Remembering Sir Gerald Kaufman MP

I was saddened to hear the news today of the death of Gerald Kaufman, the Labour Member of Parliament who was the longest-serving member of the House of Commons, having clocked up an amazing 47 years when he died.

I joined the Labour Party in 1969 in the Manchester Ardwick constituency where Kaufman was first elected MP in the General Election of 1970. He was an outstanding constituency MP and an able Minister. I still have a copy of his 1980 book “How To Be A Minister” inscribed to me and signed by him.

His brother Leslie Lever was another man who served ably as a Labour MP and my step-mother was actually his constituency secretary for many years.

Of course, this was a different time for the Labour Party. The party won the General Elections of 1964 and 1966 and the two General Elections of 1974 (both of which I contested as a Labour candidate).

These days, the Labour Party is in a terrible mess and, following the disastrous result in Copeland last Thursday, the last thing that the party – and Jeremy Corbyn in particular – need just now is another by-election in a Labour-held seat. I think that Labour will hold it but, as with every by-election since Corbyn became leader, with a reduced share of the vote. Dark times for social democrats.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>