Bert Hazell

Bertie Hazell
British Member of Parliament
In office
Preceded by Edwin Gooch
Succeeded by Ralph Howell
Constituency North Norfolk
Personal details
Born (1907-04-18)18 April 1907
Attleborough, Norfolk, England
Died 11 January 2009(2009-01-11) (aged 101)
York, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Dora Anna Barham
Children Pat (daughter)
Occupation President of the National Union of Agricultural Workers

Bertie Hazell, CBE (18 April 1907 – 11 January 2009), also known as Bert Hazell, was a British Labour Party politician and trade union activist.

The son of a Norfolk farm worker, he left school at 14 to work on a farm in Wymondham, where his duties included scaring crows. When agricultural wages slumped after the First World War sparking the Norfolk farm workers' strike in 1923, Hazell became active in the National Union of Agricultural Workers. He worked as a district organiser for the NUAW, 1937–1964.

He unsuccessfully contested the safe Tory parliamentary seat of Barkston Ash in Yorkshire in the 1945 and 1950 elections, before returning to Norfolk to help North Norfolk Labour MP Edwin Gooch. In 1945 he came within 116 votes of victory in Barkston Ash.

He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for North Norfolk in 1964 by just 53 votes. The constituency was unusual in being an agricultural seat electing Labour MPs since 1945, owing to a history of organised agricultural trade unionism and a working-class rural Labour vote in Norfolk at the time, very atypical of the rest of the country. He was re-elected in 1966, when his majority was 737 votes. He lost his seat at the 1970 general election to the Conservative Ralph Howell who held the seat for 27 years. Subsequently Labour have never regained Norfolk North, and were relegated to third place when the Liberal Democrats gained the seat in 2001.

As president of the NUAW for 10 years until he retired in 1978, Hazell devoted nearly 60 years to the cause of agricultural workers. He had a lengthy career in the health service including as chair of York Health Authority in the 1980s.

Hazell was made an MBE for services to agriculture in 1946 and a CBE for services as chairman of the regional board for industry in 1962.

Hazell, who reached his 100th birthday in April 2007, was the second longest-living MP in British history; only Theodore Cooke Taylor lived longer, beating Hazell in the longevity stakes by around six months. On 6 November 2008 he overtook the late Lord Shinwell's record as the longest-living former MP of recent times.[1] Upon Hazell's death, James Allason became the oldest living former MP.

He died on 11 January 2009, aged 101. He was three months short of his 102nd birthday.

See also


  1. "The longest life in politics". The Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2008, p. 6.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edwin Gooch
Member of Parliament for North Norfolk
Succeeded by
Ralph Howell
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Edwin Gooch
President of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers
Succeeded by
John Hose
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