Deakins was educated at Tottenham Grammar School and the London School of Economics, and became a commercial executive. He served as a councillor on Tottenham Borough Council between 1958 and 1961, and from 1962 to 1963.
Deakins was unsuccessful in his first three attempts to be elected a Member of Parliament (MP), including in Finchley in 1959 against future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Chigwell in 1966. However, he was later elected MP for Walthamstow West in 1970, reversing his by-election loss to the Conservatives of that seat in 1967.
His maiden speech was made on 16 July 1970. Speaking in favour of the second reading of the Misuse Of Drugs Bill, he raised a series of reservations: "It attacks socially unacceptable drugs but does nothing about socially acceptable drugs."
After boundary changes in 1974, Walthamstow West was merged into the new constituency of Walthamstow, which he continued to represent.
During the Labour government of 1974-1979, Deakins was a junior minister for Trade (1974–1976) and the DHSS (1976–1979). He represented Walthamstow until he was defeated at the 1987 general election, gaining 34% of the vote compared to the 39% polled by his Conservative opponent Hugo Summerson. His defeat was against the national trend, but followed a large rates increase by the Labour-controlled Waltham Forest London Borough Council.
In 1987, he co-wrote the book You And Your Member Of Parliament with Nance Fyson.
He has a wife and three children, Tom, Sophie and Annabelle.
- Times Guide to the House of Commons, 1966 & 1987
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Eric Deakins
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Walthamstow West
1970 – February 1974
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Walthamstow
February 1974 – 1987
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