A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - R - S - T - W

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - R - S - T - W


Michael AlisonMichael Alison

1926 - 2004
Conservative MP 
published in Yorkshire Post, 5 June 2004


Paddy AshdownPaddy Ashdown

1941 - 2018
Liberal MP and leader
published in the Journal of Liberal History, 102, Spring 2019


David AustickDavid Austick

1920 - 1997
Bookshop owner and Liberal politician
published in The Independent, 10 February 1997



johnbakerJohn Arnold Baker

1925 - 2016
Lawyer, judge, Liberal politician
published in The National Liberal Club News, issue 71, November 2016


Maureen BakerMaureen Baker

1932 - 2021
Activist and campaigner
published in The Guardian online, 28 February 2012 & The Guardian 10 April 2012


Paul BakerPaul Baker

1937 - 1998
Pharmacist and radical
an appreciation


Beaty RayRay Beaty

1935 - 2014
published in NUJ News Leeds, January 2015


Audrey BeeAudrey Bee

1927 - 2020
Teacher and pianist
address at funeral, July 2020


Connell BeeConnell Bee

1922 - 2017
Aeronautical engineer
address at funeral, November 2017


Maury BenardDr Maury Benard

1916 - 2005
Leeds doctor, dentist and former Liberal councillor
published in Yorkshire Post, 6 November 2004



Gordon Bevans

1920 - 2012
Psychologist, musician and Liberal
published in Liberal Democrat News, 11 May 2012


Viv BinghamViv Bingham

1932 - 2012
published in The Independent, 24 March 2012


boizot thPeter Boizot

1929 - 2018
Entrepreneur, restaurateur, Liberal, art collector and philanthropist
published in Liberal Democrat Voice, 4 January 2019



Claire Brooks

1931 - 2008
in 'Mothers of Liberty', published by Liberal Democrat History Group, 2012


burrellMichael Burrell

1937 - 2014
Actor and writer
published in NLC News, issue 67, November 2014




Vyvyan Cardno

1908 - 2005
Conservative, honorary Alderman
published in Yorkshire Post, 27 August 2005


person Leslie Chapman

1910 - 1988
Inventor, painter, musician
published in the Armley Advertiser, May 1988


chesworth thDonald Chesworth

1923 - 1991
Politician and administrator
published in The Independent, 25 May 1991


chitnis thLord Chitnis of Ryedale

1936 - 2013
Liberal strategist
published in The Independent, 31 July 2013

chitnis th

Lord Chitnis of Ryedale

published in Liberator, September 2013


Maggie ClayMaggie Clay

1947 - 2009
Liberal politician
published in Liberal Democrat News, 10 April 2009

Maggie Clay

Maggie Clay

published in Yorkshire Post, 18 April 2009


Stanley CohenStanley Cohen

1927 - 2004
Labour politician
published in Yorkshire Post, February 2004


ken colyerKen Colyer

1928 - 1988
Jazz musician
published in The Independent, died 10 March 1988


Patrick CrottyPatrick Crotty

1920 - 1995
Lawyer and Conservative politician
an appreciation


Julian Cummins

Julian Cummins

1955 - 2007
Businessman, Liberal, Anglican priest, Territorial Army officer
published in Yorkshire Post, 17 February 2007


George CunninghamGeorge Cunningham

1931 - 2018
Labour politician, Hon Librarian NLC
published in NLC magazine, November 2018



dahrendorfRalf Dahrendorf: an appreciation

1929 - 2009
Sociologist, philosopher and Liberal politician
published in Liberator, September 2009


daleTom Dale

1931 - 2019
published in NLC News 78, May 2020


Raymond Dean

Judge Raymond Dean

1923 - 2003
published in The Guardian, 23 October 2003


Baron DiamondJack Diamond

1907 - 2004
Labour politician
published in Yorkshire Post, 10 April 2004



evansLord Gryff Evans

1928 - 1992
prepared for Lucy Johnson, Gruff Evans' granddaughter


Penny EwensPenny Ewens

1926 - 2020
Liberal, honorary Alderman
published in Yorkshire Post, 19 December 2020


ezra thDerek Ezra

1919 - 2015
NCB chairman, Liberal
published in National Liberal Club Magazine, issue 70, May 2016



Maurice FaureMaurice Faure

1922 - 2014
French deputy, Mayor of Cahors, Radical
published (in French) in Allier République, April 2014


Clement FreudClement Freud

1924 - 2009
Liberal MP
published in Liberator 334, July 2009


Jonathan FryerJonathan Fryer

1950 - 2021
Political activist, writer and broadcaster
published in The Guardian, 1st May 2021



Douglas GabbDouglas Gabb

1920 - 2020
Labour, honorary Alderman
published in the Yorkshire Post, 23 May 2020


Tony GreavesTony Greaves

1942 - 2021
Liberal politician
published in the Yorkshire Post online, 3 April 2021

Tony Greaves

Tony Greaves

published in The Guardian, 26 April 2021

Tony Greaves Tony Greaves, an appreciation

published in Liberal History Journal, Summer 2021


Jo GrimondJo Grimond: an appreciation

1913 - 1993
Liberal leader
published in Liberator, December 1993


John GunnellJohn Gunnell

1933 - 2008
Labour politician
published The Guardian, 12 February 2008



Pat Hawes Pat Hawes

1928 - 2017
Jazz musician
published in Just Jazz, issue 236, December 2017


Richard HoggartRichard Hoggart

1918 - 2014
published in the Financial Times, 12/13 April 2014


David Hudson

David Hudson

1924 - 2005
Conservative councillor
published in the Yorkshire Post, 30 October 2005



ingham thAlbert Ingham

1901 - 1990
Political party agent
published in The Independent, 16 April 1990



johnstonRussell Johnston

1932 - 2008
Liberal MP
published in Liberator, September 2008


Denis Mason JonesDenis Mason Jones

1918 - 2010
Architect and artist
published in The Independent, 22 March 2010


Trevor JonesTrevor Jones

1927 - 2016
published in The Guardian, 24 September 2016

Trevor JonesTrevor Jones

published in Liberal History Journal, issue 93, Winter 2016-2017



Graham KirklandDr Graham Kirkland

1936 - 2016
GP and Liberal politician
published in the Yorkshire Post, 22 October 2016


Joe KitchenJoseph Kitchen

1922 - 2007
Labour councillor
published in the Yorkshire Post, 19 May 2007


Peter KnowlsonPeter Knowlson

1931 - 2011
published in Liberal Democrat News, 2 September 2011



Enid LakemanEnid Lakeman

1903 - 1995
Politician and electoral reformer
published in The Independent, 12 January 1995

Enid Lakeman

Enid Lakeman

in 'Mothers of Liberty', published by Liberal Democrat History Group, 2012



Eric LubbockEric Lubbock

1928 - 2016
published in National Liberal Club Magazine, issue 70, May 2016



Robert MaclennanRobert Maclennan (Lord Maclennan of Rogart)

1936 - 2020
published in Journal of Liberal History, 106, Spring 2020


Diana MaddockDiana Maddock

1945 - 2020
published in The Guardian, 14 July 2020


Min MarksMin Marks

1920 - 2021
Communist activist and Bletchley Park associate
published in The Guardian 'Other Lives', 10 February 2022


Albert McElroyRev Albert McElroy

1915 - 1975
Minister of religion and politician
published in Liberal News, 13 December 1985


Joseph MellorJoseph Mellor

1869 - 1938
Liberal Scientist
published in NLC News 68, May 2015


Merlyn ReesLord Merlyn-Rees

1920 - 2006
Labour MP
published in the Yorkshire Post, 6 January 2006



Sam Micklem

1933 - 2012
published in Liberal Democrat News, 14 September 2012


Trevor MillingtonTrevor Millington

1958 - 2012
published in The Guardian, Other Lives, 22 February 2012


Richard MooreRichard Moore

1931 - 2019
published in The Guardian, 2019

Richard Moore

Richard Moore

published in Journal of Liberal History, 103, Summer 2019



David MorrishDavid Morrish

1931 - 2018
published in The Guardian, 28 May 2018


Joan MorrishDavid and Joan Morrish

Joan - 1926 - 2018
published in Liberator 391, August 2018



Dadabhai Naoroji

Dadabhai Naoroji

1825 - 1917
First Asian MP
published in the National Liberal Club magazine, November 2017


Brooke NelsonBrooke Nelson

1933 - 2017
Liberal, honorary Alderman
published in the Yorkshire Post, 10 June 2017



Mike OborskiMike Oborski

1946 - 2007
published in The Guardian, 5 April 2007


Ed O'DonnellEd O'Donnell

1927 - 2014
Jazz musician
published in Just Jazz, May 2014



Jerry PearlmanJerry Pearlman

1933 - 2018
published in the Yorkshire Post & Yorkshire Evening Post, 24 March 2018


Denis Pedder

Denis Pedder

1927 - 2004
published in the Yorkshire Post, 29 May 2004


Geoff PercivalRev Geoff Percival

1946 - 2009
Anglican minister and IT whizz
an appreciation, August 2009


Bill Pitt Bill Pitt

1937 - 2017
published in The Guardian, 4 December 2017

Bill Pitt

Bill Pitt

published in Liberator, January 2018


Bill Pitt

Bill Pitt

published in Journal of Liberal History, 97, Winter 2017-18


Jack PrichardJack Prichard

1915 - 2004
Labour party activist and councillor
published in the Yorkshire Post, 11 September 2004



Lord RochesterLord Rochester

1916 - 2017
Military officer and Liberal politician
published in National Liberal Club Magazine, issue 72, May 2017



schellenbergKeith Schellenberg

1929 - 2019
published in Yorkshire Post, 23 November 2019


Lord ShawMichael Shaw (Lord Shaw)

1920 - 2021
Conservative politician
published in Yorkshire Post, January 2021


sherwinDr Jeffrey Sherwin

1936 - 2018
GP, art collector, honorary Alderman
published in The Guardian, 13 February 2019 and The Jewish Chronicle, 15 February 2019


David ShuttDavid Shutt

1942 - 2020
Liberal politician
published in The Yorkshire Post, 7 November 2020

David Shutt

David Shutt

published in The Guardian, 20 January 2021


csmithSir Cyril Smith

1928 - 2010
Liberal politician
published in The Guardian, 4 September 2010


trevorsmithTrevor Smith

1937 - 2021
Academic and politician
published in The Guardian, 13 May 2021


Peter SparlingPeter Sparling

1933 - 2019
Conservative politician
published in the Yorkshire Post, 19 January 2019


Harry Swain

Harry Swain

1926 - 2000
JP, Labour politician
Letter in YEP


eric syddiqueEric Syddique

1936 - 2020
Chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society
published in NLC News 78, May 2020



Alf TallantAlf Tallant

1908 - 2003
Labour councillor
published in The Guardian, 19 September 2003


Joe Taylor

Joe Taylor

1918 - 2006
Labour councillor
published in Yorkshire Post, 17 June 2006



Jeremy Thorpe

1929 - 2014
Liberal leader
Slightly extended version of the published article in Liberator 370, February 2015


Jeremy Thorpe

Review of "A Very English Scandal", published in the Journal of Liberal History, issue 100, Autumn 2018


Geoff TordoffGeoff Tordoff

1928 - 2019
published in Liberator, September 2019

Geoff Tordoff

Geoff Tordoff

published in Journal of Liberal History, Autumn 2019



Donald WadeDonald Wade

1904 - 1988
published in The Independent, 9 November 1988


wainwright jJoyce Wainwright

1922 - 2011
published in the Leeds Liberal Democrats Newsletter, March 2011


Richard WainwrightRichard Wainwright

1918 - 2003
Liberal MP
published in The Guardian, 17 January 2003


John WalkerJohn G Walker

1912 - 2009
JP, Liberal
published in Yorkshire Post, 22 August 2009



Eric Ward

1931 - 2006
Party agent
published in Yorkshire Post, 17 June 2006


Philip Watkins Philip Watkins

1930 - 1995
Accountant and Liberal politician
published in The Independent, 5 June 1995


Donald WebsterDonald Webster

1926 - 2002
Music critic
published in The Leeds Club newsletter - The Owl, May 2002


white thPeggy White

1927 - 2013
Conservative councillor
published in The Guardian, 15 July 2013


Ray WhitelockRay Whitelock

1921 - 2008
published in Liberal Democrat News, March 2008


whithamHarry Whitham

1932 - 2015
Railwayman, wine connoisseur, musician, friend
Address at funeral service, July 2015


wigoderLord Wigoder of Cheetham

1921 - 2004
published in the Yorkshire Post, 11 September 2004


wingfield thMargaret Wingfield

1912 - 2002
published in The Guardian, 17 April 2002


woodhead thHarry Woodhead

1927 - 2017
published in Leeds NUJ Newsletter, May 2017

Michael Meadowcroft, the former West Leeds MP, pays an affectionate tribute here to Armley resident Leslie Chapman who died last month and who will be remembered as one of the community's most active and remarkable figures.

Leslie Chapman, of Aberdeen Grove, Armley, who died on 19th March aged 78, was a remarkable man. Inventor, painter, musician, electronics buff and community activist, he had a lively mind and views on every subject - often very unusual!

I first met Leslie at one of my Councillor’s surgeries at Armley Library. He was beginning a campaign against unscrupulous private landlords who were taking over terraced houses in Armley and elsewhere, converting them without planning permission into bed-sitters and circumventing rent regulations by pretending they were bed and breakfast establishments. His persistence made sure that I was not allowed to let the pressure drop, and between us we eventually had a number of successes. Somehow he always had new information as to the tactics of the landlords, both in Armley and in other parts of Leeds.

On one occasion, Yorkshire Television wanted a film of a typical surgery for an educational programme and Leslie was one of a number of constituents who agreed to take part. When the cameras rolled he proceeded to give me a much harder time than he ever did on a routine visit!

From time to time in connection with this housing campaign I visited Leslie and was amazed to see scores of beautiful landscapes in oils around the house. These had all been painted by him, mainly in the Yorkshire Dales, until in latter years his eyesight prevented him from being able to focus clearly enough for his own high standards. Apparently even the most complicated of river and woodland scenes were completed by him in a matter of hours without any detriment to the care and detail required.

He was passionately interested in music, also a participant rather than as an observer. He had played violin in the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra and, until an accident had damaged his hands, he had been an excellent pianist. A recording of him playing a Faure Ballade demonstrated a real delicacy and fluency of touch. He possessed a large record collection, plus considerable musical knowledge, and until my election to Parliament entailed my being away from Leeds too much it was a regular Sunday lunchtime treat to visit Leslie and listen to some unusual piece of music, perhaps connected to the Faust legend to which he had a particular attachment.

Leslie Chapman had always had an alert interest in scientific developments and had been involved in a number of innovations. He claimed to have been responsible for the idea of automatic traffic signals which were first installed at the junction of Park Row and Bond Street in 1928. He worked with John Logie Baird at Scarborough on the experiments which led to the development of television. He also tried to patent a number of inventions, including a gyroscope which, if installed in tankers, would prevent them from overturning. In recent years he had taken up micro electronics and made automatic light sensitive switches for use in securing premises.

In common with many remarkable individuals he had a difficult side to his personality, and there were areas of his life that he preferred to close off completely to outsiders. Sometimes he could seem very awkward but he would always respond to a request for help from a friend - particularly if it involved demonstrating his practical or technical skills! We have lost a member of the Armley community who had a multitude of skills and was a genuine character.

George CunninghamGeorge Cunningham was an active member of the National Liberal Club taking advantage of the welcome given to members of the SDP following its alliance with the Liberal Party in 1983. George was a member of the General Committee and served as the Club's Honorary Librarian only giving up the task in frustration at not being able to get agreement to clear out the dross from the library's shelves to make way for Liberal reference material.

George had been a Labour MP from 1970 with a safe seat in Islington but became one of the moderate Labour MPs targeted by the Bennite left faction. When he was re-selected for his Islington South and Finsbury seat by just five votes in November 1981 he said that it was time to end the distraction of having to deal with internal disputes. He then resigned from the Labour party and sat as an Independent Labour MP until he joined the SDP in June 1982 as one of its last recruits. He was always a shrewd and effective Member of Parliament with a mastery of parliamentary procedure. This enabled him to persuade a majority of the House of Commons to support an amendment to the 1978 Scotland Act providing that for a majority vote in the 1979 referendum on establishing a devolved assembly for Scotland to be effective it would have to achieve at least 40% of the electorate. Despite the vote being won by 52% to 48% it failed to reach the 40% threshold and therefore failed. It is a pity that a similar clause was not inserted into the 2015 Referendum Act!

He came within 363 votes of holding his seat in 1983 as an SDP candidate and also failed narrowly in 1987, losing by 805 votes. He was a great bibliophile and had what was therefore the highly congenial post of Chief Executive of the Library Association from 1984 to 1992. George was a very convivial member of the Club until his attendances became less frequent following the advance of Alzheimer's Disease.

George Cunningham, 10 June 1931 - 27 July 2018
Hon Librarian NLC, 1999-2004

Julian CumminsJulian Cummins, who died on Sunday aged 52, was one of life's great enthusiasts. There were no half measures about him. Julian embraced many widely different causes and launched himself into them all with great passion. Ethical businessman, committed Liberal, Anglican priest, Territorial Army Officer, adopted Yorkshireman - every role appeared to demand his full attention.

Julian Cummins was congenitally incapable of sitting on the sidelines, which meant that his friends and colleagues were often taken unawares by a change of direction. Having managed to become accustomed to one commitment they would find Julian had moved on. Not that he completely abandoned any previous role - he simply grafted the new onto the essence of the old, so that Julian the businessman became Julian the priest but with a concentration on ethical business. Furthermore he could never quite understand why the occasionally bewildered colleague couldn't keep up with changes which to Julian were perfectly obvious.

Julian Cummins was born in North Wales and sent to Wellington College from where he went on to King's College, Cambridge. At university he was active in the Union of Liberal Students and wrote for Liberator, the radical Liberal magazine. Typically, he contested the Newnham ward for the Cambridge City Council in 1976 at the tender age of 21. His MA was followed by an MBA and, later, a Ph.D.

He was briefly employed by Proctor and Gamble but soon went to York to work for Terrys. Once again he threw himself in to political activity and contested the Knavesmire ward in 1978. A brief essay into the world of printing convinced Julian that his talent was more for supporting and enabling others. This entailed a move to Leeds and the launching in 1981 of his Avista marketing and public relations company, based in Yeadon.

He was elected to Leeds City Council for the Horsforth ward in 1982 and re-elected in 1986 but business commitments forced him to stand down on 1990. He was the Liberal Alliance candidate for the Pudsey constituency in the 1983 and 1987 general elections, coming second each time without making a great impression on the Conservative majority. He remained a Vice-President of Yorkshire and Humberside Liberal Democrats.

After fifteen years of frontline marketing work at Avista, Julian abruptly changed direction and entered the Anglican ministry, being ordained in 1997. He served as a non-stipendiary curate in Lower Wharfedale from 1997 to 2001 and then as an Assistant Priest at St Peter's, Bramley. His wife, Daphne, had also been ordained and became the Rector of Stanningley. In 2006 he also took on responsibility for "Yorkshire Church on Show" which promoted the gospel at the Great Yorkshire Show each year.

Following his ordination Julian's new sphere of political activity became the Yorkshire and Humberside region. In 1998 he became a board member of Yorkshire Forward and, later, chairman of its Scrutiny Committee. He became a representative of the faith communities on the Yorkshire and Humberside Assembly and chair of its "Quality of Life Commission." In 1999, with Ian Stubbs, he wrote the booklet "Investors in People in the Church." During John Prescott's ill-fated attempt to create elected regional assemblies, Julian became the chair of "Yes4Yorkshire", the campaign for a regional assembly. When the opposition and apathy of the voters at the first referendum in the north-east killed off the whole Prescott initiative, Julian commented ruefully that the government's plans lacked enough substance to inspire anyone.

At the May 2003 Leeds City Council elections he stood for the Liberal Democrats in the Bramley ward, coming a relatively close second to the Labour candidate. However, any prospect of continuing to nurse the ward was ended by a serious brain haemorrhage which threatened his life. Typically he refused to regard this experience as a deterrent to his religious and political life and made a remarkable recovery. He had always continued with his Territorial Army career, reaching the rank of Major. By 2006 he felt sufficiently fit to contemplate active service abroad.

A keen sailor Julian went to Majorca last weekend with a friend to work on his boat "Alcuin". Within hours of arriving on the island he suffered a seizure from which he failed to recover.

With his deep religious convictions and his military commitment, Julian Cummins was somewhat different to those in the mainstream of recent Liberal politics but he took the inevitable good natured teasing in his stride. His innate Liberalism was never doubted and he was a popular and respected member of the regional Liberal Democrat leadership.

Rev Dr Julian Cummins, born 29 January 1955, died 11 February 2007. He is survived by his wife, Rev Dr Daphne Green, and by his two daughters, Olivia and Caroline.

Paddy Crotty"Paddy" Crotty - as he was known to friend and foe alike - was a most unusual Conservative. Motivated above all by a passionate belief that education could be the means of unlocking the future for every child, and of equalising opportunity, he saw political parties and his membership of the Leeds City Council purely as the means of making that belief influential. Political preferment was regarded by Paddy as a way of increasing that influence rather than as satisfying some political ambition - indeed he would disarmingly confess that he was not really a politician at all. An excellent debater, he would from time to time respond to the Conservative leadership's pleas to speak in the city council on other issues but he found it difficult to be sufficiently adversarial, and he often only did it to keep colleagues sweet after he had committed them to yet another progressive educational innovation.

Although he had many other interests, not least a keen love of music, his whole political career was centred around his membership of the education committee, school governing boards, head teachers' interviewing panels, and many regional and national academic bodies. Until the increasingly hegemonic party attitudes of the 1980s began to affect Leeds, Paddy Crotty's influence ensured that there was enough bi-partisanship on the education committee to enable members from all parties to play a worthwhile role in the service - so much so that the party whips would grumble amongst themselves that there was a fourth party, the Education Party. Being very much at home with children, it seemed as if he made up for having none himself by ensuring he had the largest family possible.

At the time of the June 1970 general election, Leeds secondary education reorganisation, on a non-selective basis, had completed all its local stages and was awaiting ministerial approval. Margaret Thatcher became Secretary of State for Education, and Paddy, as Committee Chairman, confided that he had virtually camped out on her doorstep to ensure she signed the necessary papers before his local Conservative Group meeting "otherwise they would have gone back on comprehensive education." Never bothered about personal status he lived in a unostentatious Leeds suburb and opposed a proposal to name a school after him.

Unlike some of his party colleagues who support anti-racism but are reluctant activists, Paddy Crotty was a keen supporter of community relations initiatives and was to be seen in the forefront of Anti Nazi League marches in the 1970s. When the Leeds City Council decided to rename the gardens in front of the Civic Hall in honour of Nelson Mandela, the Conservative Group, believing it to be a political gimmick, boycotted the Council meeting that approved the decision. Paddy refused to follow the Group's instructions and sat in solitary splendour on the Tory benches in order to cast his vote for the proposal alongside the Labour and Liberal groups. He once happily agreed with me that had he first become interested in politics at a time when the Liberal party was more prominent, unlike the late 1940s, he would probably have joined that party. Unsurprisingly, given the loose rein they had to allow him, he saw no reason to leave the Conservatives.

First elected to the City Council in 1949, he served until his death with only a break between 1954 and 1959. He was Lord Mayor in 1981-82 and was awarded the OBE in 1972. A firm Roman Catholic he became a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory in 1982. A lawyer by training his political activities constrained his legal work. Being concerned to be fair to his professional colleagues he eventually had an arrangement which reduced his commitment to his firm of solicitors. In the 1980s, however, being typically overtrusting, a colleague's unfortunate actions left him in considerable financial difficulties from which he was partially rescued by friends.

Patrick Crotty, lawyer and Conservative politician, born, Leeds, 1920, married Joan, died 23 January 1995.

Ken ColyerKen Colyer had been seriously ill a sufficient number of times for us to believe he would simply continue indestructibly. Ken and his music have been part and parcel of the British jazz scene for almost forty years and it was too easy to take for granted his occasional forays to regular jazz haunts around the country. The key thing about the music was not only its consistency but also its capacity to suprise.

New Orleans style jazz has not always been well served by its imitators but Ken played it authentically rather than as a copyist. Whether during the early 1960s trad boom or in the leaner years thereafter Ken sought to apply that distinctive ensemble style to a wider repertoire of tunes than many of his hearers approved of. The old trad war horses were there, although never belted out raucously, but so were beautiful melodies by Arlen and Kern. In my opinion his best album is the 1958 Decca "Colyer Plays Standards", in which a number of unexpected tunes are given the New Orleans treatment with typical Colyer charm and warmth.

The other distinctive contribution to British jazz than Ken Colyer made was his enthusiasm for ragtime. Piano rags are popular enough, thanks not least to the belated publicity given to Scott Joplin by the film "The Sting", but few bands tackled the difficult task of translating them into ensemble form. Ken and his colleagues accomplished this with immense skill. It is appropriate that many of these rags are on a current series of re-issues of his records.

For jazz enthusiasts of my generation Ken Colyer was a glamorous figure. This was because of the story of his rejoining the Merchant Navy for the purposes of going to New Orleans, via Capetown, Port Sudan, Zanzibar, St Helena, the Pitcairn Islands, Auckland, Panama and Mobile, where he jumped ship and headed south to the home of jazz. Having arrived there he played and recorded with many of the jazz pioneers of New Orleans, outstayed his permit and was put in gaol and, thirty eight days later, deported. Ken's shyness and lack of conformity to the extrovert bandleader style added a certain air of mystery to his reputation.

It is a tribute to Ken Colyer's belief in his music and to his perserverance that there is today a continuing lively British interest in New Orleans jazz, including some of us who still try to play it - with far less expertise than he did.

Ken Colyer, Jazz musician, born 19 April 1928, died 10 March 1988.

Stanley CohenStanley Cohen, who has died aged 76 in St James's Hospital, Leeds, after a short illness, was a member of Leeds City Council for nineteen years and a Leeds Member of Parliament for thirteen years. By occupation he was a railway clerk and by religion a practising Roman Catholic. His name often gave rise to confusion over his religious affiliation and he took great delight in explaining the origin of the Irish Cohens.

Born and bred in Leeds he became the youngest councillor in his native city in 1952 at the age of 24. In 1968 the Conservatives swept the board at the municipal elections, finishing with 101 out of 120 members of the council. Despite his long service in a ward with a substantial catholic vote, and which was thought to be a rock solid Labour seat, Stan Cohen was amongst the Labour casualties. However his father in law, John Rafferty, had been nominated as Lord Mayor - a position which at the time could be held without being a councillor or an alderman - and he negotiated an aldermanic seat for Stan Cohen in place of his own strong claim. Rafferty thus became the last ever person to be Lord Mayor without being otherwise a member of the council and Cohen continued.

At the general election two years later Stan Cohen succeeded Alice Bacon as Labour MP for Leeds South East and became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Harold Walker in the Department of Employment in 1976, and to Gordon Oakes in the Department of Education and Science from 1977 to 1979.

Cohen's hold on his parliamentary seat became increasingly vulnerable, first because boundary changes opened up the selection process, and left-winger Derek Fatchett began to canvass for trade union and party support for the nomination, and, second, because Cohen got embroiled in press reports that he intended to follow fellow Transport and Salaried Staffs Association MP Tom Bradley into the SDP. The truth was somewhat complicated. He was certainly approached by David Owen and Shirley Williams, who were well aware of his pro-Europe views and his opposition to unilateral nuclear disarmament, which, together with his complete opposition to abortion, had brought him into sharp conflict with his constituency party. However, he turned down the invitation and continued as a Labour MP. The rumours of an imminent move to the SDP persisted, however, and in February 1982 he was deselected in favour of Fatchett. Cohen, who was also struggling with alcohol problems, went quietly and with honour and did not make any appeal to the Labour hierarchy. He returned to his work on the railways for a short time before taking early retirement.

Stanley Cohen, railwayman and politician, born 31 July 1927, died 23 February 2004. Married to Brenda Rafferty; three sons and one daughter.

Yorkshire Post obituary

Maggie ClayMaggie Clay, who has died suddenly at her home in Stockport, was a popular and respected Leeds Councillor. She represented Burmantofts for ten years on the City Council, 1978-80 and 1982-89, and for five years on the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council from 1981 until its demise in 1986.

She first fought the ward at a by-election in August 1973. It was one of the safest Labour seats in Leeds with over 20,000 electors and no Liberal tradition. Not surprisingly it took her five attempts before she won the seat. She was very dogged and, in fact, she fought an election at one level or another in Leeds for ten consecutive years. Maggie Clay always lived in the ward and believed strongly that it was important to share the life of the electors one represented. At that time she was also very much associated with St Agnes Church in Shakespeare Close, Burmantofts. She was awarded the CBE in 1989, when she retired from Leeds City Council.

Maggie Clay contested the Leeds South-East parliamentary seat three times unsuccessfully against Labour MP, Stan Cohen, and then, when the boundaries were altered, she fought Denis Healey in Leeds East in 1983 and 1987.

Born in April 1947 she was brought up in Sussex and went to university in Sheffield and Leeds. At the latter she became a careers' adviser which was her paid employment until she went to work for the Association of Liberal Councillors based in Hebden Bridge. This latter post took her across the country assisting Liberal councillors and she became one of the most popular national party officials.

The tensions associated with holding the ALC together during the years of the Alliance between the Liberal Party and the SDP, and during the merger negotiating period, plus coping with a massive City Council load in Leeds, took their toll and she suffered from a stress related illness which required her to abandon the political scene and she moved to Bishops Castle in Shropshire where she opened an organic food shop. This was somewhat ahead of its time and Maggie Clay and the shop struggled to survive. Eventually she went to work for Age Concern in Manchester and began to be active once again in the party.

She was elected to the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in 2004 and quickly took on key roles, including Deputy Leader and the Executive Member for Adults and Health. She also represented the council on a number of Stockport and Greater Manchester bodies. In recent months she had been more relaxed and effervescent than for some time and her death was a great shock and loss to her many friends and colleagues.

Margaret Grace Clay, 13 April 1947 to 2 April 2009

Liberal Democrat News obituary

Maggie ClayMaggie Clay, who has died suddenly at her home in Hazel Grove, was one of the best known and most popular Liberals and Liberal Democrats in Britain. Her role as General Secretary of the Association of Liberal Councillor took her round the country and she was liked and respected by everyone she met.

In mid 1973 a council by-election occurred in one of safest Labour seats in Leeds. Burmantofts ward had over 20,000 electors and had had just two Liberal candidates in its forty years existence. There were no known Liberals in the ward and I asked a teacher friend who taught in the ward if she knew of anyone who was clearly a Liberal who would make a good candidate. She mentioned a friend who was involved in community work at a local church and introduced me forthwith. Thus I met Maggie Clay - the best candidate I ever found. She insisted on the luxury of having two days to think it over before saying "yes." I think those were the only two days rest she got for the next twenty years or so!

It took Maggie five attempts before she took the seat and, in fact, she fought an election at one level or another in Leeds for ten consecutive years. She was awarded the CBE in 1989, when she retired from Leeds City Council.

Born in April 1947 she was brought up in Sussex and went to university in Sheffield and Leeds. At the latter she became a careers' adviser which was her paid employment until she went to work for the Association of Liberal Councillors in Hebden Bridge.

The tensions associated with holding the ALC together during the Alliance years and the merger negotiating period, plus coping with a massive City Council load in Leeds, took their toll and Maggie suffered from a stress related illness which required her to abandon the political scene and she went to Bishops Castle in Shropshire where she opened an organic food shop. This was somewhat ahead of its time and Maggie and the shop struggled to survive. Eventually she went to work for Age Concern in Manchester and began to be active once again in the party.

She was elected to the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in 2004 and quickly took on key roles, including Deputy Leader and the Executive Member for Adults and Health. In recent months she had been more relaxed and effervescent than for some time and her death is a great shock and loss to her many friends and colleagues.

Margaret Grace Clay, 13 April 1947 to 2 April 2009

See also The Guardian.

Liberator obituary

Pratap ChitnisPratap Chitnis, who has died aged 77 of cancer after a short illness, was a Liberal strategist, a radical member of the House of Lords and a highly effective chief executive of a Quaker trust. He had more influence on British politics than was apparent at the time. He was always more interested in putting ideas into practice than in spending time formulating them - though it should not be thought, as has been suggested, that he was uninterested in policy and values. In fact he was deeply concerned about social values at home and about repression abroad. Every speech of his in the House of Lords and the whole thrust of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust's work during his twenty years as Chief Executive, was designed to diminish inequality, to protect vulnerable individuals and to ensure that the political dispossessed achieved political influence.

It was because he had a fine mind, which saw quickly the political machinations required to implement policy, that he became highly impatient with the often interminable Liberal party processes. On one occasion, when he was Chief Executive if the Liberal Party, he got fed up with the then Chief Agent, Ted Wheeler, who used to regale the daily staff meeting with lengthy and somewhat idiosyncratic reports of his latest foray into the constituencies, and Pratap scribbled a note to me: "you can always tell someone with a weak mind - he always has to tell you where he was last night."

Pratap Chitnis was also a very conservative Roman Catholic. The path to this was itself somewhat curious. Born in London, of Anglo-Indian parentage, at the outbreak of war in 1939, at the age of three, he was sent away from London into the care of nuns. From there he went to Stonyhurst, near Blackburn, the Jesuit college. It is said that these decisions had their roots in his French maternal grandmother - Jeanne Marie Rey - every other close relation being Hindu. His education certainly had a deep effect on Chitnis. and he was thereafter a deeply religious man, particularly so following his retirement to a Provençal village.

He deplored the decision to promote the mass in the vernacular, believing that the Latin mass ensured that a believer anywhere in the world would be "at home" with the service. He saw no intellectual problem in being by faith a conservative catholic and by politics a radical social Liberal, and he welcomed the radical encyclicals which underpinned his beliefs. He was also ready to respond to the unofficial Catholic "whip" issued by the Duke of Norfolk on matters influenced by Catholic doctrine.

Until his involvement with the Liberal Party began in 1959, Chitnis followed no consistent path. He read English at Birmingham University, followed by a master's degree in English literature at Kansas University - with a published thesis on "Chaucer's Conception of Tragedy"! He then worked as an economist at the National Coal Board, during which time he attended a Liberal rally at the Royal Albert Hall. Even in the party's dark days it could fill huge halls with rallies of the faithful and this event was no exception. Chitnis was impressed by Jo Grimond's speech but he was even more amazed that a party he thought dead and buried could pack the Albert Hall, so much so that he joined it.

He did, however, have a family link with Liberalism through his maternal grandfather, Manmatha Chandra Mallik, who was twice a Liberal candidate, in the 1906 and December 1910 elections. He was also a member of the National Liberal Club from 1884.

Chitnis' local party was that of the St Marylebone Borough and he was immediately enlisted as a local election candidate in the 1959 May elections. The St John's Wood Terrace ward returned five councillors. The Liberals finished third, with Chitnis the bottom Liberal and, therefore, fifteenth and last, with precisely 98 votes. It was his first and last candidature! Four months later he was the full-time agent for the Liberal candidate, Michael Hydleman, in the South Kensington constituency at the general election. The presence of Sir Oswald Mosley as a fascist candidate made it a more significant constituency than it would otherwise have been. Hydleman was Jewish and Chitnis visibly of an Indian background. They tackled the Mosley presence head on and were duly met with an unpleasant and sometimes violent response. He was later a witness when Mosley's agent was charged with assault - and was awarded damages.

After the 1959 general election there were those in the Liberal Party, particularly Richard Wainwright, who believed that there needed to be a much greater emphasis on local elections and that it was crucial for party headquarters to take the lead in advising and supporting local campaigns and local councillors. Early in 1960 Pratap Chitnis was appointed as the party's first local government officer. He set about tracking down every Liberal municipal representative so that they could be mailed regularly and visited occasionally. This was less simple than it sounds. For instance, Stamford Borough, where there was little Liberal campaigning, was listed as having one Liberal. Eventually it was ascertained by contacting the local press using the devious pseudonym of the "Municipal Research Association", that Alderman E S Bowman sat as a Liberal! The unfortunate elderly alderman was thereafter in regular receipt of mailings urging him to take direct action on a range of local issues.

The work of the department rapidly expanded and in February 1962 I joined Chitnis as his assistant. He had already been appointed as the Liberal agent for the promising by-election in Orpington. He took me to three meetings in the London to show me "what we do" and announced that he was forthwith departing to Orpington. He never came back to the local government department.

His role at the by-election was crucial. He designed and implemented an organisational master plan, with the basic day-to-day organisation delegated to three full-time sub-agents and took key strategic decisions, such as keeping the inexperienced candidate, Eric Lubbock, off three-party media events when the highly articulate Conservative candidate, Peter Goldman, was included. In addition he was decisive in grasping unexpected opportunities. When the Daily Mail gave him advance information that its National Opinion Poll appearing on polling day would show the Liberals narrowly ahead, he bought nine thousand copies and had them distributed to the commuters at all the railway stations in the constituency. All this, plus the party's strong local government record in Orpington, ensured that the Labour vote collapsed and that the party had a massive majority. Chitnis once told me that he had overspent the legal limit threefold!

The effect of this result was devastating for the Conservative government and the party was determined to capitalise on it. It immediately appointed Chitnis as the party's training officer and, two years later, as its press officer. Finally, in 1966, he was appointed the party's Chief Executive. He was immediately faced with Jo Grimond's determination to resign as party leader. Though influential with Grimond - who wrote that he had early recognised his skills and "clung on" to him - Chitnis tried and failed to persuade him to stay.

One of Chitnis' ideas was to hold the party assembly in new venues. The Isle of Man was looked at, but it was pointed out that to have a Liberal conference in a place that still birched young offenders was probably not a good idea. He then turned to Scheveningen in the Netherlands, with the idea of demonstrating the party's enthusiasm for a united Europe. Unfortunately the party was advised that it was probably illegal to hold its AGM outside the UK!

The election of Jeremy Thorpe as party leader marked the beginning of the end of Chitnis' involvement at the heart of the organisation. With a few others, including Tim Beaumont, Gruffydd Evans, Geoff Tordoff and myself, he was involved in a vain attempt to stop him becoming leader, not on any grounds connected with the barely known relationship with Norman Scott, but because of a view that Thorpe had little intellectual depth and also because he had a tendency to interfere in party affairs without the authority to do so. Unlike David Steel later, who had no ongoing antipathy to those who had voted for his opponent, John Pardoe, Thorpe never forgave those who had opposed him. Pratap Chitnis' position as the head of the party's organisation became increasingly uncomfortable. In addition the party failed to follow his advice that cuts in the party's organisation were required in order to deal with the financial deficit, and, in October 1969, he resigned.

Chitnis was immediately snapped up by the Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust (now the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust) in York as its first professional head, with Richard Wainwright again being influential as a trustee, and he thus began the second phase of his political effectiveness. It was an ideal appointment which enabled him to influence public policy following discussion with a small powerful group of trustess, including Jo Grimond, rather than having to go through the party debates.

He has been described as "self-effacing" but this was not the case. A very private person, yes, but he was always happy to be known as the author of a particular policy or tactic. His marriage in 1964 to Anne Brand, an employee at Liberal headquarters, came rather out of the blue but it delighted their colleagues and friends. Their son, Simon, was born in 1966. He was a bright, intelligent boy and it was a huge blow when he developed a brain tumour. What was even worse was that after being operated on by Leeds neurosurgeon, Myles Gibson, Simon would recover only to relapse again some time later. Eventually he died in 1974.

Before Chitnis' arrival at the Trust it had pursued progressive political causes but he made it into a much more proactive and often controversial body. It put its efforts into peacemaking in Northern Ireland and I was sent incognito to establish relations with liberation movements in Namibia, the then Rhodesia, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique to assist them to provide administration and services in the areas that they had liberated. This work was the cause of a bomb arriving by post at the Trust's York office. Fortunately it didn't go off.

He and I occasionally went together to Northern Ireland. When stopped in an army road bloc, Pratap commented to the soldier searching our hired car that he probably looked like the least likely terrorist he had come across. The soldier replied amiably, "I was just saying that to my colleague," as he carried on. On another occasion we drove to the Divis Street flats but soon called off any calls there as youths on the roof started throwing bricks at us. We also went down the Falls Road to observe the funeral of a leading IRA member. In the huge procession were children in uniform; Pratap remarked that he was surprised that Cubs and Brownies were involved, only to realise that they were part of a junior IRA.

He was also now in charge of the grants to the Liberal party and he was able to avoid significant funding going in ways which could be influenced by Thorpe. He was also instrumental in the introduction of the so-called "chocolate soldiers" whereby bright young assistants were attached to parliamentarians. The scheme was later taken over by the government. Being conscious that many radical groups needed but couldn't afford a London base, he got the Trust to buy a large building in Poland Street in Soho and to provide space to a host of worthy groups.

Also at this time Chitnis became a member of the Community Relations Commission, from 1970 to 1977 and of the BBC Asian Programme Advice Committee, 1972 to 1977. These appointments enabled him to claim publicly when made a Life Peer in 1977 that it was for his services to race relations and to sit on the cross benches, even though the peerage was part of the Liberal party allocation.

During his first ten years in the Lords he created a third political career as a defender of human rights, liberal immigration policies and, above all, as an outspoken opponent of authoritarian regimes that manipulated elections. He went on election monitoring missions to El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, and attempted to go to Guyana in 1986, only to be refused a visa by the regime. He therefore based himself in Trinidad and interviewed officials of the opposition there! He also went to monitor the Rhodesian election of 1979, run by Bishop Muzorewa and Rev Sithole. He travelled around the country and took direct evidence from those intimidated and assaulted by the regime. All the other monitoring bodies gave the election a favourable judgement but Chitnis condemned it in forthright terms, calling it "a gigantic confidence trick."

He had let his Liberal Party membership lapse in 1969 but when Jeremy Thorpe was finally forced to resign he was instrumental in persuading Jo Grimond temporarily to become leader again until a successor could be elected. Then when David Steel was elected leader, Chitnis became one of his advisers, particularly assisting with his election tours. He also advised Steel during the Lib-Lab Pact of 1977-78 and during the negotiations that led to the Liberal-SDP Alliance in 1981.

He retired from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust in 1988 and moved to France with Anne to bury himself in Provence growing olives and attending daily mass. He took leave of absence from the House of Lords and disappointed his many friends and colleagues by virtually cutting himself off from political and social affairs and was sadly missed over the past twenty-five years.

Pratap Chidamber Chitnis, Lord Chitnis, born 1 May 1936; died 12 July 2013. He is survived by his wife Anne.