Deakins was unsuccessful in his first three attempts to be elected a Member of Parliament (MP), including in Finchley in 1959 against future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Chigwell in 1966. However he was later elected MP for Walthamstow West in 1970, reversing the by-election loss to the Conservatives of that seat in 1967.
His maiden speech was made on 16 July 1970. Speaking in favour of the second reading of the Misuse Of Drugs Bill, he raised a series of reservations: "It attacks socially unacceptable drugs but does nothing about socially acceptable drugs."
During the Labour government of 1974-1979, Deakins was a junior minister for Trade (1974–1976) and the DHSS (1976–1979). He represented Walthamstow until 18 May 1987, leaving Parliament at the general election, gaining 34% of the vote compared to his Conservative candidate Hugo Summerson, who polled 39%. His defeat was against the national trend but followed a massive rates rise by the Labour council of Waltham Forest.
In 1987 he co-wrote the book "You And Your Member Of Parliament" with Nance Fyson.
He has a wife and three children, Tom, Sophie and Annabelle
- Times Guide to the House of Commons, 1966 & 1987
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Eric Deakins
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Walthamstow West
1970 – February 1974
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Walthamstow
February 1974 – 1987
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