Don Touhig

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Touhig
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Chancellor Gordon Brown
Preceded by Peter Butler
Succeeded by John Healey
Member of Parliament
for Islwyn
In office
17 February 1995 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Neil Kinnock
Succeeded by Chris Evans
Personal details
Born (1947-12-05) 5 December 1947 (age 69)
Abersychan, Monmouthshire, Wales
Nationality Welsh
Political party Labour Co-operative
Spouse(s) Jennifer Hughes (1968-present)
Children 4

James Donnelly Touhig, Baron Touhig,[1] PC, KSS (born 5 December 1947), known as Don Touhig, is a British Labour Co-operative politician from Wales. He was the Member of Parliament for Islwyn from 1995 until his retirement in 2010.

Early life[edit]

He went to St Francis RC School in Abersychan near Pontypool, then the Mid Gwent College (now Coleg Gwent) in Pontypool. Before entering parliament, he had been a journalist from 1968–76. From 1976–90, he was the Editor of the Free Press of Monmouthshire (Monmouth Free Press). From 1988–92, he was the general manager and Editor-in-Chief of the Free Press Group of newspapers. He was the general manager (business development) of the Bailey Group from 1992–3, then of Bailey Print from 1993–5. He served on Gwent County Council from 1973–95. He joined the TGWU in 1962 and the Labour Party in 1966.

Parliamentary career[edit]

He contested the Richmond and Barnes seat in the 1992 general election. He was elected to Parliament in a by-election on 16 February 1995, to replace Neil Kinnock (party leader from 1983 to 1992), who had resigned. From 1996–7, he was on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. He served as parliamentary private secretary to Gordon Brown and as a whip before becoming a minister. He had to resign in 1999 when he confessed to receiving a leaked Social Security Select Committee report on Child benefit.[2] He was later suspended for three days from the Commons.[3] He was succeeded by John Healey. He was a junior minister at the Ministry of Defence, with special responsibility for veterans, but left government in the May 2006 reshuffle.[4] He was made a Member of the Privy Council on 19 July 2006.

In Paul Flynn's 1999 book Dragons and Poodles, he was described as being the seamstress-in-chief of stitch ups, and that he could be ambitious and can be pompous.[5]

On 29 January 2010, Touhig announced that he would stand down at the 2010 General Election.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Touhig was married on 21 September 1968 to Jennifer Hughes. They have two sons and two daughters.


On 28 June 2010, Touhig was made a life peer as Baron Touhig, of Islwyn and Glansychan in the County of Gwent.[7] He is also a papal knight of the Order of Saint Sylvester (KSS).


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Neil Kinnock
Member of Parliament for Islwyn
Succeeded by
Chris Evans