Dingle Foot

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Sir Dingle Mackintosh Foot, Q.C. (24 August 1905 – 18 June 1978) was a British lawyer, Liberal and Labour MP and government minister, born in Plymouth, Devon.

Education and career[edit]

He was educated at Bembridge School, a boys' independent school on the Isle of Wight, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union in 1928. He was called to the bar in 1930. From 1931 to 1945 he was Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Dundee. He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare in Winston Churchill's wartime coalition, and a member of the British delegation to San Francisco Conference in 1945. At the 1945 election he lost his seat to Labour.

At the 1950 general election, Foot defended the formerly Liberal seat of North Cornwall, following the defection of its member Tom Horabin to Labour in 1947, but he lost to Harold Roper (Conservative).

Foot left the Liberals and joined the Labour Party in 1956. He was Labour MP for Ipswich, 1957–1970. Following his appointment as Solicitor General in the first government of Harold Wilson, he was knighted and made a Privy Counsellor in 1964. He served in this post for almost 3 years, from 18 October 1964 until 24 August 1967, until he was replaced by Arthur Irvine following a major government reshuffle. In 1970 he was again defeated, this time by the Conservative candidate. His publications included Despotism in Disguise (1937) and British Political Crises (1976).

In the late 40's and early 50's he was often seen on the BBC Current Affairs programme called In the News, where he was the moderator. Often appearing with him were Michael Foot and Sir Bob Boothby.


Foot's father, Isaac Foot, was a solicitor and founder of the Plymouth law firm, Foot and Bowden. Isaac Foot was an active member of the Liberal Party and was Liberal Member of Parliament for Bodmin in Cornwall 1922–1924 and 1929–1935 and a Lord Mayor of Plymouth.

Dingle Foot had three brothers: Michael, a prominent figure in the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983; John (Lord Foot), a Liberal politician; and Hugh (Lord Caradon), Governor of Cyprus and British Ambassador to the United Nations. His nephew, Hugh's son, was the campaigning journalist Paul Foot.


He died in a hotel in Hong Kong on 18 June 1978 after choking on a bone in a chicken sandwich.



External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Marcus
Edwin Scrymgeour
Member of Parliament for Dundee
With: Florence Horsbrugh
Succeeded by
Thomas Cook
John Strachey
Preceded by
Richard Stokes
Member of Parliament for Ipswich
Succeeded by
Ernle Money
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Peter Rawlinson
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Arthur Irvine