David Taylor (British politician)

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David Taylor (British politician) : biography

22 August 1946 – 26 December 2009

David Leslie Taylor (22 August 1946 – 26 December 2009) was an English Labour Co-operative politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for North West Leicestershire from 1997 until his death in 2009.

Parliamentary career

He was first selected for his seat in 1989 and contested it in 1992.

Taylor’s views were on the left of the Labour Party and he is widely regarded as one of the parliamentary rebels and has rebelled on 7.2% of votes since June 2001.; The Public Whip In 2005, he was nominated for the ‘Backbencher of the Year’ award.

He regularly attended local events, often making it to more than one function in an evening in order not only to be seen there, but to show his support and to maintain his high profile as a local MP. As Chair of the All-Party Group on Smoking and Health, he was particularly active on the issue of tobacco control and a Member of the Chairmen’s Panel Committee and a Member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

David Taylor described it as "a real privilege" to win the title of Commons Backbencher of the Year 2007 in the Annual Awards organised by Sky TV and The House Magazine and decided by a ballot of all 646 MPs. His citation described him as "an indefatigable campaigner, constant attender and independent–minded".

In April 2009, David Taylor was named by The Sunday Telegraph as being in the Top Ten of MPs for providing their constituents with best value for the money they spend in providing a service. The newspaper had produced a value for money league table to show both the best – those who work the hardest for the lowest unit cost – and the worst – those who have the lowest Commons work rates while having the largest expenditure – of Westminster MPs. David Taylor came equal 7th out of 592* in the table of ‘best value’ MPs. David Taylor spent £154,277 in 2007/8 (75% of which on staff and office) during which time he had an attendance rate in the House of 87%, spoke in 225 debates and tabled 197 written questions.

He was one of only a small number of Labour MPs to hold an anti-abortion position.


Prior to this, he opened his complete ‘unredacted’ expenses file to local newspaper the Leicester Mercury. Leicester Mercury, 23 May 2009

Following the new emergency interim rules announced on 19 May 2009 by the Speaker which say that furniture should be no longer be claimed for, David Taylor voluntarily elected to apply those new rules retrospectively in his own case for the life of this Parliament and has since made a refund based on the full funded purchase price of all such items.

Standing down

At the May 2008 meeting of his Constituency Labour Party, Taylor announced he would not be standing for re-election at the next general election. Taylor died at the end of 2009, before the general election.


David Taylor was born in the town of Ashby de la Zouch. He went to Heather County Primary School near Coalville, Ashby Boy’s Grammar School (now known as Ashby School) and Leicester Polytechnic.


At Leicester Polytechnic, he became a Chartered Public Finance Accountant in 1970. At the Open University, he gained a BA in Maths and Computing in 1974. During this time he wrote the first CASCAID computer program that evolved into the modern day Kudos and Adult Directions programs. Before being elected as a Member of Parliament, Taylor was an accountant and the computer applications manager for Leicestershire County Council from 1977 to 1997.

He founded Safeguard the Quality of the Rural Environment (SQUARE), and had been a parish councillor, churchwarden of St John the Baptist church in Heather, President of Heather Sparkenhoe Cricket Club, magistrate and school governor.


Taylor was a committed Christian and described himself as an ecumenical Anglican. He said "My Christian faith gives me a personal moral compass to help map out both private and public life. It’s a faith I learned about at home. Christianity was a really important part of our household. As children we were encouraged by our parents to be part of the life of our church – Sunday school, choir, church council."

Personal life

Taylor married Pamela Caunt on 13 September 1969 in Loughborough. The couple had four daughters (and one son, deceased), one granddaughter and one grandson.

He enjoyed middling success in 1960s and 1970s as a medium pace bowler in village cricket (best figures 7 for 9 against Rolls Royce). In the 1980s competed as a long distance runner in many half-marathons and some marathons, completing the 1989 London marathon just over 3 hours. He was also a keen cyclist, covering such routes as the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast.


On Boxing Day 2009, whilst walking with his family at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, Taylor suffered a massive heart attack. He was taken by ambulance to Queens Hospital in Burton-on-Trent hospital, but paramedics were unable to save him. The event occurred during his day off while spending time with his family; he had previously announced that he would not run for reelection due to the high workload.