Dingle Foot

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Sir Dingle Mackintosh Foot, Q.C. (24 August 1905 – 18 June 1978) was a British lawyer, Liberal and Labour Member of Parliament, and Solicitor General for England and Wales in the first government of Harold Wilson. He was also a Privy Counsellor.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Plymouth, Devon, Foot was educated at Bembridge School, a boys' independent school on the Isle of Wight, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union in 1928. He was called to the bar in 1930. From 1931 to 1945 he was Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Dundee. He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare in Winston Churchill's wartime coalition, and a member of the British delegation to San Francisco Conference in 1945. At the 1945 election he lost his seat to Labour.

At the 1950 general election, Foot defended the formerly Liberal seat of North Cornwall, following the defection of its member Tom Horabin to Labour in 1947, but he again lost, to Harold Roper (Conservative).

Foot left the Liberals and joined the Labour Party in 1956. He was Labour MP for Ipswich, 1957–1970. Following his appointment as Solicitor General in the first government of Harold Wilson, he was knighted and made a Privy Counsellor in 1964. He served in this post for almost 3 years, from 18 October 1964 until 24 August 1967, until he was replaced by Arthur Irvine following a major government reshuffle. In 1970 he was again defeated, this time by the Conservative candidate. His publications included Despotism in Disguise (1937) and British Political Crises (1976).

In the late 1940s and early 1950s Foot was often seen on BBC television as the moderator of the current affairs programme In the News. Often appearing with him were Michael Foot and Sir Bob Boothby.

Family[edit]

Foot's father, Isaac Foot, was a solicitor and founder of the Plymouth law firm, Foot and Bowden. Isaac Foot was an active member of the Liberal Party and was Liberal Member of Parliament for Bodmin in Cornwall between 1922 and 1924 and again from 1929 to 1935, and also a Lord Mayor of Plymouth.

Dingle Foot had three brothers: Michael, a prominent figure in the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983; John (Lord Foot), a Liberal politician; and Hugh (Lord Caradon), Governor of Cyprus and British Ambassador to the United Nations. His nephew, Hugh's son, was the campaigning journalist Paul Foot.

Death[edit]

Foot died on 18 June 1978 in a hotel in Hong Kong, after choking on a bone in a chicken sandwich.

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Marcus
Edwin Scrymgeour
Member of Parliament for Dundee
19311945
With: Florence Horsbrugh
Succeeded by
Thomas Cook
John Strachey
Preceded by
Richard Stokes
Member of Parliament for Ipswich
19571970
Succeeded by
Ernle Money
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Peter Rawlinson
Solicitor General for England and Wales
1964–1967
Succeeded by
Arthur Irvine