David Stoddart, Baron Stoddart of Swindon

David Leonard Stoddart, Baron Stoddart of Swindon (4 May 1926 – 14 November 2020) was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament for Swindon from 1970 to 1983, and as a life peer in the House of Lords from 1983 to his death in 2020.[1] He served as a Labour peer from 1983 to 2002, when he was expelled from the Labour benches, after which he sat as an Independent Labour peer until his death.[1]

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Official portrait, 2017
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
26 October 1983  14 November 2020
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Swindon
In office
18 June 1970  13 May 1983
Preceded byChristopher Ward
Succeeded bySimon Coombs
Personal details
David Leonard Stoddart

(1926-05-04)4 May 1926
Died14 November 2020(2020-11-14) (aged 94)
Political party
Jennifer Percival-Alwyn
(m. 1961)
EducationSt Clement Danes Holborn Estate Grammar School for Boys
Henley Grammar School

Early life

David Leonard Stoddart was born on 4 May 1926 to Arthur and Queenie Stoddart. He was educated at St Clement Danes Holborn Estate Grammar School for Boys and Henley Grammar School.[2]

Political career

Stoddart joined the Labour Party in 1947.[2] He was a member of the County Borough Council of Reading from 1954 to 1972[3] and the leader of the Council from 1967 to 1972.[1]

Stoddart was the Labour candidate for Newbury in 1959 and 1964, and narrowly lost at Swindon in a by-election in 1969.

Stoddart became the Labour Member of Parliament for Swindon in 1970, but in 1983 he lost his seat to the Conservative Simon Coombs. Stoddart was a government whip from 1975 to 1978, PPC to the Housing Minister 1974–75 and Front Bench opposition spokesman on Trade and Industry.

House of Lords

Stoddart was raised to the peerage[3] as a life peer on 14 September 1983 taking the title Baron Stoddart of Swindon, of Reading in the Royal County of Berkshire.[4] He was Chief Front Bench spokesman on energy 1983–1988 and served as House of Lords Whip during the same period.

He was expelled from the Labour benches in the House of Lords in 2002 for backing a Socialist Alliance candidate at the 2001 general election, an action he took because he strongly opposed the parachuting of Shaun Woodward, a defector from the Conservative Party, into the safe Labour seat of St Helens South.[3]

Stoddart was for many years the Chairman of the Campaign for an Independent Britain, which campaigns for the United Kingdom to end its membership of the European Union,[5] a position he held from 1985 until May 2007.

Personal life

Stoddart married Jennifer Percival-Alwyn in 1961, with whom he had two sons. He also had a daughter from a previous marriage.[2]


Stoddart died on 14 November 2020, at the age of 94, following a short illness.[1][6][7]


  1. "Parliamentary career for Lord Stoddart of Swindon - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  2. "Lord Stoddart of Swindon, who fought EC membership and was expelled from the Labour Party – obituary". The Telegraph. 25 November 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. "Independent voice of a true democrat". Reading Chronicle (Interview). 26 March 2009. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  4. "No. 49481". The London Gazette. 19 September 1983. p. 12267.
  5. Hughes, Zoe (17 September 2004). "Herron backers to challenge poll decision". The Journal. Newcastle, England. Retrieved 18 May 2010 via Questia Online Library.
  6. Seaward, Tom (18 November 2020). "Tributes paid as former Swindon MP dies". Swindon Advertiser.
  7. "Lord Stoddart of Swindon obituary". The Guardian. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.