Born: 26/06/33, Brighton.
Divorced, one son.
Education: Secondary, and Diploma in Social Administration (LSE).
When out of Parliament worked for a voluntary organisation.
Candidate for Harwich, 1964.
First entered Parliament as MP for Croydon South from 1966-70.
MP for Walsall North since 1979.
From 1997-2005 Co-Chair of British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body; a member of the Body from its inception in 1990.
Main political interests:
Housing, civil liberties and anti-discriminatory legislation, foreign affairs, and of course matters pertaining to my constituency.
Active in the House of Commons for tighter, more informative Register of Members' Interests; constantly argued during the Tory years for help to pensioners with winter fuel bills, and was pleased that the Labour government gave such assistance from the time it was elected.
A member of the home affairs select committee since 1997, argued for and fully supported a declaration of freemason membership by all those involved in the judiciary process and the police. In 2005 I wrote an amendment to the Home Affairs Committee report on identity cards, and which opposed their introduction. I continue to be an active and senior member of this committee in all the inquiries undertaken.
A constant supporter in the Commons for a ban on hunting with dogs, and used every opportunity, with other like-minded Labour colleagues, to pressure the Government to provide adequate time for the legislation to be carried. Urged with others that the Parliament Act should be used in view of the Lords’ strenuous opposition; this was in fact done since otherwise there was no way the law could be brought in.Fully supported military action by the Allies in Kosovo to stop the ethnic cleansing and killings by the Serb paramilitaries.