Baby of the House
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Baby of the House is the unofficial title given to the youngest member of a parliamentary house. The term is most often applied to members of the British parliament from which the term originated. The title is named after the Father of the House, which is given to the longest serving member of the British and other parliaments.
Becoming the Baby of the House is regarded as something of an achievement despite the lack of any special treatment that comes with the title. However, some MPs who have held the position for a considerable period – Matthew Taylor was the Baby of the House for over ten years – have found it somewhat embarrassing, as it may suggest that they have a lack of experience, although many holders of the title have gone on to enjoy long and distinguished parliamentary careers.
At the turn of the twenty-first century (August 1999 to September 2001), all three of the leaders of the main political parties had been the youngest MPs in their party when they began their political careers (William Hague, Tony Blair, Charles Kennedy).
Of those whose ages can be verified, the youngest MP since the Reform Act of 1832 is Mhairi Black, elected in 2015 aged 20 years 237 days. The age of candidacy for Parliament was lowered from 21 to 18 by the Electoral Administration Act of 2006. William Pitt the Younger was elected at 21 and became Prime Minister two years later in 1783.
List of Babies of the House of Commons
Youngest member of the House of Lords
The title 'Baby of the House' is not used in the House of Lords, though the youngest member is recorded on the House website. The youngest life peer and youngest woman in the House is Baroness Penn (born 1985) who was created a life peer in October 2019 at the age of 34. The youngest man in the House of Lords is Lord Wharton of Yarm (born 1984) who was created a life peer in September 2020 at the age of 36.
Standing Orders state that "No Lord under the age of one and twenty years shall be permitted to sit in the House". When most members of the Lords were hereditary peers, a peer who had inherited his or her peerage(s) while under age was entitled to take a seat on the day before his or her 21st birthday. In theory, such a hereditary peer could still be elected to sit in the House at that age; in practice, the youngest hereditary peer to have been elected was Lord Freyberg (born 15 December 1970), who was elected in October 1999 at the age of 28. Hereditary peer Lord Redesdale (born 18 July 1967) was created a life peer on 18 April 2000 at the age of 32, becoming the youngest ever life peer, to enable him to continue to sit after the removal of the majority of hereditary peers.
List of youngest members of the Scottish Parliament
This is a list of youngest members of the Scottish Parliament created in 1999.
|Elected||Name||Constituency/region||Party||Age when elected|
|1999||Duncan Hamilton||Highlands and Islands region||SNP||25|
|2003||Richard Baker||North East Scotland region||Labour||28|
|2007||John Lamont||Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency||Conservative||31|
|2011||Humza Yousaf||Glasgow region||SNP||26|
|2016||Ross Greer||West Scotland region||Scottish Green||21|
List of youngest members of the Senedd
This is a list of youngest members of Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament created in 1999. From its creation in 1999 until May 2020, the Senedd was known as the National Assembly for Wales (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru).
|Elected||Name||Constituency/region||Party||DOB||Age when elected|
|1999||Jonathan Morgan||South Wales Central||Conservative||19 March 1974||25|
|2003||Laura Ann Jones||South Wales East||Conservative||21 February 1979||24|
|2007||Bethan Jenkins||South Wales West||Plaid Cymru||9 December 1981||25|
|2016||Steffan Lewis||South Wales East||Plaid Cymru||30 May 1984||31|
|2018 (b)||Jack Sargeant||Alyn and Deeside||Labour||1994||23|
In Australia the term is rarely used. Most MPs and Senators are elected usually only in their thirties and later but some prominent MPs have been elected rather early in life including Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating who were both elected at age 25 in 1955 and 1969 respectively. The youngest Baby of the House was Wyatt Roy. He was elected at age 20 in 2010, being the youngest person ever to be elected to an Australian parliament.
The youngest-ever elected member of the House of Commons of Canada is Pierre-Luc Dusseault, who was elected at the age of 19 years and 11 months in 2011. Dusseault is the youngest MP in Canadian history. In the past, MPs such as Sean O'Sullivan, Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Scheer, Claude-André Lachance and Lorne Nystrom have also held the distinction.
Eric Melillo is the youngest current MP, representing the riding of Kenora (electoral district), Ontario, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada; born in 1998, elected at 21 years of age. The youngest member of the Senate of Canada is Patrick Brazeau of Repentigny, Quebec; born 1974, appointed at 34 years of age.
|1970||Paavo Väyrynen||1946||Centre Party|
|1972||Erkki Liikanen||1950||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|1979||Pekka Starast||1956||Social Democratic Party of Finland||dead in 2011|
|1983||Sirpa Pietikäinen||1959||National Coalition Party|
|1991||Minna Karhunen||1967||National Coalition Party|
|1994||Kirsi Piha||1967||National Coalition Party|
|1995||Säde Tahvanainen||1972||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|1999||Petri Neittaanmäki||1975||Centre Party|
|2003||Satu Taiveaho||1976||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|2004||Oras Tynkkynen||1977||Green League|
|2007||Tuomo Puumala||1982||Centre Party|
|2011||Olli Immonen||1986||Finns Party|
|2015||Ilmari Nurminen||1991||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|2019||Iiris Suomela||1994||Green League|
List of youngest members of the French Parliament
This is a list of youngest members of the French parliament.
|1789||Mathieu de Montmorency-Laval||Yvelines||22|
|1815||Claude-René Bacot de Romand||Indre-et-Loire||22|
|2012||Marion Maréchal-Le Pen||Vaucluse||22|
In Hong Kong the term is rarely used. The current baby of the Legislative Council is Ho Kai-ming whose record was interrupted by Au Nok-hin until Au was disqualified in December 2019, as the 2018 by-election was ruled unlawful. Au was elected in the 2018 Hong Kong Island by-election after three younger members of the Legislative Council, the youngest-ever elected member Nathan Law, as well as Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung were all disqualified over the oath-taking controversy.
|1991||James To||Kowloon Southwest GC||United Democrats||28|
|1998||Bernard Chan||Insurance FC||Nonpartisan||33|
|2008||Chan Hak-kan||New Territories East GC||DAB||32|
|2012||Steven Ho||Agriculture and Fisheries FC||DAB||32|
|2016||Nathan Law||Hong Kong Island GC||Demosistō||23|
|2016||Ho Kai-ming||Labour FC||FTU||31|
|2018 (b)||Au Nok-hin||Hong Kong Island GC||Independent||30|
|2016||Ho Kai-ming||Labour FC||FTU||34|
|2016||Cheng Chung-tai||New Territories West GC||Civic Passion||36|
[ (b) – by-election]
|István B. Rácz||FKGP||1945–1947|
|Elected||Name||Constituency||Party||Age when elected|
|1984||Prakash Chandra Yadav||Barh||INC||25 years, 3 months|
|1989||Nakul Nayak||Phulbani||JD||26 years, 8 months|
|1991||Dipika Chikhlia||Vadodara||BJP||26 years, 2 months|
|1996||Nihal Chand Chauhan||Ganganagar||BJP||25 years, 4 months|
|1998||Yogi Adityanath||Gorakhpur||BJP||25 years, 8 months|
|2000 (b)||Akhilesh Yadav||Kannauj||SP||26 years, 7 months|
|2004 (b)||Dharmendra Yadav||Mainpuri||SP||25 years, 8 months|
|2009||Muhammed Hamdulla Sayeed||Lakshadweep||INC||27 years, 0 months|
|2014||Dushyant Chautala||Hisar||INLD||26 years, 1 month|
|2019||Chandrani Murmu||Keonjhar||BJD||25 years, 11 months|
[ (b) – by-election]
|Elected||Member||Affiliation||Age when elected|
|2016||Fatemeh Hosseini||List of Hope||30|
In the Republic of Ireland the term is rarely used, as TDs normally enter the Dáil after a political career in local government, usually only in their thirties and later. The current baby of the Dáil is the Fianna Fáil deputy James O'Connor (Cork East), who was 22 years and 7 months old when elected in February 2020.
List of Babies of the Dáil
Baby of Seanad Éireann
The youngest member of the Chamber of Deputies ever is Enzo Lattuca (PD), elected in 2013, aged 25 years, 1 month, and 6 days. The youngest woman ever elected to the Chamber of Deputies is Angela Raffa (M5S), elected in 2018, aged 25 years, 1 month, and 25 days.
|1948||Francesco Pignatone||Christian Democracy||25|
|1953||Fabio De Felice||Italian Social Movement||25|
|1958||Riccardo Misasi||Christian Democracy||25|
|1963||Luigi Berlinguer||Italian Communist Party||30|
|1967||Giuseppe Antonio Bottaro||Italian Communist Party||33|
|1968||Carlo Sangalli||Christian Democracy||30|
|1972||Giuseppa Mendola||Italian Communist Party||26|
|1976||Paolo Allegra||Italian Communist Party||25|
|1979||Anna Maria Castelli Migali||Italian Communist Party||27|
|1979||Michl Ebner||South Tyrolean People's Party||26|
|1983||Giovanni Negri||Radical Party||26|
|1984||Pier Ferdinando Casini||Christian Democracy||28|
|1987||Cristina Bevilacqua||Italian Communist Party||25|
|1992||Elisabetta Bertotti||Northern League||25|
|1994||Sebastiano Fogliato||Northern League||26|
|1996||Franca Gambato||Northern League||26|
|2001||Chiara Moroni||New Italian Socialist Party||26|
|2006||Arturo Scotto||Democrats of the Left||27|
|2008||Daniela Cardinale||Democratic Party||26|
|2008||Annagrazia Calabria||The People of Freedom||26|
|2013||Enzo Lattuca||Democratic Party||25|
|2018||Angela Raffa||Five Star Movement||25|
In Malaysia the term is rarely used. Most MPs and Senators are elected usually only in their thirties and later but some prominent MPs have been elected rather early in life including former Prime Minister Najib Razak who was elected at 22 years and 6 months in age in 1976. The youngest-ever elected member of the Dewan Rakyat is Prabakaran Parameswaran, who was elected at the age of 22 years and 3 months in 2018. Prabakaran is the youngest MP in Malaysian history and currently serving as well.
The term "Baby of the House" is rarely used in New Zealand. The current Baby of the House is Chlöe Swarbrick of the Green Party, who was elected on 24 September 2017 aged 23. Swarbrick succeeded Todd Barclay of the National Party, who had been elected at the 2014 general election at age 24.[needs update?]
|Name||Elected from||Party||Date of birth||Became baby||Age|
|James Stuart-Wortley||Christchurch Country||Independent||16 January 1833||1 October 1853||20 years, 258 days|
|Augustus White||Akaroa||Independent||1839||13 February 1861||22|
|Robert Campbell||Oamaru||Independent||8 January 1843||6 April 1866||23 years, 88 days|
|Ralph Richardson||Suburbs of Nelson||Independent||1848||23 January 1871||22|
|William Pearson||Ashley||Independent||1854||9 December 1881||27|
|Arthur Rhodes||Gladstone||Independent||20 March 1859||26 September 1887||28 years, 190 days|
|Jackson Palmer||Waitemata||Independent Liberal||1867||5 December 1890||23|
|Patrick O'Regan||Inangahua||Liberal||6 February 1869||20 December 1893||24 years, 317 days|
|Thomas Wilford||Wellington Suburbs||Liberal||20 June 1870||4 December 1896||26 years, 167 days|
|Harry Bedford||City of Dunedin||Liberal||31 August 1877||25 November 1902||25 years, 86 days|
|Francis Fisher||Wellington Central||Liberal||22 December 1877||6 December 1905||27 years, 349 days|
|Tom Seddon||Westland||Liberal||2 July 1884||13 July 1906||22 years, 11 days|
|John A. Lee||Auckland East||Labour||31 October 1891||7 December 1922||31 years, 37 days|
|George Black||Motueka||United||21 November 1903||14 November 1928||24 years, 359 days|
|Keith Holyoake||Motueka||Reform||11 February 1904||1 December 1932||28 years, 294 days|
|Terry McCombs||Lyttelton||Labour||5 September 1905||24 July 1935||29 years, 322 days|
|Ormond Wilson||Rangitikei||Labour||18 November 1907||27 November 1935||28 years, 9 days|
|Joseph Cotterill||Wanganui||Labour||26 September 1905||15 October 1938||33 years, 19 days|
|Tapihana Paraire Paikea||Northern Maori||Labour||26 January 1920||24 September 1943||23 years, 241 days|
|Warren Freer||Mt Albert||Labour||27 December 1920||24 September 1947||26 years, 271 days|
|Jim Edwards||Napier||Labour||24 February 1927||13 November 1954||27 years, 262 days|
|Basil Arthur||Timaru||Labour||18 September 1928||21 July 1962||33 years, 306 days|
|Brian MacDonell||Dunedin Central||Labour||19 May 1935||30 November 1963||28 years, 195 days|
|Jonathan Hunt||New Lynn||Labour||2 December 1938||26 November 1966||27 years, 359 days|
|Murray Rose||Otago Central||National||14 December 1939||29 November 1969||29 years, 350 days|
|Mike Moore||Eden||Labour||28 January 1949||25 November 1972||23 years, 302 days|
|Marilyn Waring||Raglan||National||7 October 1952||29 November 1975||23 years, 53 days|
|Simon Upton||Waikato||National||7 February 1958||28 November 1981||23 years, 294 days|
|Nick Smith||Tasman||National||24 December 1964||27 October 1990||25 years, 307 days|
|Nanaia Mahuta||List||Labour||21 August 1970||12 October 1996||26 years, 52 days|
|Darren Hughes||Ōtaki||Labour||3 April 1978||27 July 2002||24 years, 115 days|
|Jacinda Ardern||List||Labour||26 July 1980||8 November 2008||28 years, 105 days|
|Gareth Hughes||List||Green||31 October 1981||11 February 2010||28 years, 103 days|
|Jami-Lee Ross||Botany||National||10 December 1985||5 March 2011||25 years, 85 days|
|Todd Barclay||Clutha-Southland||National||8 June 1990||20 September 2014||24 years, 104 days|
|Chlöe Swarbrick||List||Green||26 June 1994||23 September 2017||23 years, 89 days|
In the Congress of the Philippines, the term "Baby of the House" is rarely used; the term "Benjamin" of the chamber is used instead. Special treatment is not given to the youngest member of either chamber. However, by tradition, the youngest member of the chamber usually administers the oath of office to their incoming leader (i.e. President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives).
The minimum age for being a member of the House of Representatives is 25 years old, while for the Senate, it is 35, as stipulated in the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. In 1933, Benigno Aquino, Sr. became senator at the age of 33; the Jones Law, which created the Senate, had prescribed the minimum age of 30.
List of youngest members of the Philippine House of Representatives
|Entered||Name||Party||District||Date of Birth||Election Day||Age on Election Day||Note||Ref|
|1987||Conrado M. Estrella III||KBL||Pangasinan–6th||12 September 1960||11 May 1987||26 years, 241 days|
|1992||Ralph Recto||LDP||Batangas–4th||11 January 1964||11 May 1992||28 years, 121 days|||
|1995||Mike Defensor||Liberal||Quezon City–3rd||30 June 1969||8 May 1995||25 years, 312 days|||
|1998||Alan Peter Cayetano||Lakas||Pateros–Taguig||28 October 1970||11 May 1998||27 years, 195 days|||
|2001||Felix William Fuentebella||NPC||Camarines Sur–3rd||5 February 1975||14 May 2001||26 years, 98 days|||
|2002||Joel Villanueva||CIBAC||Partylist||2 August 1975||25 years, 285 days|||
|2004||Joel Villanueva||CIBAC||Partylist||2 August 1975||10 May 2004||28 years, 282 days|
|2007||Sharee Ann Tan||Lakas||Samar–2nd||11 May 1982||14 May 2007||25 years, 3 days|||
|2010||Abigail Faye Ferriol-Pascual||Kalinga||Partylist||21 September 1984||10 May 2010||25 years, 231 days||sworn-in Feliciano Belmonte as Speaker|||
|2013||Xavier Jesus Romualdo||Liberal||Camiguin||5 December 1986||13 May 2013||26 years, 159 days||sworn-in Feliciano Belmonte as Speaker|||
|2016||Dennis Laogan||Ang Kabuhayan||Partylist||1 September 1990||9 May 2016||25 years, 251 days||sworn-in Pantaleon Alvarez and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Speaker|||
|2019||Braeden John Biron||Nacionalista||Iloilo–4th||10 January 1994||13 May 2019||25 years, 123 days||sworn-in Alan Peter Cayetano as Speaker|||
List of youngest members of the Philippine Senate
|Congress||Name||Party||Date of Birth||Age When Elected||From||To|
|8th||Joey Lina||UNIDO||22 December 1951||35||30 June 1987||30 June 1992|
|9th, 10th||Nikki Coseteng||NPC||18 December 1952||39||30 June 1992||30 June 1998|
|11th||Loren Legarda||Lakas||28 January 1960||38||30 June 1998||30 June 2001|
|12th||Ralph Recto||Nacionalista||11 January 1964||37||30 June 2001||30 June 2004|
|13th||Bong Revilla||Lakas||25 September 1966||37||30 June 2004||30 June 2007|
|14th, 15th||Antonio Trillanes||Nacionalista||6 August 1971||35||30 June 2007||30 June 2013|
|16th||Bam Aquino||Liberal||9 May 1977||36||30 June 2013||30 June 2016|
|17th, 18th||Manny Pacquiao||PCM||17 December 1978||37||30 June 2016||present|
|2002||Gustav Fridolin||Stockholm Municipality||Green||19||Minister for Education, 2014–present|
|2006||Annie Lööf||Jönköping County||Centre||23||Minister for Enterprise, 2011–2014|
|2010||Anton Abele||Stockholm Municipality||Moderate||18|
|2014||Dennis Dioukarev||Jönköping County||Sweden Democrats||21|
|2015||Jesper Skalberg Karlsson||Gotland County||Moderate||21||Replaced Gustaf Hoffstedt on 19 January 2015|
|2018||Ebba Hermansson||Skåne County||Sweden Democrats||22|
The current Baby of the House is Ebba Hermansson (entered in September 2018 at the age of 22). The youngest person ever to be elected MP to a Swedish parliament is Anton Abele who was only aged 18 when elected in September 2010. Current record holder for the world's youngest-ever elected MP is Anton Abele, who was at 18 years elected to the Swedish Parliament for his activism against street violence.
At 19 years old, Proscovia Alengot Oromait was the world's youngest MP and youngest ever MP in Africa when elected in 2011. Oromait is a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Uganda and was a representative of Usuk County until 2016.
While the term is used in the Commonwealth Parliaments, Baby of the House or Senate is not in general contemporary use in the United States, nor does being the youngest member confer special treatment in either house of Congress.
Members of the US Congress tend to be older than parliamentarians elsewhere in the English-speaking world, a main factor being that the minimum ages for members of Congress is written into Article One of the United States Constitution, which forbids those under the age of 25 from serving in the House, and those under the age of 30 from serving in the Senate. Moreover, election to the federal Congress is expensive and requires extensive contacts and recognition across a very wide area. Individuals aiming to serve in the federal legislature generally seek election to the state legislature (which generally have lower minimum ages for entry) or other state office before seeking to serve in Washington.
In the 117th Congress, which began on 3 January 2021, the youngest member of the United States House of Representatives is Madison Cawthorn, who was born on 1 August 1995 , and was first elected in 2020 three months after his 25th birthday. He replaced Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman elected to the House in U.S. history.
- of the House: House of Commons Background Paper – Commons Library Standard Note from UK Parliament, accessed on 1 January 2015.
- Prior to 1832 minors could be elected; precise information on those MPs is often unclear.
- MacAskill, Ewen; Ratcliffe, Rebecca (8 May 2015). "Mhairi Black: the 20-year-old who beat a Labour heavyweight". Retrieved 6 January 2018 – via www.theguardian.com.
- Joseph Aloysius Sweeney did not take his seat; the youngest MP actually sitting in the House of Commons was Oswald Mosley (Conservative, aged 22).
- Became the youngest MP for a second time, on the death of the previous youngest MP.
- Tony Benn was first elected at the Bristol South East by-election, 1950, aged 25, the day after Thomas Teevan, who was aged 23, but Benn took the oath the day before Teevan, and so was Baby of the House for a single day.
- Tony Benn became the youngest MP again after the 1951 general election, on the defeat of Teevan.
- Elected on an abstentionist ticket, Philip Clarke did not take his seat. Peter Kirk was first elected at the 1955 general election, when he became the youngest MP to take his seat, but only became the youngest MP with the disqualification of Philip Clarke later in the year.
- Basil de Ferranti was the youngest MP for 15 days between his taking his seat after the 1958 Morecambe and Lonsdale by-election and Patrick Wolrige-Gordon taking his seat after the East Aberdeenshire by-election, 1958.
- Elected on an abstentionist ticket, Bobby Sands and Owen Carron did not take their seats; Stephen Dorrell remained the youngest MP actually sitting in the House of Commons.
- Although several sources claim Claire Ward was the youngest MP during this period, she was 50 days older than Chris Leslie.
- Parliament.UK – House of Lords FAQS – Membership and principal office holders at parliament.uk
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- Nasrin Vaziri. "اعضای هیات رئیسه سنی در 10 مجلس شورای اسلامی/چهار رئیس سنی تا کنون درگذشتهاند" (in Persian). Khabar Online. Archived from the original on 26 May 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
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