‘Honoured that you are writing my father’s biography’ the late Tony Benn, ‘...wonderfully written’ Hilary Benn

‘Sparkles with fascinating detail…a remarkable story of Liberal and Labour politics in the first half of the twentieth century.’ Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News

‘Casts much light both on the evolution of British radicalism, and on the legacy which he bequeathed to his son, Tony. Professor Vernon Bogdanor, King's College, London

‘Brilliant biography…wonderful reading about the father and...discovering more about the son.’ Steve Richards of The Independent

‘Well-written and carefully researched, this fascinating biography brings to life a major figure in British political history…an excellent job of weaving together the strands of a complex life…as well as filling in the background of the Benn family’ Richard Doherty, military historian

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Another Liberal loss

I've just heard the sad news that Emlyn (Lord) Hooson has died at the age of 86. Emlyn was Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire. He won the by-election in 1962, caused by the death of former Liberal Leader Clement Davies, and held the seat until 1979. Montgomeryshire has been the nearest thing to a constantly-held Liberal or Liberal Democrat seat over the last 100 years, but Emlyn was defeated in 1979 and shortly afterwards was elevated to the Lords. Montgomeryshire was retrieved in 1983 by Alex Carlile and later held by Lembit Opik.

Emlyn was a quiet, gentle, but determined character with a very sharp mind, which he put to good use in a very successful legal career as well as in business - he was chairman of Laura Ashley.

Emlyn wrote the foreword to my biography of Clement Davies. We usually met up at the Lloyd George Society weekend school each February and I am sure that Emlyn will be sadly missed at future weekend schools and by all who knew him.

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