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Fathers of the House
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Members of Parliament

See also Prime Ministers: Classified, Prime Ministers: Details, and The Great Offices of State (the last for lists of Home Secretaries, Foreign Secretaries and Chancellors of the Exchequer, since 1945).

Speakers

Last Speaker to be forced out of office, before Michael Martin (1695 – for accepting bribes) Click to show or hide the answer
1976–83: the first Speaker to be heard calling for order at the beginning of broadcasts from the House of Commons Click to show or hide the answer
1983–92 Click to show or hide the answer
1992–2000: the first woman Speaker, and the first from an opposition party since 1835; the first not to wear a wig Click to show or hide the answer
2000–9: the first Roman Catholic Speaker since the Reformation; resigned in 2009 following criticism of his role in the parliamentary expenses scandal – the first speaker to be forced out of office since 1695 Click to show or hide the answer
2009–: the first Jewish speaker Click to show or hide the answer

Fathers of the House (of Commons)

'Father of the House' is an unofficial title that has traditionally been bestowed on the longest–serving member of the House of Commons.

Since 1900, five former Prime Ministers have held the title. The following table gives details of selected Fathers of the House, beginning with the first of those five. Gaps in the table indicate that one or more incumbents have been left out (because they're unlikely to come up in quizzes).

Just to clarify: the first column gives the year in which each incumbent was first elected to Parliament, and the second gives the years in which they served as Father of the House.

Elected Years Party Constituency Name
1868 1907-8 Liberal Stirling Burghs Click to show or hide the answer
1890 1929-45 Liberal Caernavon Boroughs Click to show or hide the answer

1900 1959–64 Conservative (Woodford) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
1929 1964–5 Conservative Saffron Walden Click to show or hide the answer

1945 1983–87 Labour Cardiff South, Penarth Click to show or hide the answer

1950 1992–2001 Conservative Bexley, Sidcup, Old Bexley and Sidcup Click to show or hide the answer
1962 2001–5 Labour Linlithgow Click to show or hide the answer
1964 2005–10 Labour Swansea West Click to show or hide the answer
1966 2010–15 Conservative Louth and Horncastle Click to show or hide the answer
1970 2015– Labour Manchester Gorton Click to show or hide the answer

Other

The first black woman MP (1987) Click to show or hide the answer
Great–nephew of the first Lord Beaverbrook Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned in 1995 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, after revelations that BMARC, of which he was a non–executive Director, broke sanctions and sold arms to Iran; later imprisoned for perjury
Once had a glass of wine thrown over him by Anna Ford
Former Tory MP, lost a famous libel case against BBC2's Have I got news for you, 1998 Click to show or hide the answer
Elected 1969 as Conservative MP for Louth (Lincs), aged 29; later claimed falsely to have been the youngest MP ever; stood down in 1974 when facing bankruptcy as a result of a fraudulent investment scheme (Aquablast), and took up writing Click to show or hide the answer
Appointed Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party by Margaret Thatcher, 1985; resigned 13 months later after the News of the World claimed that he had paid prostitute Monica Coghlan £2,000 to leave the country; he then sued the Daily Star for libel after it alleged he had slept with Coghlan, and won £500,000 damages
Granted a life peerage by John Major, 1992, for his charitable work on behalf of the Iraqi Kurds. (It was later alleged that he grossly over–estimated the amount of money raised.)
Escaped prosecution for insider dealing in the shares of Anglia TV (of which his wife was a director) in 1994
Withdrew his candidacy for the London Mayoral election of 2000, after the News of the World claimed he had committed perjury in his 1987 libel case; subsequently expelled from the Conservative party by William Hague; tried for perjury 2000–1, found guilty and sentenced to four years' imprisonment; repaid the £500,000 libel damages he had received from the Daily Star
Cabinet Secretary who admitted to being 'economical with the truth' in 1986 Click to show or hide the answer
Tory MP branded a homosexual, liar and hypocrite by losing a libel action against the Sunday Times, in December 1995 Click to show or hide the answer
Former MP and Lib Dem leader, awarded a peerage in 2001: Chair of the Lib Dems' General Election Committe, 2015; announced during the BBC's election night coverage that if the exit polls' forecast (that the Lib Dems would be reduced from 57 seats to 10) were proved correct, he would eat his hat; in fact they were reduced to 8; subsequently ate a chocolate hat that was presented to him on Question Time Click to show or hide the answer
Owner of the world's largest collection of Victoria Cross medals, which was placed on permanent display in the Imperial War Museum in 2010 - seven years after he left the House of Commons
First woman to take her seat in the House of Commons Click to show or hide the answer
Education Secretary, 1986–9; introduced the National Curriculum, and in–service training days for teachers (which were informally named after him) Click to show or hide the answer
Last leader of the GLC (1985–6); MP for Newham North West 1986–97 and West Ham 1997–2005; Minister for Sport 1997–9; created Lord Stratford 2005; died on holiday in Florida 2006, aged 62 Click to show or hide the answer
Appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1970, after the death of Ian Macleod; introduced VAT, 1973 Click to show or hide the answer
Gave his name to a parliament convened by Cromwell in 1653, which was succeeded by the Rump Click to show or hide the answer
Successful SDP candidate in the Greenwich by–election, 1987 Click to show or hide the answer
The first female Foreign Secretary, and the second woman (after Thatcher) to hold one of the four 'great offices of state' (under Blair: replaced Jack Straw after his demotion in May 2006; replaced by David Miliband in June 2007 when Brown succeeded Blair) Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned from the Board of Trade in 1948, admitting 'acceptance of gifts and hospitality from shady wheeler–dealers' in the whisky industry Click to show or hide the answer
Former BBC journalist, beat Neil Hamilton in the Tatton constituency at the 1997 general election (didn't stand in 2001) Click to show or hide the answer
Tory MP for Anglesey, jailed in 1987 for making multiple BT share applications Click to show or hide the answer
Labour left–winger, MP for Ebbw Vale, 1929–60; as Minister of Health from 1945 to 1951, is often called the founding father of the NHS; Minister of Labour, 1951; resigned with Wilson in 1951, after Chancellor Gaitskell imposed charges on false teeth and spectacles to fund the Korean War; died in 1960, aged 62 Click to show or hide the answer
Founder of the TGWU, general secretary 1921–40; helped to found Nato; Minister of Labour and National Service 1940–5, Foreign Secretary 1945–51; died in 1951 Click to show or hide the answer
First woman appointed to the Cabinet (minister of Labour under Ramsay MacDonald, 1929–31) Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Margaret Thatcher as (Conservative) MP for Finchley, 1992; resigned as PPS in 1994 after revelations of a relationship with former research assistant Emily Barr Click to show or hide the answer
Persistently refused entry to the House of Commons in the 1880s because, as an atheist, he refused to swear the oath of allegiance on the Bible Click to show or hide the answer
Co–founder (with Richard Cobden) of the Anti–Corn Law League and of the so–called Manchester School Click to show or hide the answer
Trade and Industry Secretary, resigned 1986 over the Westland affair; became a vice–president of the European Commission, 1989 Click to show or hide the answer
The only Conservative MP to join the SDP: crossed the floor during a budget debate, 1981; lost his seat in 1983, lost again in 1987; joined Labour in 1997 Click to show or hide the answer
Northern Ireland Secretary, sang Clementine on an Irish TV show Click to show or hide the answer
Came second to Harold Wilson in the Labour leadership election of 1963 Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned as Labour Deputy Leader, in 1968, over "the way the Government is run"
Labour MP, suspended in 1988 for damaging the Mace and refusing to apologise Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of the Exchequer 1951–5 (under Churchill and Eden), Leader of the House of Commons 1955–61 (under Eden and Macmillan), Home Secretary 1957–62 (under Macmillan), Foreign Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister 1962–3 (under Macmillan), Foreign Secretary 1963–4 (under Douglas Home); passed over twice when prime ministers (Eden and Macmillan) resigned (in favour of Macmillan and Douglas Home, respectively); one of only two people (the other being John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon) to have served in three of the four Great Offices of State, but never to have been Prime Minister Click to show or hide the answer
Former leader (for 65 days in 2007) and deputy leader (2006–10) of the Liberal Democrats: Business Secretary in the Cameron coalition government 2010–15; defeated by Tory candidate Tania Mathias in the 2015 general election (Twickenham constituency) Click to show or hide the answer
Foreign Secretary, duelled with future Foreign Secretary Lord Castlereagh in 1809 Click to show or hide the answer
The last surviving member of Churchill's government (served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture); First Lord of the Admiralty under Macmillan, Leader of the House of Lords under Douglas–Home, Defence Secretary under Heath, and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned as Foreign Secretary in 1982 because his conduct of relations with Argentina was judged to have led to the Falklands War
Secretary General of NATO, 1984–8
Tory MP for Harwich 2005–10, and for Clacton 2010–14: changed his allegiance to UKIP in 2014, and announced his resignation as an MP; returned as a UKIP MP in the resulting by–election, becoming its first MP; became its only one again after the 2015 general election, when Mark Reckless lost his seat to the Tory candidate; left UKIP in March 2017 to sit as an Independent – "now that we've won" Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
As Minister of Transport (1965–8) introduced the breathalyser (1967), compulsory fitting of seat belts in cars, and the 70 mph speed limit on motorways; as Employment Secretary (1969), prepared the white paper In Place of Strife, on behalf of the Wilson government, aimed at curbing the power of the unions – never enacted Click to show or hide the answer
Foreign Secretary, committed suicide 1822 with a letter opener Click to show or hide the answer
Left wing Liberal MP, Colonial Secretary in Lord Salisbury's Conservative government; father of a Prime Minister (Neville) and a Nobel Peace Laureate (Austin) Click to show or hide the answer
Started as Conservative member for Oldham, 1900 (after 5 failed attempts?); also sat for Manchester North West, Dundee, Epping and Woodford Click to show or hide the answer
Grandson of the above former Prime Minister: MP for Stretford 1970–83, and Davyhulme 1973–97; died in 2010, aged 69 Click to show or hide the answer
Former Tory Defence Minister, claimed to have had affairs with Mrs. Valerie Harkness and both of her daughters Click to show or hide the answer
The last Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 20th century (1993–7) Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy Prime Minister to David Cameron, during the Conservative / Lib Dem coalition (2010–15) Click to show or hide the answer
Co–founder (with John Bright) of the Anti–Corn Law League and of the so–called Manchester School Click to show or hide the answer
Former athlete: ConservativeMP for Falmouth and Cambourne, 1992–7; created a life peer in 2000 Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Ted Heath in Bexley and Sidcup, 2001; lost the Tory whip in 2008 after revelations that he paid his son (a full–time student) £40,000 over three years for research work that was never done. Same name as a character in The Bill! Click to show or hide the answer
Labour Foreign Secretary, 1997–2001; resigned as Leader of the House 2003, in protest against the war in Iraq; resignation speech said to be the first ever to receive a standing ovation in parliament Click to show or hide the answer
Suffered a fatal heart attack while climbing Ben Stack, Sutherland, in 2005 aged 59
Labour MP, fatally shot and stabbed on a street in her constituency (Batley & Spen) in the run–up to the 2016 EU referendum Click to show or hide the answer
Health Minister, resigned in 1989 after her remarks about salmonella in eggs Click to show or hide the answer
Confessed in her diaries, published in 2002, to an affair with John Major (1984–8), describing him as "the love of my life"
Chancellor of the Exchequer, resigned 1947 after revealing budget secrets Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP for Rochdale, 2010–17: campaigned about historical allegations of child sex abuse, but was suspended from the Labour Party in 2015, after allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to a 17–yr–old girl; resigned from the party in May 2017 after being blocked from standing in the forthcoming general election; stood in Rochdale as an independent, but polled only 883 votes and lost his deposit Click to show or hide the answer
Welsh Secretary, resigned in 1998 after a mysterious incident on Clapham Common Click to show or hide the answer
The first English parliament was summoned by Click to show or hide the answer
The UK's youngest–ever MP (1969–73, aged 21 when elected); lost her seat after becoming pregnant to Michael McAliskey before marrying him Click to show or hide the answer
Punched Home Secretary Reginald Maudling after he made a statement supporting the army line on Bloody Sunday
Westminster MP 1966–70 and 1978–2000; Scottish Secretary 1997–9; the first First Minister for Scotland, 1999–2000; died suddenly in 2000, while in office, of a brain haemorrhage (aged 63) Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned from Ministry of Agriculture in 1954, over the Crichel Down affair (Government failure to return land to its rightful owners after World War II) Click to show or hide the answer
The first female UK MP to come out as gay (1997) Click to show or hide the answer
Employment Secretary, 1974–6; Leader of the House, 1976–79; Leader of the Opposition, 1980–83 Click to show or hide the answer
Labour backbencher, proposed a bill to ban hunting with dogs (1997/8) Click to show or hide the answer
Stood down as Defence Secretary in 2011, after admitting errors of judgment in mixing his professional and personal loyalties, in relation to his friend Adam Werrity Click to show or hide the answer
The Referendum Party's only MP (sat for Reigate, 1974–97; changed parties after being deselected by his constituency Tory party for criticising John Major; lost his seat in the general election) Click to show or hide the answer
Lost his Smethwick seat in the 1964 general election, but continued as Foreign Secretary until a by–election came up – then lost that and had to resign Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP for Glasgow Hillhead 1987–97, Glasgow Kelvin 1997–2005, Bethnal Green and Bow 2005–10; criticised by Labour leader John Smith in 1994 after praising Saddam Hussain (face to face) for his "courage ... strength [and] indefatigability"; expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 for "bringing the party into disrepute"; joined the anti–war Respect party in 2004, and won a by–election in Bradford in 2005; suspended from Parliament in 2007, after claiming he had been "persecuted" by a committee, for speaking out against the Iraq War; became leader of Respect in 2013; defeated by Labour candidate Naseem Shah in the 2015 general election Click to show or hide the answer
Testified to the United States Senate in 2005 over alleged illicit payments from the United Nations' Oil for Food Program
Pretended to lick milk like a cat from the hands of actress Rula Lenska, on Celebrity Big Brother, in 2006
Resigned as MP for Richmond Park in 2016 following the Government's decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow Airport Click to show or hide the answer
Conservative MP and former minister who died in 1990 when the IRA placed an explosive under his Austin Montego, which exploded as he reversed out of the driveway at his home in his Eastbourne constituency Click to show or hide the answer
Conservative MP (former Channel 4 Business Editor) whose offices were controversially searched by police in November 2008 following allegations of unauthorised disclosure of confidential Home Office material Click to show or hide the answer
Minister of Agriculture (Fisheries & Food) during the BSE crisis, 1989–90 – famously tried to feed a beefburger to his four–year–old daughter Cordelia Click to show or hide the answer
First Commissioner of Works, 1855–8 (a post later renamed, and better known as, Minister of Works) after whom Big Ben (completed in April 1858) is said to be named Click to show or hide the answer
MP for Tatton and Corporate Affairs Minister, resigned 1994 after it emerged that he'd accepted cash for asking questions in the House of Commons Click to show or hide the answer
MP for Wendover (Buckinghamshire) in the reign of Charles I, said to have been an instigator of the English Revolution (Civil War) by refusing to pay ship money Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, under Brown (2007–10) and Miliband (2010–15); also twice acting leader, following their respective resignations Click to show or hide the answer
Immigration minister who resigned in 2014 after it emerged that his cleaner didn't have permission to work in the UK Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, 1983–92; fined in 1996 after his dog Buster killed a goose in St. James's Park Click to show or hide the answer
Tory MP with whom Paul Stone claimed to have had a homosexual affair, 1996 Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy leader of the Labour Party, 1980–3, under Neil Kinnock Click to show or hide the answer
Labour left–winger, dismissed as Minister for Industry 1975 for actively opposing Britain's membership of the EEC Click to show or hide the answer
Environment Secretary 1979–83, Defence Secretary, 1983–6: resigned in protest at the sale of Westland to a US company; unsuccessfully challenged Thatcher for leadership of the Conservative party in 1990; went on to serve under Major as President of the Board of Trade (1992–5), Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State (both 1995–7) Click to show or hide the answer
Minister of Agriculture, censured in the Commons 1997 over his handling of the BSE crisis Click to show or hide the answer
MP for Plymouth Devonport, 1923–45 (succeeded by Michael Foot): as Minister of Transport 1934–7, re–introduced the speed limit on urban roads, also introduced the driving test and the pedestrian crossing (the zebra crossing was a later development). Gave his name (second part of surname, by public association) to the lamp that denotes a pedestrian crossing; also served as Secretary of State for War, 1937–40, before being controversially dismissed Click to show or hide the answer
Tory ex–minister, defected to Labour October 1995 Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1979–83; Foreign Secretary 1983–9; Leader of the House of Commons and Deputy Prime Minister, 1989–90; last survivor of Thatcher's original cabinet; resigned over her rejection of the single European currency (the day after her famous "No. No. No." speech), prompting her replacement by John Major Click to show or hide the answer
Immigration Minister, resigned in 2004 over the bypassing of proper checks to reduce the backlog of immigration requests on behalf of workers from Eastern Europe Click to show or hide the answer
Lib Dem MP, and twice former candidate for the party leadership: resigned as Environment Secretary, in 2012, after being charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Former Shadow Education Secretary (2013–15): resigned his seat in 2017 to become director of the Victoria & Albert Museum Click to show or hide the answer
Father was MP for Newbury, grandfather for Devizes Click to show or hide the answer
First person to be killed by a train (by Stephenson's Rocket, at the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester, 1830) Click to show or hide the answer
Former Oscar–winning actress: MP for Hampstead & Highgate 1992–2010, and Hampstead & Kilburn 2010–15 Click to show or hide the answer
Editor of The Spectator, 1999–2005 Click to show or hide the answer
Labour backbencher, lost her seat 1999 for fiddling election expenses, but regained it on appeal Click to show or hide the answer
Minister for the Olympics, 2005–10 (also Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, 2001–7; Minister for London, 2007–8; Paymaster General, 2007–10) Click to show or hide the answer
Communities and Local Government Secretary, former Education Secretary, made headlines in 2007 by sending her son to a private school Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of the Exchequer, increased the VAT rate to 17.5% (from 15%) in his 1991 budget; failed to resign when Britain was forced out of the ERM, 1992 Click to show or hide the answer
Lib Dem MP for Yeovil (replaced Paddy Ashdown in 2001): resigned as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in May 2010 (23 days after the election) following revelations that he'd been claiming expenses for rent on rooms owned by his long–term (male) partner – the first minister to resign from the Cameron coalition Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of the Exchequer, introduced the PEP in 1987; resigned in 1989, and was replaced by John Major, after Margaret Thatcher re–employed Alan Walters as personal economic adviser Click to show or hide the answer
Drafted the Bank Holidays Bill, 1871 (they were dubbed "St. Lubbock's Days" in his honour by the delighted public); also the Ancient Monuments Bill 1882 Click to show or hide the answer
UK Green Party leader 2008–12, and its first MP (elected for Brighton Pavilion, 2010) Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Donald Dewar as First Minister of the Scottish Assembly, following his sudden death in 2000 Click to show or hide the answer
Edward Heath's first Chancellor (1970); died one month after the election; helped to invent the ACOL bidding system for Bridge Click to show or hide the answer
Chancellor of the Exchequer who introduced Premium Bonds, 1956 Click to show or hide the answer
First woman elected to Parliament (1918); represented Sinn Fein, and in line with party policy refused to take her seat Click to show or hide the answer
Former Northern Ireland Secretary, resigned in 1993 over links with Asil Nadir Click to show or hide the answer
Came second behind Edward Heath in the Conservative leadership election of 1965 Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned as Home Secretary in 1972 after being implicated in the Poulson affair
Labour MP for Buckingham, 1964–70 Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP for Paisley South, committed suicide in July 1996 Click to show or hide the answer
The first National Heritage Secretary, after the post was created by John Major in 1992; dubbed it "Minister of Fun"; resigned after only five months in post (September 1992), following revelations of an affair with Antonia da Sancha and free holidays from the daughter of a PLO supporter Click to show or hide the answer
Told Sir James Goldsmith, after they were both defeated by a Labour candidate in the 1997 General Election, that he had "nothing to be smug about – fifteen hundred votes is a derisory total"
Conservative MP and novelist: resigned her seat in 2012 to spend more time with her husband in New York Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Elected Tory MP for Plymouth Moor View in 2015: subsequently appeared in a TV advert, showering with Dove shower gel (filmed during the election campaign); shares his name with an American songwriter (1909–76) Click to show or hide the answer
Tory MP for Beckenham, resigned in 1997 after an affair with a teenage nightclub hostess. Died in 2009 (of cancer) aged 58 Click to show or hide the answer
First leader of the Welsh Assembly (originally First Secretary for Wales, later referred to as First Minister for Wales), 1999–2000 Click to show or hide the answer
Labour leader ridiculed (in 2014) over his struggle to eat a bacon sandwich Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned as Culture Secretary in 2014, after a row over her expenses Click to show or hide the answer
Conservative MP, died in 1994 aged 45, in one of the first widely publicised cases of (apparent) auto–erotic asphyxiation Click to show or hide the answer
Conservative MP, caught playing Candy Crush (reportedly for two and a half hours) on his taxpayer–funded iPad during a Commons committee session in 2014 (aged 40) Click to show or hide the answer
Lost his position as Government Chief Whip in 2012, as a result of the so–called "Plebgate" affair Click to show or hide the answer
Former Education Secretary, reportedly barred from meetings at 10 Downing Street in 2016 after criticising PM Teresa May for being photographed in a pair of leather trousers that reportedly cost £995 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Second leader of the Welsh Assembly (First Minister for Wales, officially from 2006), 2000–9 Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy Prime Minister under Atlee, 1945–51; grandfather of Peter Mandelson Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP 1918–31, founded the British Union of Fascists, 1931 Click to show or hide the answer
Scotland's only Labour MP, following the 2015 general election (representing Edinburgh South) Click to show or hide the answer
Tory MP, defected to the Liberal Democrats on 29 December 1995 Click to show or hide the answer
Defence Secretary during the Falklands invasion – Thatcher refused his resignation; entitled his autobiography Here Today, Gone Tomorrow after a remark by Robin Day at which he took offence Click to show or hide the answer
Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman, resigned in 2006 after allegations involving male prostitutes Click to show or hide the answer
Irish political leader, MP 1928–41: campaigned for Catholic emancipation and the repeal of the Act of Union; Dublin's Sackville Street was renamed in his honour after Irish independence Click to show or hide the answer
Liberal Democrat spokesman on Wales and Northern Ireland, left a weather girl (Sian Lloyd) for a cheeky girl (Gabriela Irimia) in 2006; born 1965 in Bangor, Co. Down, of Estonian parents; name is an anagram of "I like to B MP"! Click to show or hide the answer
Won the Tatton constituency back for the Tories in 2001, when Martin Bell didn't stand; Chancellor of the Exchequer 2010– (having been Shadow Chancellor 2005–10) Click to show or hide the answer
Trade & Industry Secretary, later Conservative Party chairman: resigned in 1983 after revelations of his 11–year affair with his secretary Sarah Keays, who was expecting his child Click to show or hide the answer
Irish landowner and MP, founded the Irish Parliamentary Party (said to be the world's first professionally organised political party – one of the first to appoint a whip) in 1882; ruined when cited as co–respondent in a divorce case, in 1890; married the woman concerned (Katharine 'Kitty' O'Shea) in June 1891, but died four months later, aged 45, from a heart attack Click to show or hide the answer
Conservative MP for West Derbyshire, 1979–86: attempted (and failed) to live off the standard Supplementary Benefit allowance for a single adult, in 1984, for an ITV World in Action documentary; resigned his seat to take over from Brian Walden as presenter of ITV's Weekend World; parliamentary sketch writer for The Times, 1988–2001; 'outed'Peter Mandelson on BBC2's Newsnight, in 1998; presenter of Great Lives on BBC Radio 4, from 2006 Click to show or hide the answer
Defence Secretary, 1995–7 (and Employment Secretary 1994–5): defeated by Labour's Stephen Twigg in the 1997 general election (Enfield Southgate constituency) Click to show or hide the answer
Tory member for Wolverhampton South West, 1950–74, and Ulster Unionist for Down South, 1974–87; remembered for his controversial "Rivers of Blood" speech of 1968, arguing against Commonwealth immigration into Britain; died 1998 aged 85 Click to show or hide the answer
Education Secretary under Wilson, 1972–4: defected to the Conservatives in 1977, in protest over Labour's drift to the left; Minister for the Disabled under Thatcher, 1979–81 Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy Prime Minister under Blair (1997–2007): involved in "the Rumble in Rhyl" in 2001, when he punched a member of the public (farm worker Craig Evans, who later said he was "angry at the lack of support for farmers and farm workers" during the Foot & Mouth crisis) who threw an egg at him Click to show or hide the answer
Admitted having a two–year affair with his diary secretary Tracy Temple, in 2006
Northern Ireland Secretary, refused to resign in 1983 when over 30 IRA prisoners escaped Click to show or hide the answer
Tory MP for Billericay, resigned days before pleading guilty to gross indecency (1987) Click to show or hide the answer
Secretary of State for War, resigned in 1963 after admitting having a sexual relationship with the 19–year–old model Christine Keeler Click to show or hide the answer
First Labour Prime Minister (1924) Click to show or hide the answer
Tory MP for Rochester and Strood, 2010–14: joined UKIP in September 2014, and was elected as a UKIP MP at the resultant by–election in November 2014; lost his seat to the Tory candidate in the 2015 general election; elected to the Welsh Assembly in May 2015 Click to show or hide the answer
Embarrassingly failed to mime to the Welsh national anthem, in 1993, when Secretary of State for Wales; challenged John Major for the Conservative leadership, 1995 Click to show or hide the answer
Trade and Industry Secretary, resigned in 1991 after questioning Germany's motivation in supporting the Exchange Rate Mechanism Click to show or hide the answer
As Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, negotiated Britain's entry into the EEC (1970–1) Click to show or hide the answer
As Tony Blair's Paymaster General, lent £373,000 to Peter Mandelson to enable him to buy a house Click to show or hide the answer
The first Jewish MP: a member of a prominent banking family, he represented the City of London 1847–68 and 1869–74 Click to show or hide the answer
Became an MP in 1987 after four years as Chair of CND (1981–5) Click to show or hide the answer
Tory Deputy Chairman, stood down as executive director of a lobby firm in October 1994 Click to show or hide the answer
Elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, in 1981; died within a month having never taken his seat Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, 1983–2010: resigned as party spokesperson during the 1991 Gulf War, in protest at the party's support of military action; resigned as International Development Secretary in 2003, after criticising the Blair government's decision to invade Iraq without a clear mandate from the United Nations; resigned the Labour whip in 2006; stood down at the 2010 general election Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy leader of the Labour party under Wilson: pioneered the payment of money to Opposition parties, now named after him (Short Money) Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP for Bolsover, 1970–: son of a miner, and a former miner himself; noted for his left–wing and republican views, his acerbic wit, and for never missing a Commons session; suspended from Parliament on at least ten occasions, including in 2016 for referring to David Cameron as "Dodgy Dave" in relation to the latter's tax affairs Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, 1893–2005; Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, 1997–2001 Click to show or hide the answer
The first MP to become a "Compleat Munroist"
The first British MP to "come out" as gay (1984), and announced in Jan 2005 that he was HIV positive; stepped down at the 2008 general election and was awarded a life peerage
"Larger–than–life" Liberal MP for Rochdale, 1972–92; died in 2010, aged 82 Click to show or hide the answer
Appointed Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary by Jeremy Corbyn in 2015; stood against him in the 2016 leadership election (was the only candidate to oppose Corbyn, after Angela Eagle pulled out) Click to show or hide the answer
MP for Crawley, 1983–97, and Mid Sussex 1997–: grandson of a former Prime Minister (by his daughter Mary) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
The last Postmaster General (1968–9); faked his own suicide in Miami, 1974; discovered in Melbourne a month later (Australian police thought he was Lord Lucan!) Click to show or hide the answer
Sacked by Labour 1973; later won a by–election as an Independent Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned as Labour's Shadow Attorney General, in November 2014, following a controversial tweet in the run–up to the Rochester and Strood by–election Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the Liberal party, 1967–76; lost his seat before being acquitted of conspiracy to murder Norman Scott Click to show or hide the answer
MP for Leicester South since 1987; the first government minister of Asian origin (Minister of State for Europe, 1999–2001); real first name Nigel; his sister Valerie became MP for Walsall South in 2010 Click to show or hide the answer
Conservative MP for Gosport, 1974–2010: stood down after the expenses investigation revealed that he had claimed more than £30,000, over three years, for "gardening expenses" – including a £1,645 "pond feature", which was identified as a "floating duck island" (but was probably rejected as an expense) Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned from David Cameron's cabinet (Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and Minister of State for Faith and Communities), in August 2014, in protest at the Government's policy in respect of the Gaza conflict Click to show or hide the answer
Postmaster General responsible for the Marine Offences Act (1967) which outlawed pirate radio stations Click to show or hide the answer
Margaret Thatcher's Deputy Prime Minister, 1979–88 – resigned due to ill health; died in 1999 aged 81 Click to show or hide the answer
MP for Hull 1780–4, Yorkshire 1784–1812, Bramber (a rotten borough in Sussex) 1812–25; led the campaign to abolish slavery; lodged the Slave Trade Act (passed 1807) Click to show or hide the answer
The SDP's first elected MP (Crosby) Click to show or hide the answer
Resigned as Board of Trade President in 1951, after Chancellor Gaitskell imposed charges on false teeth and spectacles to fund the Korean War (see Nye Bevan) Click to show or hide the answer
Environment Minister, resigned during John Major's 'Back to Basics' campaign (1995) after admitting he had an illegitimate child Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017