Patrick Duffy (British politician)

Sir Albert Edward Patrick Duffy (born 17 June 1920) is an economist and Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was a Member of Parliament for Colne Valley 1963-1966, and for Sheffield Attercliffe 1970-1992. He was a Minister of the Navy in the 1970s, and President of the NATO Assembly in the 1980s.

Early lifeEdit

Duffy was educated at the London School of Economics and Columbia University, and served in the Fleet Air Arm in World War II.

Political careerEdit

He contested the Parliamentary seat of Tiverton in 1950, 1951 and 1955 before moving to the more promising seat of Colne Valley, which he won in a by-election in 1963, and held until the 1966 general election, when he was defeated by the Liberal Richard Wainwright, despite the national swing to Labour.

He was selected to stand for Sheffield Attercliffe at the 1970 general election following a close selection contest with George Caborn, father of Richard Caborn.[1]

He was Opposition Spokesman on Defence 1979–1981 and 1983–1984, and Under Secretary of State for the Royal Navy in Jim Callaghan's Government 1976–1979.[2] Duffy was on the Right of the Labour Party; a staunch pro-European and opponent of unilateral nuclear disarmament. He voted for John Silkin in the 1980 leadership campaign rather than Michael Foot, the successful candidate. Following the death in May 1981 of Bobby Sands, one of the Irish hunger strikers, Duffy was the sole member of the British House of Commons to condemn Margaret Thatcher, according to The New York Times.[3]

Duffy stood down from Parliament at the 1992 general election.

NATO careerEdit

Duffy was also president of the North Atlantic Assembly (the parliamentary arm of NATO) during the first-time delegations from the Warsaw Pact nations. In 1991, he served as leader of the first Western parliamentary delegation to the Kremlin and was knighted for his contribution to the Western Alliance.

Duffy also functioned as deputy chairman of the Atlantic Council of the UK. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Boards of the Centre of Defence and International Security Studies, Hull University, and the Universities of Lancaster and York Defence Research Institute, and is an associate of the Centre for Defence and International Security Studiesat Lancaster University, the International Business Institute, and Azusa Pacific University where he served as a guest lecturer during the fall semester of 2007 and keynote speaker for Azusa Pacific University's Economic Summit. In 2014, Duffy published his autobiography, Growing Up Irish in Britain, British in Ireland and in Washington, Moscow, Rome & Sydney.[4]


  1. ^ "Sheffield MP's early struggle for power[permanent dead link]", Sheffield Star, 31 July 2005
  2. ^ Andrew Burke et al. (compilers) (1987). The Times Guide to the House of Commons, June 1987. Times Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7230-0298-3.
  3. ^ Mrs. Thatcher says death of Sands won't alter London's Ulster policy(New York Times, 5 May 1981)
  4. ^ Patrick Duffy (2013). Growing Up Irish in Britain and British in Ireland: And in Washington, Moscow, Rome and Sydney. Jeremy Mills Publishing. ISBN 978-1-909837-04-1.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Glenvil Hall
Member of Parliament for Colne Valley
Succeeded by
Richard Wainwright
Preceded by
John Hynd
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Attercliffe
Succeeded by
Clive Betts