative Party. He was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999 and stood down in 2009.[1] Before this he was the Member of Parliament for Bury South, north of Manchester, from 1983 to 1997 when he lost in the Labour landslide to Ivan Lewis.

He is married to Carolyn and has two grown up children, Jonathan and Katie. In the 1970s he was a partner in a firm of Manchester lawyers Maurice Rubin & Co.

Prior to his election, he stood unsuccessfully for Manchester Wythenshawe in 1979, being beaten by Labour's Alf Morris. He had also been a Manchester City Councillor for Brooklands ward in Wythenshawe. As an MP he acted as the Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Attorney General, Sir Patrick Mayhew.[2] He seconded the Loyal Humble Address of Ian Gow MP in November 1989; a privilege that was traditionally afforded only once to an MP. He held on to his seat in 1992 with a majority of 788 votes over Labour's Hazel Blears, making Bury South one of the most marginal in the country. Blears was later elected in nearby Salford and Eccles from 1997-2015.

After losing his seat in 1997, the Labour Government published correspondence about the "Hillsborough Disaster Inquiry", during which period Sumberg was PPS to the Home Office. It was revealed a constituent had written the MP aghast at no inquiry going forward.[3] As an MEP, he said that he was "not a signed up member" of the "European Project" and did not support a more centralised European Union, "unlike most of my MEP colleagues".[2]

He has been criticised by members of other political parties and the national media for his low attendance and political inactivity.[4] Although he has made speeches on other occasions.[5] From 2004 to 2008 he made only two speeches and gave twelve "explanations of votes" - a total of 536 words.[6] He has also tabled only five questions and has not written any of the reports or tabled any resolutions to the one committee he sat on.[1] His local rival, Chris Davies MEP, said he would undoubtedly make the shortlist for Britain's laziest MEP. Defending himself, he said speeches in the European Parliament did not achieve a great deal as they are to empty chambers with no-one listening.[6] When he stepped down from the European Parliament, his reasons were made public.[7]

He paid his wife £54,000 per year from the staff allowance and claimed £40,000 per year in office expenses; he used the North West England Conservative Campaigns Centre as a forwarding address to his house in his north London, where he claimed the expenses.[1][8]

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External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Bury South
19831997
Succeeded by
Ivan Lewis