David Young -2003

David Young, Bolton’s longest-serving MP – who represented Bolton East from 1974 to 1983 and Bolton South East from 1983 to 1997 – died in January 2003, aged 73.

David Wright Young was born at Greenock in 1930 and was educated Greenock Academy, Glasgow University and St Paul’s College, Cheltenham, after which he became a history teacher. He joined the Labour Party in 1955. He was Chairman of Coventry East Labour Party 1964-68 and a councillor, later an Alderman, on Nuneaton Council.

His attempts to get into Parliament were determined, to say the least. He contested South Worcestershire in 1959, Banbury in 1966, and Bath in 1970, before moving to Bolton. He won Bolton East from the Tories in February 1974 with a majority of 1600, and increased it to over 4000 in the October election later that year.

The highlight of his Parliamentary career came with his appointment as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence, Fred Mulley, 1977-79. He visited the Falklands twice and Middle Eastern Countries on many occasions, on fact-finding missions. When the occasion demanded it he could be a very powerful orator indeed, but this secret weapon was infrequently deployed.

In 1983, as a result of Parliamentary Boundary changes, he won the nomination to fight the new seat of Bolton South East by the narrowest of margins. Thereafter his relationship with the local party began to deteriorate and in 1994 he became the first sitting Labour MP to be de-selected under OMOV, and he retired from Parliament in 1997, being succeeded by Brian Iddon.

In recent years he became increasingly disaffected with the Party and last year wrote letters to local and national newspapers saying that he would never vote Labour again.

Alan Howarth, PLP