Jim Marshall (British politician)

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Jim Marshall
Member of Parliament
for Leicester South
In office
11 June 1987 – 27 May 2004
Preceded by Derek Spencer
Succeeded by Parmjit Singh Gill
In office
10 October 1974 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by Tom Boardman
Succeeded by Derek Spencer
Personal details
Born (1941-03-13)13 March 1941
Died 27 May 2004(2004-05-27) (aged 63)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Shirley Ellis (div.)
Susan Carter
Alma mater University of Leeds

James Marshall (13 March 1941 – 27 May 2004) was a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom.


Marshall was born into a working-class family in the Attercliffe district of Sheffield. He was educated at Sheffield City Grammar School (now called The City School) on Orchard Lane and the University of Leeds, gaining a BSc in Physics in 1963 and PhD in 1968 and working as a research scientist at the Wool Industries Research Association (became the Wira Technology Group, then British Textile Technology Group) in West Park, Leeds from 1963 to 1967. He was a councillor on Leeds City Council from 1965 to 1969.


In 1968, he became a lecturer at Leicester Polytechnic remaining until 1974, and in 1971 he was elected to Leicester City Council, becoming leader of the council in 1973. He contested the Harborough seat in 1970. In the February general election of 1974 he contested the constituency of Leicester South, and unseated the Conservative MP, Tom Boardman, in the October election that year. He held the seat until his death, with the exception of the period 1983–1987, when he lost the seat to the Conservative Derek Spencer by seven votes. During his time out of parliament, he worked as a supply teacher and market trader: building up a stronger, more community oriented reputation.

Marshall was an assistant whip between 1977 and the end of James Callaghan's government in 1979. In opposition, he was assistant home affairs spokesman from 1982 to 1983, and deputy shadow spokesman on Northern Ireland from 1987 to 1992. In 1992, he voted for Bryan Gould, seen as the leftwing candidate in the leadership election which followed the resignation of Neil Kinnock. The victorious candidate, John Smith, dispensed with Marshall's services, and Marshall's support for Margaret Beckett in the following leadership election did not endear him to Tony Blair. Increasingly out of step with the mainstream of the Labour Party, he concentrated on constituency matters, and rebelled against Blair's government on many occasions, chiefly on matters relating to immigration and education. His constituency work, especially on immigration and benefit problems, won him strong personal support among local voters. Labour party chairman Ian McCartney described him as "a hard-working and dedicated member of parliament who spoke up for his Leicester constituents and did a great deal to help to transform their communities and the opportunities open to them." [1]

Personal life and death[edit]

Marshall married Shirley Ellis on 9 June 1962 in Sheffield, and they had a son and daughter. They divorced and he married Susan Carter on 15 July 1986 in Leicester.

Marshall died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack, precipitating a by-election dominated by the invasion of Iraq (which he had opposed).

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Boardman
Member of Parliament for Leicester South
Succeeded by
Derek Spencer
Preceded by
Derek Spencer
Member of Parliament for Leicester South
Succeeded by
Parmjit Singh Gill