|Member of Parliament
for Leeds Central
9 June 1983 – 9 May 1999
|Preceded by||Constituency Established|
|Succeeded by||Hilary Benn|
22 August 1945|
|Died||9 May 1999(aged 53)|
|Spouse(s)||Anita Bridgens Oakes|
|Alma mater||University of Leeds, London School of Economics, University of Birmingham|
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.
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.
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 was very open to new technology, touring a number of computer facilities in the UK, beginning with an Apple Lisa, the computer that pre-dated the Apple Mac, iPhone and iPad revolutions.
- Article on his life, BBC 1999
- Guardian Obituary
- By-election after his death
- Birmingham University article 1996
- Derek Fatchett City Learning Centre in Leeds
- Speech at Leeds University in June 1998
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Derek Fatchett
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
1983 – 1999