Edward Short, Baron Glenamara


Edward Short, Baron Glenamara

Infobox Officeholder
honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable,
name=Edward Watson Short
Baron Glenamara
honorific-suffix =
PC
birth_date=birth date and age|1912|12|17|df=y
birth_place=Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
order=Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
&
Government Chief Whip in the House of Commons
term_start=16 October 1964
term_end=4 July 1966
primeminister=Harold Wilson
predecessor=Martin Redmayne
successor=John Silkin
order2=Postmaster-General
term_start2=4 July 1966
term_end2=6 April 1968
primeminister2=Harold Wilson
predecessor2= Tony Benn
successor2=Roy Mason
order3=Secretary of State for Education & Science
term_start3=6 April 1968
term_end3=20 June 1970
primeminister3=Harold Wilson
predecessor3=Patrick Gordon Walker
successor3=Margaret Thatcher
order4=Leader of the House of Commons
&
Lord President of the Council
term_start4=5 March 1974
term_end4=10 September 1976
primeminister4=Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
predecessor4=Jim Prior
successor4=Michael Foot
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. He is currently the oldest member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

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.

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 is seven months younger than himself. 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.

It has been suggested that the British secret services set up a fake bank account in Short's name in 1974, designed specifically to create the impression that he was corrupt. This has never been officially confirmed or denied.Fact|date=February 2007 See also Harold Wilson conspiracy theories.

References

*
* Debrett's People of Today 2006
* Who's Who 2006
* Times Guide to the House of Commons October 1974


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