BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: Michael Crick
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Anorak's corner

Michael Crick | 15:19 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

The former Labour MP Bert Hazell (North Norfolk 1964-70) who died earlier this month was the second oldest ex-MP in history. He was 101 and eight months old at the time of his death.

The oldest ex-MP in history is thought to be Theodore Cooke Taylor, an MP from 1900 to 1918 who lived to be 102.

By my reckoning, Michael Foot is now the oldest living ex-MP, though I could easily be wrong on this. He was born in 1913 and so will be 96 this year. Remarkably, Foot first stood for Parliament in 1935.

Foot is one of only four survivors from the 1945 Parliament. The others are Francis Noel-Baker (89), John Freeman (95) and Ernest Millington (92) who was actually elected as a Common Wealth MP at a by-election in April 1945, but switched to Labour and survived until 1950. That makes Millington the only surviving MP from the Second World War.


  • Comment number 1.

    If there were a top five I'd suppose Macmillian and Manny Shinwell would be well up there, I believe they both made 100.

  • Comment number 2.

    Michael, I think the oldest living ex MP may well be James Allason (Conservative Hemel Hempstead, standing down in 1974), who is 96 and was Jack Profumo's PPS, and is also the dad of Rupert. (of intelligence history and being an MP too fame) Just behind, and also 96, notably is Lord Glenmara (Labour minister Edward Short!).

    Now, who is the oldest living ex (Woman) MP? Could it be the 83 year old Margaret Thatcher? I'm not sure. I do know of one older former Minister, but she sat in the Lords.

  • Comment number 3.

    Following my post the other day, I think the oldest living woman formerly an MP is in fact Dame Peggy Fenner, who is 86. She was Conservative MP for Rochester and Chatham from 1970 (in two spells), and later for Medway. She was beaten by Bob Marshall Andrews in 1997.

  • Comment number 4.

    On broadband, comments and interviews ill informed. I presented a fiber optics (broadband) strategy to the Parliamentary Information Technology Committee 15 years ago. The government view technology is the answer is not correct. We don't know what the question is. Should we broadband, of course we should. But nor for any of the reasons I have heard expressed, including some of our more fanatical internet believers. The internet is fueled by porn and spam, I find about about 10% of my bandwidth is useful. Fiber the country for sure, give us all 20 Mbps. Look at Malaysia and its Cyber Jaya initiative. Paris etc. However I feel our ills are more to do with our education.


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