Albert Stallard, Baron Stallard

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Albert William Stallard, Baron Stallard of St. Pancras (5 November 1921 – 29 March 2008), better known as Jock Stallard, was a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. He served as a councillor in St Pancras and Camden, and then as a Member of Parliament (MP). He retired from the House of Commons at the 1983 general election and became a life peer in the Dissolution Honours List.

Early life[edit]

Stallard was born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the son of Frederick Stallard, a postman and driver from Tottenham. His family had moved to Scotland before his birth, and he retained the nickname "Jock" in later life. He was educated at Low Waters Public School, winning a place to continue his education at the Hamilton Academy. His family returned to London in 1937, and he left school aged 16 to become an apprentice in precision engineering. He was a socialist, becoming a shop steward for the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers. He found himself working in a reserved occupation during the Second World War.

He was elected to St Pancras Council in 1953. Along with other councillors from St Pancras led by John Lawrence, he was expelled from the Labour Party for flying the red flag from the town hall on May Day 1958, in protest at the exacerbation of endemic Rachmanism by the relaxation of rent controls under the Rent Acts in the post-war years.[1] He left the council in 1959, but rejoined the party and became an alderman in 1962. He served as a member of Camden London Borough Council from its formation in 1964 as the successor to St Pancras Council until he became an MP in 1970.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Stallard was Member of Parliament for St Pancras North from 1970 until the constituency was abolished in boundary changes at the 1983 general election. In both the February 1974 and October 1974 general elections, his Conservative Party opponent was future Prime Minister John Major, who was making his debut as a parliamentary candidate.

When the Labour party returned to government in 1974, Stallard became a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Edward Bishop, minister of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and, from October, PPS to Reg Freeson, minister of housing and construction in the Department of the Environment. He became a government whip in early 1976, when Jim Callaghan replaced Harold Wilson. The whips were essential at that period, with a minority government only able to pass legislation thanks to the Lib-Lab pact. Stallard was promoted to become a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in 1978, but resigned in January 1979 when the Prime Minister, Callaghan, promoted a Bill which would increase the representation of Northern Ireland in the House of Commons from 12 seats to 17.

After being passed over for selection for a re-drawn seat of Holborn and St Pancras in the 1983 general election in favour of Frank Dobson, the younger Labour candidate from Holborn and St Pancras South, the other half of the merged constituency, Stallard was appointed to the House of Lords. There he was made a life peer as Baron Stallard of St Pancras in the London Borough of Camden.

In the House of Lords, he opposed compulsory sex education in schools, the 1990 Embryology bill and along with many peers of his generation, felt homophobia was not just acceptable but enshrined in the teachings of his religion. A devout Roman Catholic, during debates in the Lords on the equalisation of the age of consent in 2000, he compared homosexuality to child abuse and attacked the Blair government for threatening to impose the will of the House of Commons on the Lords by way of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949: The "one thing I cannot come to terms with is the concept that homosexuality must be equated with heterosexuality and that homosexual couples must be equated with married couples".[2]

He married Julia (Sheila) Murphy in 1944. His wife was Irish, originally from Co Kerry. They had a son and a daughter. His wife died in 2004. Following a long illness, Lord Stallard died in a nursing home in north London.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Daily Telegraph obituary.
  2. ^ Second Reading of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, Hansard, 11 April 2000, Column 144.

References[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Kenneth Robinson
Member of Parliament for St Pancras North
19701983
Constituency abolished