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From 1960 to 1963, Huckfield studied at Keble College, Oxford, where he was awarded an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. From 1963 to 1966, he worked as a lecturer in economics at the University of Birmingham whilst studying for a Master of Commerce degree, specialising in Econometrics and Statistics.
In 1967, at the age of 24, Huckfield was elected to parliament for the constituency of Nuneaton in a by-election following the resignation of Frank Cousins, becoming the youngest MP (the "Baby of the House"). He was Under-Secretary of State for Industry from 1976 to 1979, serving under Industry Secretary Eric Varley in the government of James Callaghan. For a time he was a member of Labour's National Executive Committee, holding the Socialist Societies seat. When Labour returned to opposition in 1979, he was opposition spokesperson on industry from 1979 to 1981. He was a founding member of the Socialist Campaign Group in 1982.
After being re-elected in four general elections, Huckfield did not stand when the constituency boundaries were revised for the 1983 general election. The Nuneaton seat was then won by the Conservative Lewis Stevens, who held it until 1992. Huckfield had been expected to contest the newly created Sedgefield seat at the 1983 election, but instead Labour selected the then-unknown Tony Blair as their candidate, who won the seat.
Huckfield was then appointed as Director of the Capital Transport Campaign for the Greater London Council. In the 1984 elections for the European Parliament, he was returned as MEP for the Merseyside East constituency. He was Vice Chair of Parliament's Transport Committee, and stood down in 1989.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Les Huckfield
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