William Wilson (Labour politician)

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William Wilson DL (28 June 1913 – 18 August 2010), sometimes known as Bill Wilson, was a British Labour Party politician.[1] He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for constituencies in Coventry from 1964 to 1983.

Wilson was educated at Coventry Technical College and Birmingham University. He served in the British Army during World War II in North Africa, Italy and Greece, rising to the rank of sergeant.[1] After the war he qualified as a solicitor and made several unsuccessful attempts to win the Warwick and Leamington constituency in 1951, 1955, 1957 and 1959, before being successful in 1964 in Coventry South, which he represented (later as Coventry South East) until retiring from Parliament in 1983. He also was a Warwickshire County Councillor from 1958, being leader of the Labour Group in the 1960s and from 1972 to 1993.[1]

Wilson was responsible for piloting the Divorce Reform Act, 1969 through Parliament which changed the basis for divorce procedures from the old concept of matrimonial offences to that of the irretrievable breakdown of marriage.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Papers of William Wilson". University of Warwick - Modern Records Centre. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Cretney, Stephen Michael (1998). Law, law reform, and the family. Oxford University Press. pp. 66–70. ISBN 978-0-19-826871-0. 

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Philip Hocking
Member of Parliament for Coventry South
1964February 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Coventry South East
February 19741983
Succeeded by
Dave Nellist