David Watkins was born in Bristol of Anglo-Welsh parentage. After starting his career in politics as a Bristol City Councillor, he served as MP for Consett, Co. Durham from 1966 to 1983. David Watkins was director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding for seven years and a board member for a further fourteen. He was a founding Trustee of the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians. Since the age of sixteen he has been a member of the trade union AMICUS, and is a long-time member of the Labour Party and the Fabian Society. David Watkin's previous book, Seventeen Years in Obscurity: Memoirs from the Back Benches, was published by Book Guild in 1996.