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David Burns is a British politician and former professional boxer from Durham. He has served as the Member of Parliament for City of Durham since 1987.
Burns was born in 1945 to Edward and Evelyn Burns. Edward was a well-known trade union leader. His early life consisted of school and sport. Burns displayed an early talent with his hands, and he took up an apprenticeship with associates of his father. He also maintained a successful career as an amateur boxer.
In 1966 Burns qualified for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games as a light-heavyweight boxer where he won the Gold for England. A feat he repeated 2 years later at the Mexico City Olympics as a middleweight fighter. From 1968-1975 Burns boxed professionally, holding the British light-heavyweight championship from 1971-1973 and again at his retirement in 1975. During his later career, Burns earned a reputation as a working-class hero, often playing up his roots in coal country and raising funds and awareness for trade unions and poverty-related causes. From 1975-1977 Burns worked as the National Spokesman for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
In 1977 Burns stood for election to Durham County Council and began his political career. He served on Council until the 1987 General Election, serving as council leader from 1981-1987. In 1987 Burns was elected to Parliament where he has served since. He has a record of being on Labour's left wing and is no stranger to controversial positions and statements.
Burns is married and has a son. He is frequently spotted at a variety of sporting events, and hanging around with minor celebrities who were his friends during his boxing career.