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Bill O'Brien (British politician)

Sir William O'Brien (born 25 January 1929) is a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom.

Sir Bill O'Brien
Member of Parliament
for Normanton
In office
10 June 1983 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byAlbert Roberts
Succeeded byEd Balls
Personal details
Born (1929-01-25) 25 January 1929 (age 90)
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Jean Scofield
Alma materUniversity of Leeds

Early lifeEdit

Born in the historic West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract, O'Brien was previously a miner from 1946–83 and local councillor on Wakefield Council from 1973-83. He stood unsuccessfully for the post of Secretary for the Yorkshire region of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1973, losing to Owen Briscoe from the Yorkshire Left group.[1] He was considered the moderate candidate from the moderate Glasshoughton colliery, whereas Briscoe was a militant from Armthorpe Colliery.[1]

He gained a BEd degree from the University of Leeds in 1978.

Parliamentary careerEdit

O'Brien entered the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Normanton at the 1983 general election, and re-elected at four further general elections until he retired at the 2005 general election. He was named Knight Bachelor in 2010.

Personal lifeEdit

He married Jean Scofield and they have three daughters.


The Prince of Wales Colliery [2]


  1. ^ a b Winterton, Jonathan; Winterton, Ruth (1989). Coal, Crisis, and Conflict: The 1984–85 Miners' Strike in Yorkshire. Manchester University Press. p. 18. ISBN 9780719025488.
  2. ^ Sir Bill O'Brien (2011). Pontefract Heritage Series: The Prince of Wales Colliery. Pontefract Road, Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, WF11 8PL United Kingdom: Pen2Pen. ISBN 978-0-9559026-1-1.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Albert Roberts
Member of Parliament for Normanton
Succeeded by
Ed Balls