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Monday, July 21, 2014

Close Parliamentary relations (a dynastic guide)

In light of the news that Tony Benn's granddaughter has been selected to fight a Parliamentary seat for Labour, the Independent publishes a study of the top ten MPs who have or have had relatives in the House of Commons.

Top of the pile is Nicholas Soames who is the son of Christopher Soames, the cousin of Winston Churchill, nephew of Randolph, grandson of Sir Winston, and great-grandson of Lord Randolph. Trailing iin second is Hilary Benn, who is of course the son of Tony Benn, the grandson of William Wedgwood Benn (Lib then Lab), and the great-grandson of Daniel Holmes and of Sir John Benn (both Lib).

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, turns out to be the grandson of Geoffrey, great-nephew of Douglas (Speaker 1943-1951) and of Howard, and great-great-nephew of James. After that we have the also-rans:

4. Alistair Darling, Lab, Edinburgh SW
Great-nephew of Sir William Darling (Scottish Unionist, Edinburgh South 1945-1957).
5. Peter Bottomley, Con, Worthing West
Husband of Virginia (Con, SW Surrey 1984-2005), uncle of Kitty Ussher (Lab, Burnley 2005-2010).
6. Toby Perkins, Lab, Chesterfield
Great-grandson of Sir AP Herbert (Ind, Oxford University 1935-1950).
7. Luciana Berger, Lab, Liverpool Wavertree
Great-niece of Emanuel Shinwell (Lab, latterly for Easington until 1970).
8. Yvette Cooper, Lab, Pontefract
Wife of Ed Balls, Lab, Morley.
9. Ed Miliband, Lab, Doncaster North
Brother of David Miliband (Lab, South Shields 2001-2013).
10. David Cameron, Con, Witney
Great-grandson of Sir William Mount (Con, Newbury 1900-1906 and 1910-1922).

It is a distingusihed list and with two Benns, a Straw and a Kinnock fighting Parliamentary seats in 2015, it can only grow in size and stature.
John Thurso (MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) is the grandson of Archibald Sinclair, Liberal leader and coalition minister in WWII. Sinclair (1st Viscount Thurso) was in turn descended from Whigs, father and son, who represented <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caithness_(UK_Parliament_constituency)")Caithness(/a) at the turn of the 19th century.
Violet Bonham Carter, daughter of prime minister H.H. Asquith, stood several times unsuccessfully for parliament and was made a life peer. She married her fathers private secretary, Sir Maurice Bonham Carter. One of the children was the Liberal MP Mark Bonham Carter and another, Laura went on to marry Jo Gromond one time leader of the Liberal Party. She also is grandmother of the actress Helena Bonham Carter.
Of course if we are going that far back and dealing with non-current MPs then there is also the Lloyd George Dynasty and the Foots.
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