|Member of Parliament
for Portsmouth North
1 May 1997 – 5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Peter Griffiths|
|Succeeded by||Sarah McCarthy-Fry|
17 April 1942 |
Isle of Wight
Sydney Norman John Rapson, a politician in the United Kingdom, was born on 17 April 1942 in the Isle of Wight and moved to the Paulsgrove area of Portsmouth as a young child. After leaving school he worked in the aeronautical industry for nearly forty years until becoming Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Portsmouth North from 1997 until he stood down at the 2005 general election. A former long serving councillor, he was succeeded by Sarah McCarthy-Fry MP. He has two children and also has four grand children.
He had stronger trade union credentials than many of the 1997 intake, having spent many years as an Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union activist and convener, which also gave him the strong interest in defence, the hallmark of his parliamentary career.
He joined the Commons Defence Select Committee after the 2001 election. He generally had a very low profile around Parliament; he rarely contributed to debates and sat for four years on the low-key Accommodation and Works Committee.
Rapson appeared in the controversial TV show Brass Eye, in which he was duped into presenting a segment on "trust-me trousers", supposedly worn by paedophiles and inflated to hide an erection. Rapson was also recorded stating: "using an area of the Internet the size of Ireland, pedophiles can make your keyboard release toxic vapors that can make you more suggestible".
- He attended Paulsgrove Modern (now King Richard School): Garlick,M: Memories of Wymering and Paulsgrove(1998, Hampshire WEA) HAM 30108
- Deputy Leader of the Council and Lord Mayor of the City: Voices from Paulsgrove: Lee,S & Stedman, J (Ed) (1992,Portsmouth City Council Leisure Department) ISBN 1-870412-15-X