Sir Gerald Kaufman, Great Socialist & Parliamentarian Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and Father of the House of Commons, dies aged 86

By MUN Reporter

Sir Gerald Bernard Kaufman (21 June 1930 – 26 February 2017)


Sir Gerald Kaufman has died at the age of 86 his family announced late last night (Sunday 26 Th February).

Sir Gerald’s family announced his death; ‘with great sadness saying: “Sir Gerald had been suffering from a long-term illness for several months, but, at that time, remained firmly committed to, and focused on, the activities and wellbeing of his beloved constituency, which he had served since first being elected in 1970.

“Sir Gerald dedicated his life to serving those who he believed would benefit most from a Labour government andLabour values in action. He believed that policy and principle without power were simply not enough to deliver the better life that he fought for on behalf of his constituents for almost 50 years.

“Though Sir Gerald had many friends and supporters in Manchester and across the world from his work on many campaigns and causes, he was, in essence, a private man. There will be a further opportunity for those who wish to pay tribute to the contribution of this great socialist and parliamentarian in due course.

“For now, his family request that his dignity and integrity be honoured through respectful reflection.”

The Father of the House of Commons died last evening he had suffered from a long-term illness for several months, his family said. The Labour politician was first elected as the MP for Manchester Ardwick in 1970 and later as the MP for Manchester Gorton following constituency boundary changes that happened in that ward in the year 1983.

Manchester Users Network, often corresponded with him over many issues surrounding mental health; including the closure of the newly PFI built hospital unit named the Edale Unit based in the grounds of Manchester Royal Infirmary, which closed after being commissioned only seven years earlier.

Kaufman wrote a book about the making of the film Meet Me in St Louis.


Born to Polish-Jewish immigrants in Leeds on 21 June 1930, who named him Gerald Bernard, he was the youngest of seven children.  His grandmother back in Poland had been shot dead in her bed by a German soldier.

He was a great movie fan and especially loved the musicals.  His book Meet Me in St Louis is a study of the 1944 Judy Garland film.

Sir Gerald will be sadly missed by his beloved constituents who he would always say as a member of parliament were his main concern.

His last speech made as Father of the House was made concerning HRH Queen Elizabeth ll, 90 th birthday on the 21 st April 2016 in which he spoke of wanting also to reach that same age: “Turning 90 is a marvellous signpost in life, as I hope to experience myself before long,” Kaufman said. “Not long ago, one of my sisters turned 90 and we had a huge family celebration. Today, the national family is celebrating, and that very much includes those in this House.”

The Conservative Party’s Ken Clarke, 76, will now become Father of the House of Commons.


Read Sir Gerald’s (RIP)  Obituary from the BBC here


Video Below Credit: Sir Gerald Kaufman MP tells Michael White of the Guardian about his life in politics and his thoughts on the prospect of peace in Palestine. This interview took place in December 2010.



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