Ronald Atkins

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Ronald Atkins
Member of Parliament
for Preston North
Member of Parliament for Preston North
In office
February 1974 – 1979
Preceded by Mary Holt
Succeeded by Robert Atkins
Member of Parliament for Preston North
In office
Preceded by Julian Amery
Succeeded by Mary Holt
Personal details
Born Ronald Henry Atkins
(1916-06-13) 13 June 1916 (age 101)
Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Atkins
Relatives Charlotte Atkins (daughter)
Education Barry Grammar School
Alma mater University of London

Ronald Henry Atkins (born 13 June 1916) is a British Labour politician who served as a Member of Parliament.


Born at Barry, Glamorganshire, son of a smallholder, Atkins was educated at Barry Grammar School[1] and the University of London. He suffered heavily from psoriasis and tried to improve his health in order to enter the armed forces in World War II by a diet of only carrots for more than a month. Eventually he volunteered for industrial war work in a chemical company at Barry as a chief greaser. While there he organised a trade union branch for the first time at the company.[1]

He became a teacher at a college of further education and a tutor and lecturer for the National Council of Labour Colleges. He was a councillor on Braintree Rural District Council 1952–61 and served on the Mid-Essex education committee of Essex County Council. At 93, he was the oldest member of Preston City Council when he stepped down in 2010 and he married, for the second time, to his present wife, Elizabeth, shortly after she was elected to the same council in 2012.[1]

Atkins contested Lowestoft in 1964. He was twice Member of Parliament for the marginal Preston North constituency, from 1966 to 1970 - when he lost to Conservative Mary Holt, and, having defeated Holt by 255 votes, from February 1974 to 1979 - when he lost to the very-similarly named and unrelated Conservative, Robert Atkins. The margin of defeat was just 29 votes (0.1%).

Following the death of John Freeman on 20 December 2014, he became the oldest surviving former MP. Atkins celebrated his 100th birthday in June 2016. He attributed his long life to "good genes, an active lifestyle, and wild Atlantic salmon" in his diet. He was an active ballroom dancer to late in life.[1] His daughter Charlotte Atkins was the Labour MP for Staffordshire Moorlands from 1997 until 2010.


  1. ^ a b c d Carter, Sarah (10 June 2016). "'Powerhouse' Ron Atkins celebrates 100th birthday". Lancashire Evening Post. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Julian Amery
Member of Parliament for Preston North
Succeeded by
Mary Holt
Preceded by
Mary Holt
Member of Parliament for Preston North
February 19741979
Succeeded by
Robert Atkins