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Bob Russell MP

Member of Parliament
for Colchester
Assumed office 
1 May 1997
Preceded by new constituency
Majority 6,277 (14.0%)

Born 31 March 1946 (1946-03-31) (age 63)
Nationality British
Political party (1) Labour (1971 - 1981)
(2) SDP (1981 - 1988)
(3) Liberal Democrat (1988 - present)

Robert Edward Russell, known as Bob Russell, (born 31 March 1946, London) is a British politician. He has been a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Colchester since 1997 (re-elected 2001 and 2005). He was the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport 2002-2005, but the portfolio is now held by Don Foster. Russell is currently a member of the LibDem's Shadow Defence team.

Russell has a majority of 6,277 votes. His majority makes his the 404th safest out of 643 seats. During 2004/05, Russell claimed £113,939 expenses. He ranks 504th for the amount of expenses claimed.[1]

Russell was previously a member of the Social Democratic Party and the Labour Party. He made an unsuccessful run for Parliament in 1979 as the Labour Party candidate. Before becoming an MP, he was a councillor for over twenty years, initially for the Labour Party, then for the SDP, and finally for the Lib Dems. Russell represented the town's New Town ward. He was leader of Colchester Borough Council until 1991. He was Mayor of Colchester from 1986-87.

During the 2005 general election campaign, Russell was satirised on British television by Bremner, Bird and Fortune for his "war" on mobility scooters for OAPs.

Russell has written several articles concerning his requests to re-join the Co-operative Party, currently not open to members of any other party except the Labour Party. The Co-operative Party has declined his approaches.[citation needed]

Russell is well known in Westminster circles for supporting unusual causes, such as petitioning the House for the return of Young's bitter (beer) to Parliament's Strangers' Bar.[2] He has also courted controversy by rebelling against his party whip to vote against equality in the age of consent and against sexuality equality legislation, but for ID cards and euthanasia.[3]

Russell has famously spoken out against celebrity tax exiles - including Lewis Hamilton.[4]

He is a member of the Beveridge Group, and vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Flag Group [5]

Russell is a season ticket holder for Colchester United football club, and wrote the foreword for the latest history of the club.[6]


  1. ^ "Bob Russell". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Bob Russell (2005-11-30). "Return of Young's bitter to Strangers' Bar". EDM 1169/2005. UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Voting Record — Bob Russell MP, Colchester". Public Whip. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Graeme Wilson (2008-11-05). "Tessa's £10,000 Lewis race trip". The Sun. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Register of All-Party Groups". UK Parliament. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Whitehead, Jeff (1999). Colchester United: From Graham to Wadsworth - A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-27-9. 


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Colchester


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