The top ten: Unisex names of MPs
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 24 November 2013
When Cara Hilton won a Scottish Parliament by-election last month, David Mills asked whether there had ever been an MP called Cara. The Labour History Group said no, but there had been a Carol, who was a man. Thus this list was born...
1. Ray Michie Female, Liberal Democrat, 1987-2001. One of four women in this list. (Thanks to David Mills.)
2. Robin Cook Male, Labour, 1974-2005. Nominated by Kieran C.
3. Carol Mather Male, soldier and Conservative MP, 1970-1987, who said of Douglas Hurd's German-style coat, "Last time I saw anyone wearing a coat like that, I shot him."
4. Mervyn Pike Female, Conservative, 1956-1974, after which she became chairman of the Women's Royal Voluntary Reserve.
5. Meredith Titterington Male, Labour, 1945-1949.
6. Evelyn Emmet Female, Conservative, 1955-1965. Unlike Evelyns King (Labour, 1945-1950, then Conservative, 1964-79) and Walkden (Labour, 1941-1950), who were male
7. Beverley Baxter Male, Conservative, 1935-1964, and editor of the Daily Express from 1929- 1933. With thanks to David Boothroyd.
8. Hilary Benn Male, Labour, 1999-present. With Kerry McCarthy, female, Labour, 2005-present, the only current MPs
9. Hyacinth Morgan Male, Labour, 1929-1931 and 1940-1955. Thanks to Labour History Group.
10. Jocelyn Cadbury Male, Conservative, 1979-1982. Thanks to David Boothroyd
Next week: Monarchs of England 1066-1707
Coming soon: Trollemics: 'deliberately over-the-top arguments designed to generate controversy'. Send your suggestions (by 3 December), along with ideas for any future Top 10s, to email@example.com
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