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Jim Cunningham MP

Member of Parliament
for Coventry South
Coventry South East (1992-1997)
Incumbent
Assumed office 
9 April 1992
Preceded by Dave Nellist
Majority 6,255 (15.4%)

Born 4 February 1941 (1941-02-04) (age 68)
Coatbridge
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Marion Douglas Podmore

James Dolan Cunningham (born February 4, 1941), known as Jim Cunningham, is a British Labour Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament for Coventry South.

He was born in Coatbridge and educated locally at the Columba High School (in the same class as fellow Labour MP Tom Clarke), before attending the Trade Union College in Tillicoultry. In 1964, he joined Rolls-Royce in Ansty as an engineer and remained so until he took up politics full time in 1988. He joined the Labour Party in 1966 and was a Rolls-Royce shop steward with the predecessors of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance (MSF) Union for twenty years from 1968. He was elected a councillor to the Coventry City Council in 1972, becoming deputy leader in 1987 and its leader in 1988 and remained a councillor and its leader until his election to parliament. He was the secretary of the Coventry South East Constituency Labour Party in 1976, becoming chairman 1977-1979.

Cunningham was selected to contest the Coventry South East constituency at the 1992 general election following the expulsion of the sitting Labour MP Dave Nellist who had now decided to contest the seat as an Independent Labour candidate. The contest proved tough and bitter[1], but Jim Cunningham came in as the victor with a majority of 1,311 votes over the Conservative candidate Martine Hyams; Nellist finished third but only by a further 40 votes. Cunningham has remained an MP since. He made his maiden speech on May 12, 1992[2]. After boundary changes his constituency was abolished but he has represented the new seat of Coventry South since the 1997 general election.

He became a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee in 1993, and both the Trade and Industry Select Committee and the Speaker's Panel of Chairmen after 1997 until the 2001 general election. He joined the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee in 2003. Since the 2005 General Election he has served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the successive Solicitor Generals Harriet Harman and Mike O'Brien. He served on the Select Committee for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for a few months in 2005.

In 2004 he led a Parliamentary campaign to prevent Jaguar Cars closing its Browns Lane, Coventry, assembly plant, and in the past he has called for the Queen to pay income tax. He has been married to Marion Douglas Podmore since 1985 and they have a son and daughter each from previous marriages.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Dave Nellist
Member of Parliament for Coventry South East
19921997
Succeeded by
(constituency abolished)
Preceded by
(new constituency)
Member of Parliament for Coventry South
1997–present
Incumbent
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