24 April 2014, The Tablet

An Unexpected MP: confessions of a political gossip

by Jerry Hayes

Devotion to duty

Reviewed by Paul RoutledgeBITEBACK, 320pp, £18.99 Tablet bookshop price £17.10 Tel 01420 592974 Jerry Hayes, perhaps the only Catholic to have his confession heard in the snooker room of the Savile Club, was one of the most clubbable Tory MPs in the bleak Thatcher/ Major years. Excitable, indiscreet, bibulous, a nightmare for the government whips, he belonged to a bygone age even then. Hayes stunned observers by taking the new town constituency of Harlow, Essex, from long-standing Labour left-winger Stan Newens in Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 “khaki” post-Falklands War election. An MP for 14 years, he scraped into the ministerial ranks of the Northern Ireland Office before being defenestrated by the voters in Tony Blair’s first landslide. But it’s as
Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login