Labour politician and Patron of Humanists UK
Neil Kinnock was born in Wales in 1942, and after school, university and a postgraduate diploma in education, became a tutor for the Workers’ Educational Association)
He was an MP from 1970 until 1995, first for Bedwellty and then for Islwyn. He was PPS to Michael Foot as Secretary of State for Employment 1974-75, Principal Opposition Spokesperson for Education 1979-83, and Leader of the Opposition from 1983 until 1992. He was known as a left-winger, but also took on the Militant Tendency and reform of the Labour party.
After Labour’s defeat in the 1992 general election, Kinnock resigned as leader and resigned from the House of Commons three years later in order to become a European Commissioner. He went on to become the Vice-President of the European Commission under Romano Prodi from 1999 to 2004.
He was created Baron Kinnock of Bedwellty in the County of Gwent in 2001. Despite being a long-time critic of the House of Lords, he said, “I accepted the kind invitation to enter the House of Lords as a working peer for practical political reasons.” and “It will give me the opportunity… to contribute to the national debate on issues like higher education, research, Europe and foreign policy.”
He was also a Member of the BBC Advisory Council from 1976 to 1979, Chair of the British Council from 2004 to 2009, and President of Cardiff University until 2009. He is currently Chair of the Advisory Board of the Heads of the Valleys Development Project, President of Bevan Foundation, President of the Brecon Beacons Geo Park and a Trustee of RAND Europe.
He has been married to Glenys Kinnock, also a Patron of Humanists UK, since 1967.