ANDERSON, Donald (b.1939).



Family and Education

Offices Held


Donald Anderson was born in Swansea in June 1939 and attended both school and university in the city before becoming a barrister. In 1963 he married Dorothy Tortman, with whom he had three children.

Anderson joined the Labour party aged 17 and was first sat in the Commons for Monmouth between 1966 and 1970. On losing his seat he served as a London borough Councillor, before his election as MP for Swansea East in 1974. He was twice a PPS, once to Roy Hattersley, and became involved campaigns in favour of the European Economic Community. In the Labour party he became an opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs (1983-92), Defence (1993-94) and Shadow Solicitor General in 1994-95.

Despite his position on the shadow cabinet he was not given a cabinet position by Tony Blair and instead became chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. He was made a Privy Councillor in 2000 before retiring from the Commons in 2005. The same year he entered the House of Lords as Baron Anderson of Swansea. 

Click here to listen to the full interview with Donald Anderson in the British Library.

Ref Volumes: Oral History