Malcolm St Clair (politician)

Malcolm St Clair (politician)

Malcolm Archibald James St. Clair (16 February 1927 – 1 February 2004) was a British Conservative Party politician.

He was the son of Major-General G.P. St Clair CB CBE DSO, and was educated at Eton College.[1]

After leaving school, St. Clair joined the Royal Armoured Corps as a trooper, and in 1946 he was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Scots Greys. He left the Army in 1948 and served as honorary secretary to Winston Churchill from 1948 to 1950,[1] before returning to run his family's dairy farm at Tetbury in Gloucestershire.[2]

In June 1955, St Clair was married to Rosalie Alice, daughter of Wing-Commander C.L. Hargreaves.[1] The same year, St. Clair stood unsuccessfully as a Conservative candidate at the London County Council elections, in Islington East. At the 1959 general election, he stood as Conservative candidate in the Bristol South East, but lost to the sitting Labour Member of Parliament MP Tony Benn, whose majority was nearly 6,000 votes.[3] However, Benn's father died in November 1960, and Benn inherited his peerage as Viscount Stansgate, with its automatic seat in the House of Lords. This disqualified Benn from the House of Commons, triggering a by-election on 4 May 1961. Benn and St Clair were the only two candidates, and Benn was elected with a majority of over 13,000, winning nearly 70% of the votes.[4] However, an Election Court overturned the result on the grounds that Benn was disqualified. St. Clair's campaign proved that they had displayed posters near every polling station warning voters that Benn was disqualified and that any votes for him would be thrown away, and so the court awarded the seat to St. Clair without ordering another election.

Outside Parliament Benn continued to campaign for a change in the law to allow him to continue as an MP, and eventually the Conservative government agreed. The Peerage Act 1963, allowing the disclaming of peerages, was given the Royal Assent and became law shortly after 6 p.m. on 31 July 1963. Benn was the first peer to disclaim his title, at 6.22 p.m. that day. St. Clair had already given an undertaking that he would respect the wishes of the people of Bristol if Benn became eligible to take his seat again, and therefore immediately "took the Chiltern Hundreds" by applying for the position of Steward of the Manor of Northstead, causing another by-election. St. Clair did not stand, and on 20 August 1963 Benn won the by-election with over 75% of the votes.[5]

Malcolm St Clair lived at Upton House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. He served in the Territorial Army as a Major in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, and as Lieutenant-Colonel from 1967 to 1969. He was High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1972. His London house was at 28 Chesham Place, and as a former officer in the Scots Greys he was a member of the Cavalry Club.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d M. Stenton and S. Lees (eds), Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume IV 1945–1979, Harvester Press, 1981, p. 325
  2. ^ Malcolm St. Clair's election literature, 1961
  3. ^ Not updated: UK General Election results: October 1959
  4. ^ 1961 By Elections
  5. ^ 1963 By Elections
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tony Benn
Member of Parliament for Bristol South East
Succeeded by
Tony Benn

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Malcolm St. Clair — may refer to: Malcolm St Clair (politician) (1927–2004), British farmer and Conservative Member of Parliament 1961–1963 Malcolm St. Clair (filmmaker) (1897–1952), Hollywood film director, writer, producer and actor This disambiguation page lists… …   Wikipedia

  • Malcolm St. Clair (UK politician) — Malcolm Archibald James St. Clair (16 February 1927 ndash; 1 February 2004) was a British Conservative Party politician.After leaving school, St. Clair joined the Royal Armoured Corps as a trooper, and in 1946 he was commissioned as an officer in …   Wikipedia

  • Malcolm Cameron — This article refers to the Canadian businessman and politician. For other people named Malcolm Cameron, see Malcolm Cameron (disambiguation). Malcolm Cameron Source: Library and Archives Canada Malcolm Cameron (April 25, 1808 – June 1, 1876) was… …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Clair — (also spelled St. Clair, St Clair or even Sinclair, and is sometimes also pronounced that way) may refer to: Contents 1 Places 1.1 In Australia 1.2 …   Wikipedia

  • Sinclair (surname) — Sinclair Family name Revela Domino opera tua Meaning Taken from the hermit saint; this derivation of the St. Claire surname …   Wikipedia

  • List of Conservative Party (UK) MPs — This is a list of Conservative Party MPs. It includes all Members of Parliament elected to the British House of Commons representing the Conservative Party from 1834 onwards. Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly or the European… …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Benn — Infobox Politician honorific prefix = The Right Honourable name= Tony Benn imagesize=200px office = Secretary of State for Energy primeminister = Harold Wilson James Callaghan term start = 4 August 1975 term end = 4 May 1979 predecessor = Eric… …   Wikipedia

  • Bristol South East (UK Parliament constituency) — UK former constituency infobox Name = Bristol South East Type = Borough Year = 1950 Abolition = 1983 members = oneBristol South East was a borough constituency in the city of Bristol. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of… …   Wikipedia

  • 1952 — This article is about the year 1952. Millennium: 2nd millennium Centuries: 19th century – 20th century – 21st century Decades: 1920s  1930s  1940s  – 1950s –  1960s   …   Wikipedia

  • Bristol South East by-election, 1963 — The Bristol South East by election, 1963 was a by election held on 20 August 1963 for the British House of Commons constituency of Bristol South East in the city of Bristol.The seat had become vacant in 1961 when the constituency s Labour Member… …   Wikipedia