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John McWilliam (Labour politician)

John David McWilliam 16 May 1941 – 14 November 2009 was a British Labour Party politician He was the Member of Parliament MP for Blaydon from 1979 until he stood down at the 2005 general election


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Parliamentary career
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links
    • 51 News items

Early life

Born in Grangemouth, the son of Alexander McWilliam, a post office engineer, he went to Leith Academy He later attended evening classes as a Post Office Telephones Youth in Training at Heriot-Watt Technical College and Napier College of Science and Technology

McWilliam joined the Labour party in 1966, and prior to his election he worked as a telephone engineer, Technician 2A, for British Telecom

Parliamentary career

While a City of Edinburgh councillor, McWilliam fought Edinburgh Pentlands in February 1974, but was defeated by Malcolm Rifkind He was subsequently elected for Blaydon at the 1979 election just as the Callaghan government left office He served briefly as deputy shadow leader of the House of Commons, before becoming an opposition whip He resigned from this role in 1987 in protest at the sacking of two of his colleagues McWilliam served on the Defence Select Committee for 12 years, between 1987 and 1999

When Betty Boothroyd retired as Speaker of the House of Commons, McWilliam was one of the 12 candidates nominated to succeed her In the election on 23 October 2000 he received 30 votes, the fewest of any candidate

He stood down at the 2005 general election after 26 years as an MP, and returned to living in Scotland where he died in November 2009

Personal life

He married Lesley Mary Catling on 6 February 1965 They had two daughters Ruth Lesley, born 29 February 1972 and Fiona Alexandra, born 20 June 1974 and divorced in 1992 He married Mary McLoughlin on 31 March 1994 They divorced in 1997 He married Helena Lovegreen in March 1998; that union ended in 2009, when McWilliam died


  1. ^ Dundee Courier, 18 November 2009
  2. ^ a b McWilliam profile, theguardiancom; accessed 30 January 2017
  3. ^ a b John McWilliam MP profile, bbccouk; accessed 30 January 2017
  4. ^ White, Michael 24 October 2000 "Ex-shop steward Martin is Speaker" The Guardian Retrieved 23 June 2010 
  5. ^ "Tributes paid after former MP John McWilliam dies at 68", Newcastle Journal, 18 November 2009

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John McWilliam
  • TheyWorkForYoucom - John McWilliam
  • Ask Aristotle

News items

  • Stepping down in October 2002
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Woof
Member of Parliament for Blaydon
Succeeded by
David Anderson

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John McWilliam (Labour politician)

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