Derek Fatchett

The Right Honourable
Derek Fatchett
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
5 May 1997  9 May 1999
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Nicholas Bonsor
Succeeded by Geoff Hoon
Member of Parliament
for Leeds Central
In office
9 June 1983  9 May 1999
Preceded by Constituency Established
Succeeded by Hilary Benn
Personal details
Born (1945-08-22)22 August 1945
Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Died 9 May 1999(1999-05-09) (aged 53)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Anita Bridgens Oakes
Alma mater University of Leeds, London School of Economics, University of Birmingham

Derek John Fatchett PC (22 August 1945 9 May 1999) was a British politician. He became Member of Parliament for Leeds Central in 1983 and was a member of the Labour Party. He was Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Foreign Secretary) from 1997 to 1999.[1]

Early life

Born in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, Fatchett was the son of a painter and decorator. His grandfather was a trade union official. He attended the all-male grammar school, Lincoln School and then the University of Birmingham where he studied Law, graduating in 1966. Fatchett joined the Labour Party in 1964. At the LSE he took an MSc in 1968 where he joined in student demonstrations. He was more left-wing, like many people have been, in his youth, but became more centre-left when an MP, leaving the Campaign Group in 1985.

Fatchett was a councillor on Wakefield Metropolitan Council from 1980-4. He became a lecturer in Industrial Relations (now known as Work and Employment Relations) at the University of Leeds in 1971, staying there until he became an MP, which he was nominated for at the expense of Stanley Cohen, who wanted to join the SDP.

Parliamentary career

He contested the Bosworth seat in Leicestershire in 1979.

After Labour's 1997 election victory, he was soon made a Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.[2]

Derek Fatchett died suddenly on the night of 9 May 1999 (aged 53), from a massive heart attack after collapsing whilst relaxing with his wife and close friend Colin Crane in a Wakefield pub. His death prevented him for reaching higher office which was predicted with rumours in political circles citing him as a future Defence or Northern Ireland Secretary. The by-election for his seat was won by Hilary Benn.

Personal life

He married Anita Oakes in Birmingham in 1969 and had two sons, Brendan and Gareth. He lived in Wakefield. His interest outside politics included cricket and football (he was a WBA supporter). He was very open to new technology, touring a number of computer facilities in the UK, beginning with an Apple Lisa, the computer that pre-dated the Apple Mac, iPhone and iPad revolutions.

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
1983 1999
Succeeded by
Hilary Benn


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