John Tomlinson, Baron Tomlinson

John Edward Tomlinson, Baron Tomlinson (born 1 August 1939), is a British Labour Co-operative politician. He is currently a life peer in the House of Lords, and was previously a Member of Parliament from 1974 to 1979, and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1984 to 1999.

The Lord Tomlinson
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Overseas Development
In office
3 January 1977  4 May 1979
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterJames Callaghan
Preceded byFrank Judd
Succeeded byoffice abolished
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
17 March 1976  4 May 1979
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded byTed Rowlands
Succeeded byRichard Luce
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
21 July 1998
Life Peerage
Member of the European Parliament
for Birmingham West
In office
14 June 1984  10 June 1999
Preceded byconstituency established
Succeeded byconstituency abolished
Member of Parliament
for Meriden
In office
28 February 1974  7 April 1979
Preceded byKeith Speed
Succeeded byIain Mills
Personal details
Born1 August 1939
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Alma materCo-operative College
Brunel University
University of Warwick

Early life

Born in London, Tomlinson was educated at Westminster City School and the Co-operative College in Loughborough. He later studied health services management at Brunel University, and in 1982 he was awarded an MA in industrial relations from the University of Warwick.

Professional and early political career

Tomlinson was active in Yorkshire politics, secretary of Sheffield Co-operative Party and an executive member of Yorkshire Labour Party. He was the youngest councillor on Sheffield City Council from 1964. He worked as head of research for the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers 1968–70.

Parliamentary career

Tomlinson stood for Parliament without success in 1966 at Bridlington and in 1970 at Walthamstow East. He was elected to the House of Commons as Labour Member of Parliament for Meriden in the February 1974 general election, defeating the sitting Conservative MP Keith Speed. In the October 1974 General Election he retained the seat, defeating a new Conservative candidate, the former Chairman of the Highway Planning Committee in the London Borough of Hammersmith, and Chairman of the Hyde Park Tories (the Conservative Party's open air speakers) Christopher Horne. He lost his seat in the 1979 general election to the Conservative candidate, Iain Mills.

During his five years in the Commons, he held a series of government posts:

After his defeat in 1979, he lectured at Solihull College of Technology. After unsuccessfully standing in the new constituency of North Warwickshire at the General lect held in June 1983, in 1984, Tomlinson was elected as Labour Co-operative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the new euro-constituency of Birmingham West. He was re-elected in the 1989 European election and in the 1994 election, but did not stand for re-election under the new list system in the 1999 election.

On 21 July 1998, he was created a life peer as Baron Tomlinson, of Walsall in the County of West Midlands.[1]

He is currently[when?] Chair of the Association of Independent Higher Education Providers.


  1. "No. 55205". The London Gazette. 21 July 1998. p. 8087.