Francis Noel-Baker

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Francis Noel-Baker (1967)

Francis Edward Noel-Baker (7 January 1920 – 25 September 2009)[1] was a British Labour Party politician. His father was Labour MP and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Philip Noel-Baker.[2]

Born in London,[3] Noel-Baker was educated at Westminster School and King's College, Cambridge and served with the Intelligence Corps in World War II.[4]

He was first elected to the House of Commons in the Labour landslide at the 1945 general election as Member of Parliament for Brentford and Chiswick. When elected, he was the youngest Labour MP. He lost his seat at the 1950 general election, but returned to Parliament at the 1955 election as MP for Swindon. He resigned his seat in March 1969, by taking the Chiltern Hundreds.

In 1971 he left the Labour Party in response to the party's opposition to British membership of the European Economic Community. He later joined the Social Democratic Party and later still the Conservative Party.

In 1948, Francis acted covertly for the British Government inside Francoist Spain. His report "Spanish Summary" with a foreword written by Lady Megan Lloyd George M.P. had a huge influence in shaming the British and other governments and worldwide organisations for allowing Francoist Spain to remain undefeated in Europe until the Spanish transition to democracy.[citation needed]

While he was an MP Noel-Baker advocated reforms to moderate the influence of outside interests in Parliament. In 1961 he published an article in Parliamentary Affairs warning that "the door, in fact, is wide open for a new form of political corruption, and there is an uneasy feeling in Parliament and outside that its extent could be much greater than the known or published facts reveal".[5]

Before his death in 2009 Noel-Baker was one of the few surviving members of the 1945 Parliament, the others being Michael Foot and John Freeman. He married in 1947 (dissolved 1956), Ann Saunders. In 1957 he married secondly Barbara Sonander, who died of skin cancer in 2004. Four sons and a daughter from his two marriages survive him, and a son predeceased him.[2]


  1. ^ Emma Streatfield (28 September 2009). "Tributes paid to MP who shaped modern Swindon". Swindon Advertiser.
  2. ^ a b Francis Noel-Baker's obituary in The Daily Telegraph, accessed 30 July 2012
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Times Guides to the House of Commons, 1950.
  5. ^ Francis Noel-Baker, "'The Grey Zone': The Problem of Business Affiliations of Members of Parliament", Parliamentary Affairs, Volume 15, 1958, pp. 87–93


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Harold Paton Mitchell
Member of Parliament for Brentford and Chiswick
Succeeded by
Percy Lucas
Preceded by
Thomas Reid
Member of Parliament for Swindon
Succeeded by
Christopher Ward