Tony Colman (politician)

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Tony Colman
Member of Parliament
for Putney
In office
1 May 1997 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byDavid Mellor
Succeeded byJustine Greening
Personal details
Anthony John Colman

(1943-07-23) 23 July 1943 (age 76)
Sheringham, Norfolk, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
University of East Anglia
OccupationPolitician, businessman

Anthony John Colman (born 23 July 1943) is a British politician and businessman who served as the Labour Member of Parliament for Putney from 1997 to 2005.

Early life and career[edit]

Colman was born in Sheringham, Norfolk, on 23 July 1943.[citation needed] and educated at Paston Grammar School in North Walsham, Norfolk.[1] Colman studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge,[1] where he completed his Master's degree in Historical Tripos.[2]

Colman worked for the United Africa Company, a now-defunct subsidiary of Unilever, from 1964 to 1969.[1] From 1966 to 1967, he worked as a postgraduate researcher at the London School of Economics.[2]

Colman was appointed as a board director at the Burton Group in 1969, a position which he held until 1990.[1] During his time at the Burton Group, he helped to found Topshop.[3][4]

Colman was the Labour candidate for South West Hertfordshire in the 1979 general election, but lost to the incumbent Conservative MP, Geoffrey Dodsworth.

In the 1986 Merton council elections, Colman stood as one of two Labour candidates for Durnsford in the London Borough of Merton, but the ward's two seats were held by the Conservatives, including the newly elected Theresa May, who would later become Prime Minister.[5]

In 1990, he was elected as a councillor for the Lavender ward in Merton, before becoming leader of the council from 1991 to 1997.[6]

Prior to becoming an MP, Colman chaired the Low Pay Unit, a charity advising low-paid workers.[7][8] He served as the Director of the Polka Children's Threatre from 1995 until 2004.[9]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Colman stood in Putney in the 1997 general election; he won with 45.6% of the vote and a majority of 2,976 votes, defeating the incumbent Conservative MP David Mellor and James Goldsmith, the leader of the Eurosceptic Referendum Party.[10][11] Colman's majority was reduced to 2,771 votes in the 2001 general election,[12][13] and he lost his seat by 1,766 votes to Justine Greening, the Conservative candidate, in the 2005 general election.[14][15]

Colman chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail,[7] the All Party Parliamentary Group on Socially Responsible Investment,[16][17] the All Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations,[18] and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Management.[1]

During his time in parliament, Colman was also vice-chair of GLOBE UK, a pressure group promoting sustainable development.[1] He chaired the Public Private Partnership Programme Ltd until October 1998,[19] and remained on its board during his later parliamentary career.[20][21]

Later career[edit]

Since 2005,[2] Colman has been an Associate Director of Africapractice, a corporate citizenship and communications consultancy.[19][4]

Colman is a member of the World Future Council,[4] of which he was a founding member in 2006,[citation needed] becoming a councillor in 2007.[citation needed] Since 2013, Colman has been the permanent representative of the WFC at the United Nations' New York headquarters.[citation needed]

From July 2008 to November 2010, Colman was the Director of One World Trust,[22] a pressure group for global governance of which he is now the Chair of the Board of Trustees.[2]

Colman completed his doctoral thesis at the University of East Anglia in 2013; it specialised in water resource management and water supply and sanitation in Botswana.[23] He has since published extensively on the subject of water management, with particular focus on southern Africa.[3][24]

Colman is a Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town, the Earth Institute at Columbia University and his alma mater, the University of East Anglia.[3][4]

Colman is also a Trustee of Chatham House and the New Economics Foundation and is on the Council of the Overseas Development Institute.[2] Since 2016, he has been the Chair of Pupil Asset Ltd.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Candidates for the Westminster Seat". 6 May 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Associate Fellows". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Allan, Tony; Colman, Tony; Keulertz, Martin (7 April 2015). "The Complexity and Urgency of Water: Time for the Accountancy Profession to Step Up". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Dr Tony Colman". World Future Council. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  5. ^ London Borough Council Elections 8 May 1986 (PDF). London Residuary Body - Research and Intelligence Unit. 1986.
  6. ^ Minors, Michael; Grenham, Dennis (1990). London Borough Council Elections 3 May 1990 (PDF). London: London Research Centre - Population and Statistics Group. ISBN 1-85261-115-4.
  7. ^ a b "Tony Colman". BBC News. London. 16 October 2002. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  8. ^ "Low Pay Unit". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  9. ^ "POLKA CHILDREN'S THEATRE LIMITED - Officers (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Putney: General Election result, May 1997". Political Science Resources. Richard Kimber. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Putney: General Election result, June 2001". Political Science Resources. Richard Kimber. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  14. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  15. ^ "UK General Election results May 2005". Political Science Resources. Richard Kimber. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  16. ^ "Register of All-Party Groups: Socially Responsible Investment". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  17. ^ Cowe, Roger (12 June 1999). "MPs criticise pension fund stalling on ethics rule". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  18. ^ Maxwell, Simon (27 May 2004). "Ahead of the Curve: Why the UN needs the capacity to think". ODI. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Our People - Tony Colman". Africapractice. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Register of Journalists' Interests". 10 November 2000. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Select Committee on International Development - Minutes of Proceedings Report - Declaration of Members' Interests". 10 January 2003. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  22. ^ "ONE WORLD TRUST - Officers (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  23. ^ Colman, Anthony John (2013). "The Political Economy and Coalitions in Botswana's Water Sector Reform 2009-13: to what extent can the process of reform be understood?". Doctoral Thesis, University of East Anglia.
  24. ^ Allan, Tony; Bromwich, Brendan; Keulertz, Martin; Colman, Anthony (8 May 2018). The Oxford Handbook of Food, Water and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190669799.001.0001. ISBN 9780190669812.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Mellor
Member of Parliament for Putney
Succeeded by
Justine Greening