Born in Bolton, Lancashire, Tomney found himself jobless during the Great Depression and walked to London in search of employment. After arriving in London he moved into the Rowton House in Hammersmith, a hostel for working men. This was to be the beginning of a long association with that area of west London.
With an approaching general election in 1950, the Labour Party found itself without a candidate at Hammersmith North. The sitting member of parliament, D. N. Pritt, had been expelled from the party and had won the seat in 1945 as a member of the left-wing Labour Independent Group. Tomney volunteered to stand, and was comfortably elected with a majority of nearly 3,000 votes over Pritt. He was re-elected at each election until he stood down in 1979, and was seen as being on the right wing of the Labour Party, a fact that was often to lead to conflict within the constituency party in Hammersmith North.
Tomney took an interest in European and international affairs, and was a delegate to the Council of Europe and the Western European Union on a number of occasions between 1963 and 1979. In 1968 he was leader of the United Kingdom delegation to the United Nations, and from 1976-79 was a Member of the European Parliament.  He was opposed to sanctions against Rhodesia.
- Times Guide to the House of Commons October 1974
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Frank Tomney
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Denis Nowell Pritt
|Member of Parliament for Hammersmith North