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The Right Honourable
 The Lord Glenamara 

In office
16 October 1964 – 4 July 1966
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Martin Redmayne
Succeeded by John Silkin

In office
4 July 1966 – 6 April 1968
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Tony Benn
Succeeded by Roy Mason

In office
6 April 1968 – 20 June 1970
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Patrick Gordon Walker
Succeeded by Margaret Thatcher

In office
5 March 1974 – 8 April 1976
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded by James Prior
Succeeded by Michael Foot

Born 17 December 1912 (1912-12-17) (age 97)
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
Political party Labour

Edward Watson Short, Baron Glenamara, CH PC (born 17 December 1912) is a former Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, England. He was a minister during the Labour Governments of Harold Wilson. Now aged 97, Short is the second-oldest living former member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, after James Allason.

Short was elected a councillor on Newcastle City Council where he led the Labour Group. He was first elected to Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne Central at the 1951 general election. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1964, and is also a Companion of Honour.

He became a notorious figure among fans of offshore radio because he was Postmaster-General (then the minister with responsibility for broadcasting) in 1967 when the Marine etc. Broadcasting and Offences Act, which clamped down on the "pirate" stations, was passed. (In a 1982 interview for BBC Radio's The Story of Pop Radio, Short admitted having enjoyed listening to some of those stations, particularly Radio 390.)

He subsequently served as Education Secretary 1968–70, and became Labour's deputy leader in April 1972 when Roy Jenkins resigned over differences on European policy. Short was seen at the time as a "safe pair of hands." His main rival for the job was the left-winger Michael Foot who was viewed by many on the centre and right of the party as a divisive figure. Short defeated Foot and Anthony Crosland in the same vote.

Short's new seniority was reflected in his appointment as Lord President of the Council – though not Deputy Prime Minister – 1974–76, but he did not have the stature to mount a leadership bid himself on Wilson's retirement. He was not offered a Cabinet post on James Callaghan's election as Premier. His resignation letter said that the time had come for him to step aside for a younger man; this expressed in sarcasm, as he was replaced by Michael Foot, who was seven months younger than himself. Short was also nine months younger than Callaghan, who dropped him from the cabinet.

He refused to resign as Labour's deputy leader until he was made a life peer as Baron Glenamara, of Glenridding in the County of Cumbria on 28 January 1977, when he left the Commons. One year before, he was appointed Chairman of Cable and Wireless Ltd, which was at the time a nationalised industry. He served in that post until 1980.

As a life peer he is still a member of the House of Lords, although he stopped attending regularly a few years ago.

His name lives on in the House of Commons with the term "Short Money". This refers to funds paid by the Government to help run the Parliamentary office of the Leader of the Opposition. The then Mr Short pioneered this idea during his time in the House.

He was made a Freeman of the City of Newcastle in 2001 "in recognition of his eminent and outstanding public service" and served as Chancellor of the University of Northumbria at Newcastle", a post he retired from in 2005.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lyall Wilkes
Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Succeeded by
Harry Cowans
Political offices
Preceded by
Martin Redmayne
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
1964 – 1966
Succeeded by
John Silkin
Preceded by
Tony Benn
Postmaster General
1966 – 1968
Succeeded by
Roy Mason
Preceded by
Patrick Gordon Walker
Secretary of State for Education and Science
1968 – 1970
Succeeded by
Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by
Roy Jenkins
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Michael Foot
Preceded by
James Prior
Lord President of the Council
1974 – 1976
Succeeded by
Michael Foot
Leader of the House of Commons
1974 – 1976
Academic offices
New office Chancellor of Northumbria University
1992 – 2005
Succeeded by
The Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington


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