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Stanley Orme, Baron Orme (5 April 1923 – 27 April 2005) was a British Labour Party politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1964 to 1997, and served as a cabinet minister in the 1970s.


Early life

Stan Orme was born in Sale, Cheshire. He was educated at a technical school, which he left in 1938 to become an instrument maker's apprentice. He joined the RAF in 1942, becoming a bomber-navigator, serving in Canada and Egypt. He was demobilised in 1947 as a warrant officer.

Political career

Orme joined the Labour Party in 1944 and he became a Sale borough councillor in 1958. A committed Bevanite, he embraced many left-wing causes, including the Movement for Colonial Freedom and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

He first stood for Parliament in Stockport South at the 1959 general election, when he lost to the Conservative candidate. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Salford West at the 1964 general election.

When Labour returned to office at the February 1974 general election, Orme was installed at Stormont as Minister of State for Northern Ireland. He made an impression in this role, before moving to the Department of Health and Social Security in March 1976. The Prime Minister James Callaghan promoted him to the Cabinet in September 1976 to sit alongside his departmental boss David Ennals. He remained in this role until 1979.

Orme joined the 1980 Shadow Cabinet as chief health and social security spokesman, before later moving on to hold the Industry and Energy portfolios until 1987. After constituency boundary changes for the 1983 general election, he was elected for the redrawn seat of Salford East. He served as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (1987-1992). He retired from the House of Commons at the 1997 general election, when he was awarded a life peerage as Baron Orme, of Salford in the County of Greater Manchester.

Orme made several unsuccessful attempts to be elected to Labour's National Executive Committee, without breaking through.

His death in 2005 was marked at Dunham Crematorium by many family, friends and political colleagues. A memorial service was held in the House of Lords, with speeches from Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot. A very rare exception was made by the Speaker such that any Divisions were suspended during this evening service.

Private life

He married Irene Mary Harris in 1951. There were no children.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Royle
Member of Parliament for Salford West
Succeeded by
constituency abolished
(see Salford East)
Preceded by
Frank Allaun
Member of Parliament for Salford East
Succeeded by
constituency abolished
(see Salford)
Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Dormand
Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
Succeeded by
Doug Hoyle


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