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Phillip Whitehead MEP

In office
1 May 1999 – 31 December 2005
Succeeded by Glenis Willmott

Born 30 May 1937(1937-05-30)
Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, England
Died 31 December 2005 (aged 68)
Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater Exeter College, Oxford
Profession Politician, Television Producer and Writer

Phillip Whitehead, (30 May 1937 – 31 December 2005) was a British Labour politician, television producer and writer.

Born in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, he was adopted by a local family, and attended Lady Manners School in Bakewell and Exeter College at Oxford University, where he obtained his BA (and MA).

Whitehead apparently went to Oxford following in his adoptive parents' footsteps as a Conservative. He was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association and the Oxford Union in 1961. However, by the end of his time there he had convinced himself that his true place was in the Labour Party (see ref 1, from Exeter College Register).

He retained a close association with Derbyshire, especially the Bakewell area, throughout his life. He died of a heart attack on New Year's Eve 2005, aged 68 at a hospital in Chesterfield.


Whitehead was an independent documentary producer in early 1960s and later as an editor with the BBC and ITV from 1967 to 1970.

His political career began as a Labour Member of Parliament for Derby North from 1970 to 1983.

Whitehead was a member of several parliamentary committees:

After his defeat at the 1983 general election, Whitehead returned to television as a producer and director. He was also author of several books derived, with the exception of the Fabian Essays, from the television series' he produced:

  • The Writing on the Wall
  • Co author of The Nehrus and the Gandhis
  • contributor to Changing States, Fabian Essays, Ruling Dimension
  • The Windsors, A Dynasty Revealed
  • Stalin, a Time for Judgement

In 1988 he was MacTaggart Memorial Lecturer at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

He was a Labour member of the European Parliament from 1994 to his death, first serving as MEP for Staffordshire East and Derby, and later as one of the members for the East Midlands.

On 23 July 2004 he was elected chair of the Parliamentary Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. He was also member of the European Parliament's African, Caribbean and Pacific Joint Parliamentary Assembly and chair of the European Parliamentary Labour Party.

Whitehead was taken ill on 31 December 2005 and died later that evening in hospital of a heart attack.

A list of EP committees of which Whitehead was a member:

  • Member, EP Committee for Environment, Public Health, Consumer Protection
  • Substitute member, EP Committee for Culture, Youth, Education, Media
  • Chair, European Parliament Consumer Intergroup
  • Member, Vice President, EP delegation for relations with Czech Republic
  • Member, EP delegation to EU Bulgaria Joint Parliamentary Committee
  • Member and Co-ordinator, EP Committee of Enquiry into BSE
  • Chair, European Parliamentary Labour Party
  • Member, EP Committee for Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection
  • Substitute member, EP Committee for Culture, Youth, Media and Sport
  • Member, EP Temporary Committee on Foot and Mouth Disease
  • Member, EP delegation for relations with Czech Republic
  • Member, Consumer Forum Intergroup
  • Chair, Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee
  • Substitute Member, Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee
  • Member, ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
  • Member, European Parliament delegation for relations with Romania

Other professional memberships held by Whitehead:

  • Director, Brook Associates TV production company
  • Chair of the Fabian Society
  • Council member and Chair of the Consumers' Association
  • Chairman of Statesman-Nation Publications

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Niall MacDermot
Member of Parliament for Derby North
Succeeded by
Greg Knight


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