Don Touhig

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The Lord Touhig

Official portrait of Lord Touhig crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
In office
11 May 2005 – 5 May 2006
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Sec. of StateJohn Reid
Preceded byIvor Caplin
Succeeded byTom Watson
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
In office
11 June 2001[1] – 11 May 2005
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byDavid Hanson[2]
Succeeded byNick Ainger
Parliamentary Private Secretary
to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
2 May 1997 – 27 July 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
ChancellorGordon Brown
Preceded byPeter Butler
Succeeded byJohn Healey
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
28 June 2010
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Islwyn
In office
17 February 1995 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byNeil Kinnock
Succeeded byChris Evans
Personal details
Born (1947-12-05) 5 December 1947 (age 72)
Abersychan, Monmouthshire, Wales
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Jennifer Hughes (1968-2014)

James Donnelly Touhig, Baron Touhig,[3] 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 a 1995 by-election until his retirement in 2010, after which he was appointed as a life peer in the House of Lords.

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]

House of Commons[edit]

Tuhig contested the Richmond and Barnes seat in the 1992 general election, coming third for Labour behind the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. He was subsequently 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.[4] He was later suspended for three days from the Commons.[5] 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.[6] 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", that he could be "ambitious" and "can be pompous".[7]

On 29 January 2010, Touhig announced that he would stand down at the 2010 General Election.[8]

House of Lords[edit]

On 28 June 2010, Touhig was made a life peer as Baron Touhig, of Islwyn and Glansychan in the County of Gwent.[9] He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Touhig was married on 21 September 1968 to Jennifer Hughes. She died in 2014 from cancer, aged 67.[11] They have two sons and two daughters.


He is a papal knight of the Order of Saint Sylvester (KSS).


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Introduction: Lord Touhig. House of Lords debates, 30 June 2010, 3:00 pm
  4. ^ "Chancellor's aide quits over leak". BBC News Online. 27 July 1999.
  5. ^ "MPs suspended over leak". BBC News Online. 21 October 1999.
  6. ^ "Blair saga 'bleeds party' says MP". BBC News Online. 31 August 2006.
  7. ^ "Dragons and Poodles – a story of Welsh politics". BBC News Online. 15 September 1999.
  8. ^ "Labour Don Touhig, MP for Islwyn, is to stand down". BBC News Online. 30 January 2010.
  9. ^ "No. 59476". The London Gazette. 1 July 2010. p. 12452.
  10. ^ "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  11. ^

External links[edit]

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