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About David Owen

David Owen: Under Labour Governments, David Owen served as Navy Minister, Health Minister and Foreign Secretary. He was co-founder of the Social Democratic Party and its Leader from 1983-87 and 1988-90. He was created a Life Baron – Lord Owen of the City of Plymouth – in 1992 and sits as an independent Crossbencher in the House of Lords. He was a Member of Parliament for Plymouth for 26 years from 1966-92.

Articles by David Owen

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Protecting our NHS from the EU

We must protect our NHS from competition and market led inteference from the EU Commission, says David Owen at the launch of Vote Leave's NHS-focused campaign.

Referenda and a cross-party constitutional convention

The former UK foreign secretary delivered the inaugural Peter Hennessy lecture on the 8th of October 2015. Here it is in full.

The EU has become an increasing danger to our NHS

Unless clear provisions are made to exempt the NHS from TTIP the issue may well lead to a surge in support for leaving the EU.

Putting Britain back together

Constitutional reform must be an evolutionary process, not a rush job imposed from above for party political reasons.

The Chilcot Inquiry is in danger of losing credibility

Sir Jeremy Heywood was Principal Private Secretary to Tony Blair; he must not be the man to decide which conversations are to be made public at the Chilcot enquiry. Here is David Owen's full letter to David Cameron with accompanying note.

Are Blair and Cameron subverting the Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq?

A revealing analysis of how the British political class is attempting to keep the lid on its disastrous and dishonest participation in the invasion of Iraq

Lord Owen condemns “conspiracy of silence” on the EU-US trade deal

Introducing his revised NHS bill, Lord Owen calls today for transparency from Prime Minister David Cameron over the secret mandate for the EU-US Trade Negotiations which he hopes to boost at the G8 Summit in five weeks time in Northern Ireland.

The NHS Reinstatement bill and explanatory notes - updated

David Owen's Reinstatement bill continues to be improved and the below shows the latest text of both the bill and the accompanying explanatory notes.

Changes to the NHS Reinstatement bill

The reinstatement bill continues to be improved and sharpened, including an important adjustment to ensure any international trade deal ro treaty would require parliamentary approval if legislating for the NHS.

Flaws in the NHS go deeper than the Health & Social Care Act

In the wake of the Mid-Staffs report on hospital failure, David Owen has written to the Royal Colleges urging them to re-examine their role in securing high professional standards. Have relations with the Department of Health become too close?

The NHS reinstatement Bill text and explanatory notes

Owen's Bill may become an important tool for campaigners and the public in pushing prospective MPs to publicly endorse a democratic health system. It is published in full, below, with explanatory notes.

A bill to re-instate the NHS?

A new bill to reinstate the legal and democratic basis of the NHS in England has been laid before parliament in the House of Lords by David Owen. Here, to launch our new NHS section, Owen writes for openDemocracy on why it is both essential and urgently needed, to re-establish the principled public health service so valued by the English public.

Still fatally flawed – the proposed NHS for England

David Cameron should respect the evidence and stop the unamendable Health and Social Care Bill, says former health minister Lord David Owen

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