The Top Ten: MPs with Parliament in their blood
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at King's College, London, and at Queen Mary University of London. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 20 July 2014
The House of Commons Library produced a list last year that was interesting, but nit-picking pedants pointed out that it had omitted several well-known examples, including David Cameron and Ed Miliband. This year's list was more complete. It included 28 sitting Conservatives, 24 Labour and five Lib Dems.
1. Nicholas Soames, Con, Mid Sussex
Winner with five relations: son of Christopher Soames, cousin of Winston Churchill, nephew of Randolph, grandson of Sir Winston, great-grandson of Lord Randolph.
2. Hilary Benn, Lab, Leeds Central
Joint second: son of Tony Benn, grandson of William Wedgwood Benn (Lib then Lab), great-grandson of Daniel Holmes and of Sir John Benn (both Lib).
3. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Con, Cotswolds
Also four connections: grandson of Geoffrey, great-nephew of Douglas (Speaker 1943-1951) and of Howard, great-great-nephew of James.
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).
Next week: Invented words.
Coming soon: Buildings, starting with the Tower of Babel. Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to email@example.com
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