Tam Dalyell

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Sir Thomas Dalyell Loch, 11th Baronet (born 9 August 1932), known as Tam Dalyell (pronounced /diːˈɛl/), is a British Labour Party politician, who was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons from 1962 to 2005, first for West Lothian and then for Linlithgow.


Early life

Born in Edinburgh,[1] but raised in his mother, Nora Dalyell's family home, The Binns, near Linlithgow, West Lothian; his father (Percy) Gordon Loch, C.I.E., was an Empire civil servant (Political Agent) and a scion of the Loch family. His father took his wife's maiden name in 1938, and through his mother he inherited the Baronetcy of the Binns in 1972, although he never uses the title.


Dalyell was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Eton College and did his National Service with the Royal Scots Greys from 1950 to 1952 - as an ordinary trooper, after failing his officer training. He then went to King's College, Cambridge to study History and Economics, where he was Chairman of the Conservative Association. He then trained as a teacher at Moray House College in Edinburgh and taught at a non-selective school and a ship school. He joined the Labour Party in 1956 after the Suez Crisis.

He became a Member of Parliament in June 1962, when he defeated William Wolfe of the Scottish National Party in a hard fought by-election for West Lothian. From 1983 onwards, he represented Linlithgow (when the New Town of Livingston split off to form its own constituency) and easily retained his position as their representative. He became Father of the House after the 2001 General Election, when Sir Edward Heath retired. He was a Member of the European Parliament from 1975 to 1979, and a member of the Labour National Executive from 1986 to 1987 for the Campaign group.

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