Obituary: Lord Winstanley

THE obituary of Lord Winstanley (by Sir Cyril Smith, 19 July) paid tribute to his political and sporting skills, but his medical experience was also an important element in his Parliamentary career, writes Dilys Cossey.

Winstanley was a key adviser and staunch supporter of his Liberal colleague David Steel on the committee of the then Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which sat on 12 occasions over a period of two and a half months from January to March 1967 and subsequently became the 1967 Abortion Act. He was a strong advocate of comprehensive NHS family planning services; he followed Lord Gardiner as President of the Birth Control Campaign (the organisation which worked to establish free NHS contraception), a post he held for over a decade.

Winstanley's interventions in the House of Lords on matters of reproductive choice and rights - whether in the national or international context - were strengthened by his medical knowledge and experience and his humanitarian approach.