Open main menu

William Francis Newton Dunn (born 3 October 1941) is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East Midlands. He first served as the MEP for Lincolnshire from 1979 to 1994 and for the East Midlands from 1999 to 2014. A member of the Conservative Party until 2000, he defected to the Liberal Democrats over the Conservatives' Euroscepticism. He was elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor in May 2018 and as a Member of the European Parliament in May 2019.


Bill Newton Dunn

Newton Dunn Bill 2014-02-06 2.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for East Midlands
Assumed office
2 July 2019
Preceded byRupert Matthews
In office
1 May 1999 – 2 July 2014
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAndrew Lewer
Member of the European Parliament
for Lincolnshire
In office
7 June 1979 – 9 June 1994
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byVeronica Hardstaff
Personal details
Born (1941-10-03) 3 October 1941 (age 77)
Greywell, Hampshire, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Other political
Conservative (until 2000)
ChildrenTom Newton Dunn
Daisy Newton Dunn
EducationMarlborough College
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge


Early lifeEdit

Bill Newton Dunn was born in Greywell, Hampshire, and attended the independent Marlborough College in Wiltshire from 1955 to 1959, 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, where he studied from 1965 to 1966. From 1963 to 1979, he worked in industry in the United Kingdom.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Newton Dunn contested Carmarthen in the February 1974 general election.

He was Conservative Party MEP for Lincolnshire from 1979 to 1994, during which time most European Parliament constituencies in the UK were single-member and the MEPs therein were elected by the first-past-the-post system. He stood 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, Newton Dunn was re-elected a Conservative MEP for the East Midlands in 1999, after the UK adopted systems of proportional representation generally rather than merely for Northern Ireland. He crossed the floor to the Liberal Democrats in 2000 because he felt that the Conservatives were increasingly negative towards the prospect of Britain playing a leading and positive role in Europe.

He was elected as a Liberal Democrat MEP for the first time in the 2004 election. He said he 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 (drafted by the future Labour MEP Richard Corbett).

In 2010, Newton Dunn signed the Spinelli Group Manifesto in favour of a Federal Europe.

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

He stood for re-election in the 2014 election but was defeated.

Newton Dunn was Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Hayes and Harlington in the June 2017 general election. In May 2018, he was elected to Richmond London Borough Council as a councillor for the South Richmond ward.

In the 2019 European Parliament election, Newton Dunn was first on the Liberal Democrat list for the East Midlands[1] and was elected.[2]

At the beginning of the Ninth European Parliament, he was the longest serving MEP (discounting periods outside Parliament) and the only MEP from the First European Parliament in 1979 (40 years previously) still holding a seat.

Personal lifeEdit

Newton Dunn is married with two children, living in Navenby, Lincolnshire, 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.


  1. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated - European Parliamentary Election on 23 May 2019". Northampton Borough Council. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Brexit Party sweeps to victory in the East Midlands". ITV News. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.

External linksEdit

European Parliament
New constituency Member of European Parliament for Lincolnshire
Succeeded by
Veronica Hardstaff
Lincolnshire and Humberside South
New constituency Member of European Parliament for East Midlands
Succeeded by
Andrew Lewer
Preceded by
Rupert Matthews
Member of European Parliament for East Midlands
Assumes office
2 July 2019