Derek Fatchett

Derek Fatchett
Derek Fatchett QC FRS
Member of Parliament
for Leeds Central
In office
9 June 1983 – 9 May 1999
Preceded by Constituency Established
Succeeded by Hilary Benn
Personal details
Born 22 August 1945(1945-08-22)
Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Died 9 May 1999(1999-05-09) (aged 53)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Anita Bridgens Oakes
Alma mater University of Leeds, London School of Economics, University of Birmingham

Derek John Fatchett PC, QC, FRS (22 August 1945 – 9 May 1999) was a British politician. He became member of Parliament for Leeds Central in 1983 and was a member of the Labour Party.


Early life

Born in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, Fatchett was the son of a painter and decorator and his grandfather was a trade union official. He attended the all-male grammar school, Lincoln School (became the comprehensive Lincoln Christ's Hospital School in 1974) on Wragby Road in Lincolnshire. At school, his left-wing views were not popular. He was educated at the University of Birmingham where he studied Law, graduating in 1966. At the LSE he took an MSc in 1968 where he joined in student demonstrations popular at that time. He joined the Labour Party in 1964. He was more left-wing, like many people have been, in his youth and became more centre-left when an MP and left the Campaign Group in 1985 and shaved off his beard. He was a councillor on Wakefield Metropolitan Council from 1980-4. He became a lecturer in Industrial Relations (now known as Work and Employment Relations) at the University of Leeds in 1971 staying there until he became an MP which he was nominated for at the expense of Stanley Cohen who wanted to join the SDP.

Parliamentary career

He contested the Bosworth seat in Leicestershire in 1979.

After Labour's 1997 election victory, he was soon made a junior minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He died suddenly on 9 May 1999 (aged 53), from a heart attack after collapsing whilst relaxing with his wife and close friend Colin Crane in a Wakefield pub. The by-election for his seat was won by Hilary Benn.

He was also a left-of-centre politician who was part of the 'What's-Left' group within parliament which was led by Robin Cook. His death prevented him for reaching higher office which was predicted with rumours in political circles citing him as a future Defence or Northern Ireland Secretary.

Personal life

He married Anita Bridgens (née Oakes) in 1969 and had two sons, Brendan and Gareth, and lived in Wakefield. His interest outside of politics included cricket and football (he was a WBA supporter). He died suddenly in Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
Succeeded by
Hilary Benn

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