Berwick-upon-Tweed (UK Parliament constituency): Wikis


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County constituency
Berwick-upon-Tweed shown within Northumberland, and Northumberland shown within England
Created: 1512
MP: Alan Beith
Party: Liberal Democrat
Type: House of Commons
County: Northumberland
EP constituency: North East England

Berwick-upon-Tweed is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.



The constituency of Berwick-upon-Tweed is located in the county of Northumberland. It includes at its northern-most point the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed itself and stretches south, to cover the towns of Alnwick and Amble. The Northumberland coast forms its eastern boundary. Its length is roughly 50 miles (80 km), with an area of 2,310 square kilometres.

Predominantly rural in character, this constituency is the most northerly in England, and the most sparsely populated, having only 57,000 electors.

Boundary review

Following their review of parliamentary representation in Northumberland, the Boundary Commission for England have made only minor changes to the existing Berwick constituency. A proposal to re-name the historic seat "Berwick-upon-Tweed and Mid Northumberland" was rejected for whilst being geographically accurate it was thought unwieldy.

The electoral wards used to form the slightly modified constituency are;


Rural in nature, sparse of population and with agriculture as a major source of employment, Berwick-upon-Tweed is at first sight a typical Conservative seat. However, it has been under the aegis of Liberal (later Liberal Democrat) Sir Alan Beith since 1973, and previously the area has been notable for its liberal leanings - both Sir William Beveridge (influential in the formation of the National Health Service) and Edward Grey (Foreign Secretary at the start of World War I, best remembered for the "lamps are going out all over Europe...." remark) have served this constituency.

Sir Alan was first elected in a by-election, required as a result of the resignation of the then holder Antony Lambton (Conservative), who had been caught up in a scandal involving call girls, marijuana and a tabloid newspaper.

In 1923, Mabel Philipson, a former music-hall actress, took over the seat as a Conservative, when her husband was forced to resign. In doing so she became only the third female member to take the oath since this had become legally possible five years previously.

Members of Parliament

The seat has sent members to Parliament since its enfranchisement by Henry VIII. It initially sent two members, this was reduced to one in 1885.

MPs 1660-1885

Year 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
April 1660 Sir Thomas Widdrington John Rushworth
June 1660 Edward Grey
1661 Sir Thomas Widdrington
1665 Daniel Collingwood
1677 Viscount Osborne
1679 Ralph Grey John Rushworth
1685 Philip Bickerstaffe Hon. Ralph Widdrington
1689 Francis Blake Philip Babington
1690 Samuel Ogle
1695 Ralph Grey
1698 Sir Francis Blake
January 1701 Ralph Grey
December 1701 Sir Francis Blake
1702 Jonathan Hutchinson
1710 William Kerr
1711 Richard Hampden
1713 William Orde
1715 Grey Neville Whig John Shute Barrington[1]
March 1723 Henry Grey
May 1723 William Kerr
1727 George Liddell Lieutenant-General Joseph Sabine
1734 Lord Polwarth
March 1740 The Viscount Barrington
November 1740 Thomas Watson
1754 John Hussey Delaval
1761 Major-General John Craufurd
January 1765 Sir John Hussey Delaval [2]
December 1765 Wilmot Vaughan[3]
1768 Robert Paris Taylor
1774 Jacob Wilkinson Colonel the Hon. John Vaughan [4]
1780 Sir John Hussey Delaval
1786 Sir Gilbert Elliot
1790 Captain the Hon. Charles Carpenter
1795 John Callender
1796 Earl of Tyrconnel
1802 [5] Thomas Hall John Fordyce
1803 Francis Sitwell Alexander Allan
1806 Sir John Callender Alexander Tower
1807 Alexander Allan Sir Alexander MacDonald Lockhart
1812 Henry Heneage St Paul
March 1820 Viscount Ossulston Sir David Milne
July 1820 Henry Heneage St Paul
December 1820 Sir Francis Blake
1823 Sir John Poo Beresford
1826 Marcus Beresford John Gladstone Tory
1827 Sir Francis Blake Whig
1832 Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin Whig
1835 James Bradshaw Whig
1837 Richard Hodgson Tory William Holmes Tory
1841 Matthew Forster Whig
1847 John Campbell Renton Conservative
1852 John Stapleton Liberal
1853 Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks Liberal John Forster Liberal
1857 John Stapleton Liberal
May 1859 Charles William Gordon Conservative Ralph Anstruther Earle Conservative
August 1859 Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks Liberal
1863 William Walter Cargill Conservative
1865 Alexander Mitchell Liberal
1868 William Coutts Keppel Liberal John Stapleton Liberal
1874 Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks Liberal David Milne Home Conservative
1880 Henry Strutt Liberal
1880 David Milne Home Conservative
1881 Hubert Jerningham Liberal
1885 Redistribution of Seats Act: membership reduced to one

MPs 1885-present

Election Member Party
1885 Sir Edward Grey, Bt Liberal
1916 by-election Sir Francis Blake, Bt Liberal
1922 Hilton Philipson National Liberal
1923 by-election Mabel Philipson Conservative
1929 Alfred John Kennett Todd[6] Conservative
1935 Sir Hugh Seely, Bt Liberal
1941 by-election Hon. George Grey Liberal
1944 by-election Sir William Beveridge Liberal
1945 Robert Thorp Conservative
1951 Lord Lambton Conservative
1973 by-election Sir Alan Beith Liberal
1988 Liberal Democrats


  1. ^ Created The Viscount Barrington (in the Peerage of Ireland), 1720
  2. ^ Created The Lord Delaval (in the Peerage of Ireland), 1783
  3. ^ Succeeded as The 4th Viscount Lisburne (in the Peerage of Ireland), January 1766
  4. ^ Major-General 1776, Lieutenant-General 1782, knighted (KB) 1792
  5. ^ On petition, Fordyce and Hall were adjudged not to have been duly elected and the election result was reversed
  6. ^ Mark Todd, the grandson of Alfred John Kennett Todd, currently serves as MP for South Derbyshire


General Election 2005: Berwick-upon-Tweed
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Alan Beith 19,052 52.8 +1.4
Conservative Mike Elliott 10,420 28.9 +0.8
Labour Glen Reynolds 6,618 18.3 +0.6
Majority 8,632 23.9
Turnout 36,090 63.4 -0.4
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +0.3
General Election 2001: Berwick-upon-Tweed
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Alan Beith 18,651 51.4 +5.9
Conservative Glen Sanderson 10,193 28.1 +4.0
Labour Martin Walker 6,435 17.7 -8.5
UKIP John Pearson 1,029 2.8 +2.0
Majority 8,458 23.3 +4.1
Turnout 36,308 63.8 -9.7
General Election 1997: Berwick-upon-Tweed
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Alan Beith 19,007 45.5 +1.1
Labour Paul Brannen 10,965 26.2 +3.4
Conservative Nick Herbert 10,058 24.1 -8.7
Referendum Party Ned Lambton 1,423 3.4 +3.4
UKIP Ian Dodds 352 0.8 +0.8
Majority 8,042 19.3 +8.7
Turnout 41,805 73.5 -5.6

See also


Coordinates: 55°33′N 1°55′W / 55.55°N 1.917°W / 55.55; -1.917

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