Leeds MPs

FATCHETT, Derek John (1945–1999) Labour. Lecturer.

He was a lecturer in Industrial Relations at the University of Leeds from 1971–1983. Although he began life as a quasi-Marxist, he gradually moved to a more centrist position arguing that the modernising reforms of Neil Kinncok were needed and that the party should base itself on Margaret Thatcher’s model when she turned the Conservatives from ‘an anti-ideas party into an ideas party’. He stood unsuccessfully for Bosworth in 1979, saying he had managed to ‘turn what was then a marginal Conservative seat into a safe Conservative seat’. He was, however, successful in 1983 for Leeds Central and held it until his death. Appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1997 when Labour was swept to power, he proved an effective minister tackling the complex international issues of Kosovo, Indonesia and the Middle East. Although he had an ardent desire to break down the rigid and entrenched structures of the Foreign Office, his first love was home affairs and his untimely death may well have prevented him being appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Security. For further reading The Independent, 11 May 1999.