Dowd, James Patrick or Jim

James Patrick Jim Dowd (March 5, 1951) British politician. He is the Labour Member of Parliament for Lewisham West.

Education and career
Jim Dowd was born in Bad Eilsen in Lower Saxony, Germany and grew up in Lewisham, London with an Irish father and German mother. He was educated at the Dalmain Infant and Junior Schools in Forest Hill; the Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, and the London Nautical School, Lambeth. He began his career in telephone engineering as an apprentice in 1967 with the General Post Office (GPO). After his apprenticeship in 1972, he became a manager at a Heron petrol station for a year before joining Plessey as a telecommunications engineer in 1973, where he remained until his election to parliament. He was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Lewisham in 1974, becoming its deputy leader in 1984 for two years, was twice deputy mayor in 1987 and 1990 and was the Mayor of Lewisham in 1992. He stepped down from the council in 1997.

Political career
He unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of Beckenham at the 1983 General Election, where he came in third place some 17,330 votes behind the veteran Conservative MP Philip Goodhart. At the 1987 General Election he contested the marginal seat of Lewisham West, but was defeated by John Maples by 3,772; but five years later, Jim Dowd was elected to the House of Commons at the 1992 General Election for Lewisham West, defeating Maples by 1,809 votes, and has remained an MP since. He made his maiden speech on June 10, 1992.

Jim Dowd entered the new Tony Blair team as a Opposition Whip in 1994, becoming the spokesman on Northern Ireland in 1995. Following the election of the Labour government at the 1997 General Election he was given a place in the Blair government as a Lord Commissioner to the Treasury (Whip). Lost this position after the 2001 General Election, since when he has been a member of the Health Select Committee.

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