Bill Newton Dunn

Bill Newton Dunn
Member of the European Parliament
for East Midlands
In office
1 May 1999  2 July 2014
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Andrew Lewer
Member of the European Parliament
for Lincolnshire
In office
7 June 1979  9 June 1994
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Veronica Hardstaff
Personal details
Born (1941-10-03) 3 October 1941
Greywell, Hampshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrats
Other political
Conservative (until 2000)
Children Tom Newton Dunn
Daisy Newton Dunn
Alma mater Marlborough College
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

William "Bill" Francis Newton Dunn (born 3 October 1941) is a British politician who served as a Member of the European Parliament for Lincolnshire from 1979 to 1994 and for the East Midlands from 1979 to 2014. A member of Conservative Party until 2000, he defected to the Liberal Democrats over the Conservatives' Euroscepticism.

Early life

Dunn was born in Greywell, Hampshire and attended the independent Marlborough College in Wiltshire from 1955–59, then gained a Diploma from the University of Paris (the Sorbonne) in 1960. He completed an MA in Natural Sciences (Physics and Chemistry) in 1963 at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He gained a tri-lingual MBA from the INSEAD Business School at Fontainebleau, which no doubt fuelled his interest in European matters where he studied from 1965–66. From 1963–79, he worked in United Kingdom industry.

Parliamentary career

Prior to its uniform adoption of proportional representation in 1999, the United Kingdom used first-past-the-post for the European elections in England, Scotland and Wales. The European Parliament constituencies used under that system were smaller than the later regional constituencies and only had one Member of the European Parliament each.

Newton Dunn was a Conservative Party MEP from 1979 to 1994 for Lincolnshire. He ran for the new seat of Lincolnshire and Humberside South in 1994 but lost to Labour candidate Veronica Hardstaff by 83,172 votes (42.4%) to 69,427 (35.4%).

After a spell out of the Parliament, he was re-elected a Conservative MEP for the East Midlands in 1999. He defected to the Liberal Democrats in 2000 because he felt that the Conservatives were increasingly negative towards the prospect of Britain playing a leading role in Europe.

Newton Dunn was elected as a Lib Dem MEP for the first time in the 2004 elections. He claims to have had the highest attendance record of all the UK MEPs when elected. He was re-elected in 2009.

Newton Dunn began to use the now much-used phrase Democratic deficit in his pamphlet in the 1980s. This phrase first appeared in the manifesto of the Young European Federalists adopted at their congress in Berlin in 1977.

In 2010 he signed the Spinelli Group Manifesto in favour of a Federal Europe.

On 4 July 2012, Newton Dunn was the only British MEP to vote in favour of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Only 38 MEPs voted with Newton Dunn, while 478 voted against the treaty; the biggest defeat in the history of the European Union.

Newton Dunn ran for re-election in the 2014 elections but was defeated.

Personal life

He is married with two children, living in Navenby and West London. His son is Tom Newton Dunn, an award-winning journalist for The Sun newspaper. His daughter is Daisy Newton Dunn, a TV producer for the BBC.


    External links

    Offices held

    European Parliament
    New constituency Member of European Parliament for Lincolnshire
    Constituency abolished
    New constituency Member of European Parliament for East Midlands
    Succeeded by

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