James Lamond

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James Alexander Lamond (29 November 1928 – 20 November 2007) was a British Labour politician. He was a Member of Parliament for 22 years, representing Oldham East from 1970 to 1983 and then Oldham Central and Royton from 1983 until he retired at the 1992 general election.

Biography[edit]

Lamond was born in Burrelton, Perthshire. His father worked for the London and North Eastern Railway. He was educated at schools in Burrelton and Coupar Angus, before becoming an apprentice draughtsman at the Hall and Company shipyard in Aberdeen in 1942, aged 14. He could not afford the fees to study naval architecture in Newcastle, and worked as a draughtsman for the North-east Scotland Regional Hospital Board.

He was an active member of the Draughtsmen's and Allied Technicians' Association (Data; later successively renamed as AUEW-Tass, MSF, Amicus and Unite). He joined the Labour party in 1950, and was elected to Aberdeen City Council in 1959, serving as a councillor until 1971. He became leader of the local Labour group in 1967, and served as Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeen in 1970-71.[1][2] After he failed to be selected for the safe Labour seat of Aberdeen North, losing out to Robert Hughes, he found favour instead in Oldham East, where he was elected in June 1970.[3][4][5][6]

He stood on the left wing of the Labour party, alongside Tony Benn, Eric Heffer and Arthur Latham. He opposed the plans for devolution in Scotland, voting against the Scotland Bill in 1977. Also in 1977, he was upbraided by the Speaker after making some forthright remarks about Prince Philip. Lamond supported Tony Benn in his unsuccessful bid to become the Labour party's deputy leader in 1980.

He was a vice-president of the World Peace Council, president of the British Peace Assembly, founder chairman of the British-East German Society. In the 1980s, he was criticised as an apologist of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union, particularly after he provided justifications for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.[7] In a debate in the House of Commons in July 1980, the World Peace Council was criticised by Conservative Foreign Office minister Peter Blaker as a "disguised instrument of Soviet policy", a charge that Lamond rejected (although he later accepted that much of its funding did indeed come from the Soviet Union).

After constituency boundaries were redrawn in 1983, he moved to the new seat of Oldham Central and Royton, selected ahead of Joel Barnett. He opposed the location of US cruise missiles and Pershing missiles in the UK in December 1983.[8][9]

Despite his controversial political views, he was respected as a parliamentarian. He supported the declining textile industry in his constituency. He served on the Public Accounts Committee from 1975 to 1983, and served on the Speaker's panel from 1979 until he retired at the general election in 1992.

Local politics again[edit]

Unusually, he returned to local politics after leaving Parliament, serving as a member of Grampian Regional Council from 1994 to 1996. He became a Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeen in 1995.[10] He rejoined Aberdeen City Council in 1995, serving alongside his wife, before both retired in May 2007.[11] He was chairman of the Royal Aberdeen Workshops for the Blind and Disabled from 2002 to 2004.

He married June Wellburn 1954. He suffered from pneumonia in later life. He was survived by his wife and their three daughters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45134. p. 6953. 23 June 1970. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45383. p. 5890. 4 June 1971. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45134. p. 6946. 23 June 1970. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46229. p. 2988. 7 March 1974. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46374. p. 8987. 15 October 1974. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47838. p. 6055. 10 May 1979. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  7. ^ Roth, Andrew (2007-12-21). "James Lamond: Leftwing MP whose penchant for peace was seen as pro-Soviet". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-02-13. ... an apologist for the USSR's failed attempt to take over Afghanistan in 1979 ... 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 49394. p. 8203. 21 June 1983. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 50974. p. 8001. 23 June 1987. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54155. p. 12381. 12 September 1995. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  11. ^ North of Scotland - Aberdeen News - Press and Journal

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Mapp
Member of Parliament for Oldham East
19701983
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Oldham Central and Royton
19831992
Succeeded by
Bryan Davies