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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Tony Banks

Date of birth

8 April 1943

Political profile

Tony Banks is a parliamentary character who has made more impact on the general public than most of his colleagues, with his "man of the people" image.

He has even inspired a collection of quotations called "The wit and wisdom of Tony Banks".

Like many on the Labour benches, he has made a long journey from the far left.

He was a leading member of the GLC during Ken Livingstone's heyday and soon after his election in 1983, offered to resign his seat so that Tony Benn could re-enter Parliament to stand as Labour's leader.

By 1997 he had moderated his views sufficiently to be offered the role of sports minister - he is an enthusiastic fan of Chelsea FC - though he was never truly comfortable in government.

He resigned in 1999 so he could concentrate on England's unsuccessful World Cup bid.

Since then he has spoken from the backbenches to pursue his passion for animal welfare, making an outspoken contribution to the Hunting Bill debate.

He sought to be selected as Labour's candidate for the 2003 London Mayoral election, but was defeated by Nicky Gavron.

Contact

Constituency office 020 8555 0036

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