Kinnock was born in March 1942, the son of Gordon Kinnock, labourer, and Mary Kinnock (née Howells), nurse. He was educated at University College, Cardiff, 1963-7, and married Glenys Elizabeth Parry in 1967.
Kinnock was a Tutor Organiser in Industrial and Trade Union Studies, Workers' Educational Association, 1966-70; Member, Welsh Hospital Board, 1969-71. He served as Labour MP for Bedwellty, 1970-83 (later Islwyn), 1983-95. He was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Employment, 1974-75, and Chief Opposition spokesman on Education, 1979-83.
Kinnock was Leader of the Labour Party, while Labour was in Opposition, from 1983 to 1992, and fought two unsuccessful General Election campaigns in 1987 and 1992 as Party Leader. He was also a member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, 1978-94 (Chairman, 1987-88) and the Parliamentary Committee of the Parliamentary Labour Party, 1979-92. Following his resignation as Leader after the loss of the 1992 General Election, he became Chairman of Labour's International Committee, 1993-94. He was elected to the European Commission in 1995, first as Commissioner for Transport and Trans-European Networks, then served as Vice-President for Administrative Reform, 1999-2004. He later became chairman of the British Council from 2004-09. He was made a life peer in 2005.
His publications include "Making Our Way", 1986, and "Thorns and Roses", 1992.
The collection contains Kinnock's papers as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, 1983-92, and also from his work for the European Commission, 1995-2004.
The papers include political papers (mainly relating to Kinnock's leadership of the Labour Party), engagements diaries and visits papers, copies of his speeches and public statements, constituency correspondence, photographs and some audio-visual material.
The papers have been transferred to Churchill Archives Centre from Lord Kinnock's office at various dates since 1992
As virtually no original order remained in the archive, with loose papers from various sources within Kinnock's office put into boxes more or less randomly, a completely new arrangement was given to the archive on cataloguing. The core Labour Party material (on modernisation, general strategy etc) was separated from the various policy areas, which were arranged by ministerial portfolio. Then further series were made for correspondence, elections, speeches, visits etc. As the majority of the archive was available to readers in its disordered state for some years before cataloguing, the original box numbers have been noted for each file as the former reference code.
Owned by Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge
See also constituency papers at the National Library of Wales and the papers of Kinnock's constituency agent for Bedwellty, Barry Moore, at Gwent County Record Office. The Labour History Archive and Study Centre is based at the People's History Museum, Manchester.
A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London and on the Janus website, http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/.
This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre in May 2003. The catalogue was completed by Katharine Thomson in July 2011.