Friday, January 23, 2009

The oldest surviving former Liberal MP

The death of Bert Hazell the other day made we wonder who the oldest surviving Liberal MP is (leaving aside a certain peer from Rutland).

Having looked up the obvious candidates, my oldest three - in reverse order - is:
  • Emlyn Hooson (born 26 March 1925)
  • Clement Freud (born 24 April 1924)
  • George Mackie (born 10 July 1919)
Unless, of course, you know better.

Jeremy Thorpe, Eric Avebury and Cyril Smith are all younger than this trio, but there may be others I have forgotten. I was surprised to discover that Roderic Bowen had still been alive when he died a few years ago.


Peter Black said...

'Roderic Bowen had still been alive when he died a few years ago'

There is something not quite right about that sentence I cannot put my finger on.

Anonymous said...

Excuse my ignorance but who is the peer from Rutland?

Iain Dale said...

Frank Little said...

James Davidson is another near miss (b.1927).

Anything known about A.R.Mackenzie (Liberal MP for Ross & Cromarty in 1970)?

Anonymous said...

Frank H Little, only what Wikipedia tells us.

Jonathan Calder said...

Peter: I was trying to avoid saying he was "still alive when he died".

Anonymous: I refer to my alter ego Lord Bonkers.

Iain: Not sure of your point - Simeons is not a Liberal and is younger than Lord Mackie.

Frank: Thanks, I had forgotten Davidson and how well we did in Scotland in 1964.

Iain Dale said...

Apologies. I hadn't noticed the word Liberal in the title of the post. As it started off with a mention of Bert Hazell I assumed Jonathan was asking about the oldest MP regardless of party. I will now start a similar thread on my own blog!

Anonymous said...

A minor quibble re Davidson -- he won in 1966 not 1964.In 1966'Celtic Fringe' looked a less convincing description of the Liberals after the loss of Bowen's Welsh seat and gains in Cheadle and Colne Valley as well as Scotland, but the parliamentary party was heavily Scottish and threatened briefly to become more so,until first the Tories in 1970 and then the SNP in 1974 halted the trend.

I'm pretty sure your list of elderly Liberals is complete--there are other pre-war births but later than your three.