David Winnick

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David Winnick
Member of Parliament
for Walsall North
In office
3 May 1979 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byRobin Hodgson
Succeeded byEddie Hughes
Member of Parliament
for Croydon South
In office
31 March 1966 – 29 May 1970
Preceded byRichard Thompson
Succeeded byRichard Thompson
Personal details
David Julian Winnick

(1933-06-26) 26 June 1933 (age 87)
Brighton, Sussex, England[1]
Political partyLabour

David Julian Winnick (born 26 June 1933) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Walsall North between 1979 and 2017. Previously, he was the MP for Croydon South from 1966 to 1970.

Early life[edit]

Born into a British Jewish family,[2] Winnick was an advertising manager and a branch chairman of the Clerical and Administrative Workers Union. He was a councillor from 1959 on Willesden Borough Council, then on the London Borough of Brent.

Parliamentary career[edit]

After unsuccessfully fighting Harwich in 1964, Winnick was elected in 1966 as the MP for Croydon South (now the area covered roughly by Croydon Central constituency), defeating incumbent Richard Thompson. He lost the seat to Thompson in 1970. After completing a diploma in social administration at the London School of Economics, he stood again unsuccessfully in Croydon Central in October 1974 and was returned for Walsall North in 1979.

Winnick is generally regarded as being on the left of the Labour Party and has a strong commitment to human rights. That commitment made him a strong voice in the House of Commons against both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and he supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[3]

He was a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary body from its formation in 1990, and British co-chair, 1997–2005.

On 9 November 2005, Winnick's amendment to a government bill on detention of terrorist suspects without trial, proposing that the maximum period of detention should be 28 days rather than 90, passed in the House of Commons by 323 votes to 290, shortly after the government's 90-day proposal was defeated by 322 to 291. This was Tony Blair's first defeat in the House of Commons on a whipped vote, after serving nearly nine years as Prime Minister, and may come to be seen as a critical moment of his term in office.

In January 2009, he urged the Communities Minister to deplore the fact that Richard Williamson, a British-born bishop and Holocaust denier, had been brought back into the fold by the Vatican.[4]

Winnick played a prominent role in the campaign to force the resignation of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin. This followed controversy from May 2009 concerning MPs' disclosure of expenses.[5]

At the 2010 general election, Walsall North was one of the most closely contested seats at the election, with Winnick being re-elected with a significantly reduced majority of 990 votes, compared to 6,640 votes at the previous election five years earlier.[6] In 2015, however, Winnick gained a comfortable majority of 1,937, despite the Labour Party incurring a net loss of seats.[7] In his victory speech, he criticised the way in which his Conservative opponent had conducted their election campaign.

In 2017 (again against the national trend) he was defeated by Conservative Party candidate Eddie Hughes by 2,601 votes.[8]


  1. ^ "Who's Who". Ukwhoswho.com. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  2. ^ Elgot, Jessica (14 May 2010). "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  3. ^ McDonald, Karl (6 July 2016). "Which current MPs voted for the Iraq war?". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  4. ^ "No excuse for anti-Semitism".[dead link]
  5. ^ "Under-fire Speaker to step down". BBC News. 19 May 2009. Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Election 2010 – Walsall North". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Walsall North parliamentary constituency – Election 2015". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  8. ^ "General Election: End of an era for emotional David Winnick in Walsall North". Express & Star. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Thompson
Member of Parliament for Croydon South
Succeeded by
Richard Thompson
Preceded by
Robin Hodgson
Member of Parliament for Walsall North
Succeeded by
Eddie Hughes