Born in Huddersfield, David Borrow was educated at Mirfield Grammar School and the Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University) where he was awarded a degree in economics.
He joined the Labour Party in 1970 aged 18, and in 1973 he became a trainee at the Yorkshire Bank. He was appointed as an assistant clerk at the Lancashire Valuations Tribunal in 1975, being promoted to Deputy Clerk in 1978. He was the Deputy Clerk to the Manchester South Valuations Tribunal in 1981, before becoming the Clerk to The Tribunal at the Merseyside Valuations Tribunal in 1983. David Borrow was elected as a councillor to the Preston Borough Council in 1987, and was the council leader between 1992 and 1994, and again from 1995 until his election to Westminster. He stood down from the council in 1998.
He contested the parliamentary seat of Wyre at the 1992 General Election and he finished second 11,664 votes behind the Conservative MP Keith Mans. At the 1997 General Election David Borrow contested South Ribble, the seat of the former Conservative minister Robert Atkins. Borrow was selected to fight the seat at the last minute after the previous candidate fell ill. South Ribble was one of the many seats which was won by Labour in 1997, and David Borrow was elected to serve as the Labour Member of Parliament for the South Ribble constituency with a majority of 5,084, and held the seat until 2010. He made his maiden speech on 3 July 1997.
He joined the Agriculture Select Committee in 1999, and after the 2001 General Election he joined the newly formed Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. In 2003 he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister of State at the Department for Transport Kim Howells, and remained so when his boss moved sideways to the Department for Education and Skills in 2004. He did not remain as Howells's PPS after the 2005 General Election.
He was formerly a member of the Defence Select Committee.
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