Winston Churchill's grandson took fight to the backbenches

Winston Churchill, grandson of Britain's war leader and a former Conservative MP, never achieved high political office despite his illustrious pedigree.

But he was an outspoken backbencher and after his departure from Westminster he spoke out strongly in favour of the Iraq War and on the fight against Islamic terrorism.

Winston Spencer-Churchill was born on October 10 1940. His father, Randolph Churchill, was Sir Winston's only son.

The young Winston was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford.

Before becoming an MP, he worked as a journalist, notably in the Middle East at the time of the Six Day War, during which he met numerous Israeli politicians, including Moshe Dayan, and published a book recounting the war.

Mr Churchill became MP for the Manchester constituency of Stretford from 1970 until the 1983 general election, when boundary changes made his seat more marginal. He transferred to the new Davyhulme constituency, which he represented until the seat was abolished for the 1997 general election.

In May 1993 he provoked a row by criticising the "relentless flow" of immigrants to Britain from the Indian subcontinent. He was publicly reprimanded by the then home secretary, Michael Howard. The prime minister, John Major, supported Mr Howard's comments.

He was also the subject of controversy in 1995 when he and his family sold a large archive of papers relating to his grandfather for £13.5 million.

After leaving Parliament, Mr Churchill was a much sought-after speaker on the lecture circuit and wrote many articles in support of the Iraq War and the fight against Islamic terrorism. He also edited a compilation of his grandfather's famous speeches entitled Never Give In.

In 2007, he acted as a spokesman for the pressure group UK National Defence Association.

Mr Churchill's first marriage, in July 1964, was to Minnie Caroline d'Erlanger, the daughter of banker Sir Gerard John Regis d'Erlanger. The couple had four children, two boys and two girls.

Their marriage ended in divorce in 1997 because of Mr Churchill's extramarital relationships, notably with Soraya Khashoggi, former wife of arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. He married Luce Danielson, a Belgian-born jewellery maker, the same year.