Lyon, Alexander Ward, MP

Barrister andLeeds local preacher, born on 15 October 1931 at Osmondthorpe, Leeds of Methodist parentage. He attended University College, London. Called to the Bar in 1954, he made his reputation on the north-east circuit. He was Labour MP for York 1966-1983 and an outspoken opponent of Enoch Powells anti-immigrant policy. He was successively parliamentary secretary at the Treasury and opposition spokesman on African and then home affairs, and, it has been claimed, was one of the most able government ministers of his generation. He left the Labour front bench after voting against the party line on entry into the EEC and on housing; but was then given responsibility by Harold Wilson for race relations and immigration policy at the Home Office. In 1978 he succeeded Lord Foot as chairman of the UK Immigrants Advisory Service. He was Vice-Chairman of the British Council of Churches Board for Social Responsibility 1970-1974. Suffering from muscular dystrophy from 1983, he died at Newport Pagnell on 30 September 1993.

  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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