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Bill Etherington: Wikis


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Bill Etherington MP

Member of Parliament
for Sunderland North
Assumed office 
9 April 1992
Preceded by Bob Clay
Majority 9,995 (34.6%)

Born 17 July 1941 (1941-07-17) (age 68)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Irene Holton
Alma mater Durham University

William "Bill" Etherington (born 17 July 1941) is a British politician. He has been the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Sunderland North since 1992.


Early life

Bill Etherington was born in Sunderland and was educated at the Redby Infant and Junior Schools on Fulwell Road, Monkwearmouth Grammar School (five years above Hilary Armstrong and latterly at Durham University. He was an apprentice fitter at the Austin and Pickersgill Shipyard in Sunderland for five years from 1957. He became a fitter for Beal & Co in Sunderland in 1962, before joining the National Coal Board in 1963 and for the following twenty years worked as a fitter at the Dawdon Colliery in County Durham. He has been a member of the National Union of Mineworkers since 1963, and from 1983 until his election was a full time trade union official with them, and was a full-time official during the UK miners' strike (1984-1985).

Parliamentary career

He was first elected in the 1992 General Election for Sunderland North, replacing fellow left-winger, Bob Clay. Etherington held the seat comfortably with a majority of 17,004 votes, and has been re-elected with strong majorities in every General Election since. He made his maiden speech on 11 May 1992.

In the 1992 general election, he polled 60.7% of the vote, with his Conservative opponent winning 26.9% of the vote. In the 1997 election, he took 68.2% against Conservative Andrew Selous, who ranked in second place with just 16.7% of the vote. He also confidently beat his Conservative opponents in the 2001 (62.7% against 17.9%) and 2005 general elections (54.4% against 19.8%).

He is a left-winger, a member of the Socialist Campaign Group and has rebelled against Tony Blair's government. While debating the reform of the House of Lords in March 2007, Etherington also called for the abolition of the British Monarchy.

Personal life

He has been married to Irene Holton since 1963 and they have two daughters. He is characterised in parliament by his three-piece suits and strong Mackem accent.

In December 2006, Etherington announced he will not stand again at the next general election when his constituency will be abolished.[1]


External links


News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Bob Clay
Member of Parliament for Sunderland North


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