Peter Kilfoyle

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Peter Kilfoyle
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
In office
28 July 1999 – 30 January 2000
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Sec. of StateGeorge Robertson
Geoff Hoon
Preceded byJohn Spellar
Succeeded byLewis Moonie
Member of Parliament
for Liverpool Walton
In office
5 July 1991 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byEric Heffer
Succeeded bySteve Rotheram
Personal details
Born (1946-06-09) 9 June 1946 (age 74)
Liverpool, England
Political partyNone (formerly Labour)
Spouse(s)Bernadette Slater
Alma materDurham University,
Christ's College, Liverpool (now part of Liverpool Hope University)

Peter Kilfoyle (born 9 June 1946) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool Walton from 1991 to 2010.

Early life[edit]

The eleventh of fourteen children born to an Irish Catholic family on Merseyside, Kilfoyle was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers at St. Edward's College in Liverpool; his father died when he was 10 years old. Obtaining 4 A-levels he went to the University of Durham, but left after a year[1] becoming a labourer for five years. He qualified as a teacher at Christ's College in Liverpool. From 1975–1985, he worked as a teacher. From 1986–1991, he was North West Regional Organiser for the Labour Party, often involved in dealing with the entryist tactics of the Militant group.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Kilfoyle became the Labour Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton by retaining the seat in a by-election in 1991 after the death of the incumbent Eric Heffer. In 1994, he supported Tony Blair's campaign for the Labour Party leadership.[1]

When Labour returned to government in 1997, Kilfoyle was initially appointed to a role within the Cabinet Office, with a licence to speak out in the media on the Government's behalf, and was later appointed a junior minister in the Ministry of Defence. In 2000 he resigned, asserting that the Blair Government was failing to pay enough attention to Labour's heartlands.[2] He then became a vocal backbench critic of the Government for the remainder of his period in parliament.

On 18 March 2003, Kilfoyle wrote the amendment against war in Iraq and moved the amendment in the debate in the House of Commons. Despite a large rebellion, the combined Government and official Opposition vote sanctioned war.[3]

In 2005, Kilfoyle allegedly defied the Official Secrets Act when he was said to have passed on information supposedly detailing then U.S. President George W. Bush's plan to bomb an Arabic TV station.[4]

He spoke against government plans to replace the Trident nuclear missile in the debate on 14 March 2007.

In 2008, Kilfoyle declared that there should be a Labour Party leadership challenge.[5]

On 23 February 2010, Kilfoyle announced that he would stand down at the 2010 General Election.[6]

In the 2012 England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner elections, he stood in the Labour nomination race to represent Merseyside Police; he was defeated for nomination by another former MP Jane Kennedy.[7][8] In July 2014, he broke with official party policy to come out in support of Scottish independence and the SNP.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He married Bernadette Slater on 27 July 1968, and they have five children. He is a patron of the British Heart Foundation following a heart attack in 2006 and quadruple bypass surgery.[10][11]

He is a lifelong supporter of Everton FC.


  • Left behind : lessons from Labour's heartland (Politicos, 2000) ISBN 978-1902301662
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Iraq (Harriman House, 2007) ISBN 978-1905641390
  • Labour Pains: How the party I love lost its soul (Biteback, 2010) ISBN 978-1849540353


  1. ^ a b Melissa Kite (7 March 2004). "Labour MP turns gamekeeper - and discovers the 'benefits' of shooting". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Defence minister quits". BBC News. 31 January 2000. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Case for war not established: List of votes". The Public Whip. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  4. ^ Leigh, David (10 January 2006). "Labour MPs leaked Bush's proposal to bomb al-Jazeera". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Peter Kilfoyle in PM challenge". Liverpool Daily Post. 15 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle to stand down". BBC News Online. 23 February 2010.
  7. ^ "Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate selection results". The Labour Party. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Peter Kilfoyle and Jane Kennedy go head-to-head for Labour's nomination for elected police and crime commissioner". Liverpool Daily Post. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013.
  9. ^ "BBC News - Scottish independence: Former Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle backs Yes vote". BBC Online. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Celebrity Health - Peter Kilfoyle". BBC News Online. 18 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Peter Kilfoyle Fundraiser". Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. 30 July 2007.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Eric Heffer
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton
Succeeded by
Steve Rotheram