Records of members of parliament of the United Kingdom: Wikis


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see also: Baby of the House

Of those whose age can be verified, the youngest MP since the Reform Act 1832[1] was Esmond Harmsworth, elected on 15 November 1919 from Isle of Thanet aged 21 years 170 days. The youngest female MP was Bernadette Devlin, elected on 17 April 1969 from Mid Ulster aged 21 years 359 days.

Christopher Monck, Earl of Torrington was born on 14 August 1653, and was returned as Knight of the Shire for Devon on 8 January 1666/7, at the age of 13 years and 148 days.

It is known that Henry Long (1420-90) was returned to the seat of Old Sarum at the age of 15, although his precise date of birth is unknown.[2]

The youngest current MP is Chloe Smith (born 17 May 1982) who was elected to Parliament in the Norwich North byelection in July 2009.


The oldest MP of all time is believed to be Sir Francis Knollys (c.1550-1648) who was re-elected to his Reading seat aged around 90, retaining the seat until his death at 97 or 98. The oldest in modern times was Samuel Young (1822-1918) who was MP for East Cavan until his death at the age of 96 years 63 days.[2]

The oldest ever woman MP was Irene Ward, member for Tynemouth, who was a few days short of 79 when she retired at the February 1974 general election.

The oldest current MP is Ian Paisley (born 6 April 1926), following the death of Piara Khabra who died aged 85 in 2007.[3]

The oldest former MP still living is James Allason, born 6 September 1912.

List of oldest sitting MPs since 1945

Name Born Became oldest MP Left House Age on leaving Died
Murdoch Macdonald 6 May 1866 1945 1950 83 2 24 April 1957
David Logan 22 November 1871 1950 Feb 1964 92 1 25 February 1964
Winston Churchill F 30 November 1874 Feb 1964 Sep 1964 89 2 24 January 1965
Emanuel Shinwell 18 October 1884 Sep 1964 1970 85 2 8 May 1986
S. O. Davies c. 9 November 1886 1970 1972 85 1 25 February 1972
John Rankin 1 February 1890 1972 1973 83 1 8 October 1973
Irene Ward 23 February 1895 1973 Feb 1974 79 2 26 April 1980
David Weitzman 18 June 1898 Feb 1974 1979 80 2 6 May 1987
Robert Edwards 16 January 1905 1979 1987 82 2 4 June 1990
Michael Foot 23 July 1913 1987 1992 78 2 living
Edward Heath F 9 July 1916 1992 2001 84 2 17 July 2005
Piara Khabra 20 November 1921 2001 2007 85 1 21 June 2007
Ian Paisley 6 April 1926 2007 present 83 living


F Also Father of the House (not necessarily contemporaneous with seniority)
1 Died in office
2 Retired

Longest-lived ex-MP

The longest-lived former-MP was Theodore Cooke Taylor, member for Radcliffe cum Farnworth between 1900 and 1918, who lived to be 102.[2] Other ex-MPs who have reached their centenary are Bert Hazell, Manny Shinwell, Hartley Shawcross, Sir George Ernest Schuster, Sir Harry Brittain, John Oldfield, Nathaniel Micklem and Edgar Granville.

Frank James, who was elected MP for Walsall at the 1892 general election, but unseated on petition, achieved a slightly greater age than Theodore Cooke Taylor[4].

The longest-lived woman MP was Norah Runge who died aged 93 in 1978.

Period of service


see also: Father of the House

Francis Knollys (also the oldest ever MP) was first elected as MP for Oxford in 1575 at the age of around 25 and was MP for Reading at the time of his death in 1648, a period of 73 years. [2] The longest span of service of an MP during the 20th century was Winston Churchill who was first elected on October 1, 1900 and left the House of Commons on September 25, 1964, a period of 63 years 360 days. His service was not continuous, as he was not an MP for a spell in 1908 and between 1922 and 1924.

Charles Pelham Villiers is the longest continuously-serving MP. He was elected in 1835 and remained an MP continuously for over 62 years until his death on January 16, 1898, aged 96 years 13 days.

The current (2008) MP with the longest continuous service, at nearly 45 years, in the House of Commons is the current Father of the House Alan Williams, Labour MP for Swansea West, who was first elected in the 1964 general election.

The longest continuous service and longest total service records for a female MP were held by Gwyneth Dunwoody, at over 34 years and 38 years respectively. The longest span of service for a woman was 42 years and 4 months for Irene Ward, first elected in 1931 and an MP until 1974 although she did not hold a seat between 1945 and 1950.


There are cases of MPs being elected posthumously; Edward Legge (1710-47) was elected unopposed as MP for Portsmouth on December 15, 1747 until news arrived that he had died 87 days previously in the West Indies. In 1780 John Kirkman was elected as MP for the City of London despite passing away before polls closed.[2]

In more recent times, members have died after polling, but before the declaration of the results. In 1906, Thomas Higgins was declared elected for the seat of North Galway, even though he had died earlier that morning, after polling day. More recently, in 1945 Sir Edward Taswell Campbell at Bromley and Leslie Pym at Monmouth died after polling, but nine days before the declaration of the results. Both were declared elected posthumously, and both had been MPs for a number of years. Noel Skelton is another example in 1935.

The shortest non-posthumous service was that of Alfred Dobbs, who was declared elected MP for Smethwick on July 26, 1945 and was killed the following day in a motorcycle accident on the way to take his seat.

Shortest total service since 1900

For a comprehensive list of MPs since 1900 with less than 365 days total service See

Members who never took their seats

MPs who never won an election

On rare occasions the election winner may be disqualified, either by an election court or by the House of Commons, and the seat awarded to the runner-up.

Malcolm St. Clair: Bristol South-East, 1961-63
Charles Beattie: Mid-Ulster, 1955-56

MPs elected to two or more constituencies simultaneously

Richard Hazleton: from 9 December 1910 until 23 February 1911, when he was unseated on a petition, he was MP for North Galway and North Louth.

MPs who have sat for three or more different constituencies

In modern times, it is unusual for an MP to represent more than one or two constituencies during their career, although prior to the 20th century it was quite common. MPs whose seats were altered purely by boundary changes are not listed.

Michael Ancram: Berwick and East Lothian 1; Edinburgh South 1; Devizes
Kenneth Baker: Acton 1; St. Marylebone 2; Mole Valley
William Clark: Nottingham South 1; East Surrey 4; Croydon South
Roy Jenkins: Southwark Central 2; Birmingham Stechford 3; Glasgow Hillhead
Fergus Montgomery: Newcastle East 1; Brierley Hill 2; Altrincham and Sale
Geoffrey de Freitas: Nottingham Central 4; Lincoln 3; Kettering
Arthur Palmer: Wimbledon 1; Cleveland 1; Bristol Central
Frank Markham: Chatham 5; Nottingham South 1; Buckingham
Geoffrey Lloyd: Birmingham Ladywood 1; Birmingham King's Norton 2; Sutton Coldfield
Ray Gunter: South-East Essex 2; Doncaster 1; Southwark
Frank Soskice: Birkenhead East 2; Sheffield Neepsend 2; Newport
Charles Simmons: Birmingham Erdington1; Birmingham West 2; Brierley Hill
Charles MacAndrew: Kilmarnock 1; Glasgow Partick 4; Bute and North Ayrshire
Richard Kidston Law: Hull South West 1; Kensington South 2; Haltemprice
Hyacinth Morgan: Camberwell North West 5; Rochdale 4; Warrington
Roger Conant: Chesterfield 1; Bewdley 2; Rutland and Stamford
Ralph Assheton: Rushcliffe 1; City of London 2; Blackburn West
John Wilmot: Fulham East 1; Kennington 4; Deptford
Austin Hudson: Islington East 1; Hackney North 1; Lewisham North
Joseph Braithwaite: Hillsborough 1; Holderness 2; Bristol North West
Walter Elliot: Lanark1; Kelvingrove1; Combined Scottish Universities 2; Kelvingrove
Walter Ayles: Bristol North1; Southall 4; Hayes and Harlington
William Jowitt: Hartlepool 1; Preston 4; Ashton-under-Lyne
Leonard Lyle: Stratford 1; Epping 5; Bournemouth
Arthur Henderson: Barnard Castle 4; Widnes 1; Newcastle East 1; Burnley 1; Clay Cross
Ramsay MacDonald: Leicester 2; Aberavon 4; Seaham 1; Combined Scottish Universities
Wilfred Paling: Doncaster 1; Wentworth 2; Dearne Valley
Winston Churchill Oldham4; Manchester North West1; Dundee1; Epping/Woodford5


1 defeated
2 seat abolished
3 resigned
4 sought another constituency
5 retired

MPs who have made more than one comeback

In modern times, it is unusual for an MP who has been defeated (or retired e.g. due to their seat being abolished) to achieve more than one comeback to the House of Commons after a period of absence. Arthur Henderson was exceptional in achieving it on no fewer than four occasions.

William McCrea: 2000 b, 2005
Michael Ancram: 1979, 1992
Tony Benn: 1963 b, 1984 b
Fergus Montgomery: 1967 b, October 1974
Arthur Palmer: 1952 b, 1964
Alec Douglas-Home: 1950, 1963 b
Frank Soskice: 1950 b, 1956 b
Frank Markham: 1935, 1951
Cahir Healy: 1931 b, 1950
Austin Hudson: 1924, 1950
Walter Elliot: 1924, 1946 b
Harold Macmillan: 1931, 1945 b
Walter Ayles: 1929, 1945
Somerville Hastings: 1929, 1945
Ian Fraser: 1931, 1940 b
Cuthbert Headlam: 1931, 1940 b
Charles Lyle: 1923, 1940 b
George Isaacs: 1929, 1939 b
William Jowitt: 1929, 1939 b
Henry Guest: 1922, 1937 b
Ramsay MacDonald: 1922, 1936 b
James Chuter Ede: 1929, 1935
Robert Richards: 1929, 1935
Arthur Henderson, Jr.: 1929, 1935
Manny Shinwell: 1928 b, 1935
Arthur Henderson, Sr.: 1919 b, 1923 b, 1924 b, 1933 b
Tom Smith: 1929, 1933 b
Edward Anthony Strauss: December 1910, 1927 b, 1931
Vivian Henderson: 1924, 1931
Frank Sanderson: 1924, 1931
Frederick Guest: December 1910, 1923, 1931
Winston Churchill: 1908 b, 1924
Andrew Bonar Law: 1906 b, 1911 b
James Agg-Gardner: 1885, 1900, 1911 b


b indicates a by-election


The first woman elected to the House of Commons was Constance Markiewicz who was elected on December 14, 1918 to the constituency of Dublin St Patrick's, but she refused to take her seat as she was a member of Sinn Fein.

The first woman to take her seat as an MP was Nancy Astor, elected November 28, 1919.[5]

Physical attributes

The heaviest MP of all time is believed to be Sir Cyril Smith, MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, who weighed 189.6 kg (nearly 30 stone) at his peak in 1976.

The tallest MP of all time is believed to be Daniel Kawczynski at 6 feet 8½ inches (204 cm).[6] Before Kawczynski's election in 2005, the record was held by Louis Gluckstein, MP for Nottingham East between 1931 and 1945, who measured 2.02m (6' 7.5").

Disabled MPs

Jack Cohen, MP for Liverpool Fairfield 1918-31, who lost both legs at the Third Battle of Ypres.

Ian Fraser, MP for St. Pancras North 1924-29, 1931-7 and for Lonsdale 1940-58, who was blinded at the Battle of the Somme

Jack Ashley, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South 1966-1992, who became profoundly deaf in 1967 after a routine operation.

David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside since 1987, who has been blind since birth.

Ann Begg, MP for Aberdeen South since 1997, who has been confined to a wheelchair for many years due to a degenerative disease.

Members of Parliament who died on wartime active service

Second World War

Notes: The above list is of all those members either mentioned as having died on War Service in a written Commons answer from Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 19 January 1945, or who appear in the House of Commons Book of Remembrance unveiled in 1949.
a Mentioned in the written Commons answer, but does not appear in the House of Commons Book of Remembrance.
b Not mentioned in the written Commons answer, but does appear in the House of Commons Book of Remembrance.

First World War


  1. ^ Prior to 1832 minors could be elected, despite the fact that they were legally debarred in 1695; precise information on those MPs is often unclear.
  2. ^ a b c d e McWhirter, Norris (1996). Guinness Book of Records. Guinness Publishing. pp. 185–6. ISBN 0-85112-646-4.  
  3. ^ "Members FAQ". UK Parliament.  
  4. ^ The Times, Mar 24, 1924; pg. 15.
  5. ^ "Women in the House of Commons" (PDF). UK Parliament.  
  6. ^ "Conservative MP 'is tallest ever'", BBC News, 21 June 2005. Accessed 3 April 2007.

See also


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