|British Member of Parliament|
|Preceded by||Edwin Gooch|
|Succeeded by||Ralph Howell|
18 April 1907|
Attleborough, Norfolk, England
|Died||11 January 2009
|Spouse(s)||Dora Anna Barham|
|Occupation||President of the National Union of Agricultural Workers|
The son of a Norfolk farm worker, he left school at 14 to work on a farm in Wymondham, where his duties included scaring crows. When agricultural wages slumped after the First World War sparking the Norfolk farm workers' strike in 1923, Hazell became active in the National Union of Agricultural Workers. He worked as a district organiser for the NUAW, 1937–1964.
He unsuccessfully contested the safe Tory parliamentary seat of Barkston Ash in Yorkshire in the 1945 and 1950 elections, before returning to Norfolk to help North Norfolk Labour MP Edwin Gooch. In 1945 he came within 116 votes of victory in Barkston Ash.
He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for North Norfolk in 1964 by just 53 votes. The constituency was unusual in being an agricultural seat electing Labour MPs since 1945, owing to a history of organised agricultural trade unionism and a working-class rural Labour vote in Norfolk at the time, very atypical of the rest of the country. He was re-elected in 1966, when his majority was 737 votes. He lost his seat at the 1970 general election to the Conservative Ralph Howell who held the seat for 27 years. Subsequently Labour have never regained Norfolk North, and were relegated to third place when the Liberal Democrats gained the seat in 2001.
As president of the NUAW for 10 years until he retired in 1978, Hazell devoted nearly 60 years to the cause of agricultural workers. He had a lengthy career in the health service including as chair of York Health Authority in the 1980s.
Hazell was made an MBE for services to agriculture in 1946 and a CBE for services as chairman of the regional board for industry in 1962.
Hazell, who reached his 100th birthday in April 2007, was the second longest-living MP in British history; only Theodore Cooke Taylor lived longer, beating Hazell in the longevity stakes by around six months. On 6 November 2008 he overtook the late Lord Shinwell's record as the longest-living former MP of recent times. Upon Hazell's death, James Allason became the oldest living former MP.
He died on 11 January 2009, aged 101. He was three months short of his 102nd birthday.
- "The longest life in politics". The Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2008, p. 6.
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Who's Who 2007
- The Almanac of British Politics by Robert Waller and Byron Criddle
- Diss Mercury - Worker's Hero Birthday Marked
- Country Standard
- EDP obituary, 15 January 2009[permanent dead link]
- Tributes paid to Labour stalwart Bertie Hazell; The Press, 15 January 2009
- Obituary in The Independent by Tam Dalyell; 22 January 2009
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Bert Hazell
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for North Norfolk
|Trade union offices|
|President of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers