Reginald Paget, Baron Paget of Northampton
The son of Major Guy Paget, he was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Law, but failed to take a degree. Paget joined the Labour Party while he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, a decision made striking by the fact that his family had produced five generations of Conservative MPs. He was called to the bar in 1934.
He stood for election as a Labour party candidate for Northampton in 1935, but did not win. During World War II he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (1940–43). After the war he was advocate for Field Marshal Erich von Manstein in his trial for war crimes. He later wrote Manstein: His Campaigns and His Trial (1957). He took silk in 1947.
He stood again as the Labour candidate for Northampton in 1945, and won. He was repeatedly reelected until 1974, when the constituency was abolished. From 1960 to 1964, Paget successively served as junior opposition spokesman for the Royal Navy and the Army. He was an outspoken critic of Harold Wilson during the 1963 Labour leadership election.
During his tenure as an MP he was an independent voice, playing a major role in the campaign to abolish capital punishment. He was a strong opponent of the execution of Derek Bentley, and argued for Timothy Evans to be posthumously pardoned for the murder of his child (a crime widely believed to have been committed by John Christie). He became Secretary of the UK Council of the European Movement in 1954.
In 1931, he married Sybil Helen Gibbons (Nancy), daughter of Sills Clifford Gibbons. They occupied Lubenham Lodge 2 miles west of Market Harborough from 1964. He later separated from his wife, and had a relationship with Diana Spearman, widow of the Conservative MP SIr Alexander Spearman.
- Howard, Anthony. "Paget, Reginald Thomas Guy Des Voeux, Baron Paget of Northampton (1908–1990)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39854. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- A. Thomas Lane, Biographical Dictionary of European Labor Leaders. Volume: 2, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT., 1995, p.724.
- The London Gazette: . 7 January 1975.
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Reginald Paget
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Spencer Summers
|Member of Parliament for Northampton
1945 – February 1974
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