‘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

Friday, 15 March 2013

50 years in Parliament today for Lord Avebury

The Orpington by-election of March 1962 is famous as Liberal victory in what was seen as a safe Conservative suburban seat. Eric Lubbock, the Liberal candidate took the party from third place to first and overturned a Tory majority of over 14,000. He held the seat at the following two general elections, before the Conservatives won the seat back in 1970.

However, Eric Lubbock was not out of Parliament for long, as he inherited a peerage in 1971 and returned to the Lords as Baron Avebury. Lord Avebury is still alive and still in the Lords. He is now one of the Liberal Democrats’ elected hereditary peers.

In an interesting example of history being written and rewritten, there have been several reports from normally authoritative sources, including the BBC, that today (15 March) is the anniversary of the Orpington by-election. It was actually on 14 March 1962 – a moving day in more senses than one.

Sunday 17 March 2013 is another significant anniversary for Eric Avebury. It marks his fifty years in Parliament - in the Commons from 14 March 1962 to 18 June 1970 and in the Lords from 21 June 1971 to today - exactly 50 years in total.

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