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Alexander Ward Lyon (15 October 1931 – 30 September 1993) was a British Labour politician.

Alex Lyon
Member of Parliament
for York
In office
31 March 1966 – 9 June 1983
Preceded byCharles Longbottom
Succeeded byConal Gregory
Personal details
Alexander Ward Lyon

(1931-10-15)15 October 1931
Died30 September 1993(1993-09-30) (aged 61)
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England
Political partyLabour
Clare Short (m. 1981)


Early lifeEdit

Lyon was educated at West Leeds High School and University College, London. He became a barrister, called to the Bar at Inner Temple in 1954. He was a member of the Bar Council and of the Fabian Society. He was also a Methodist local preacher and secretary of Leeds North West Constituency Labour Party.

Political careerEdit

Lyon was elected Member of Parliament for the marginal City of York in 1966, having first fought the seat in 1964. He was Minister of State at the Home Office, March 1974 – April 1976, but, as a radical, was sacked by Jim Callaghan.

In 1971 Lyon introduced the United Reformed Church Bill, which became the act which created the United Reformed Church from a union of Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches in England and Wales.

In 1981 he tried to amend a Finance Bill to allow those with a "conscientious objection to paying for expenditure on defence" to pay the military part of their taxes to the then Ministry of Overseas Development.

He was defeated in the 1983 General Election by the Conservative Conal Gregory.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1981, Lyon married Clare Short, a civil servant who he had worked with whilst at the Home Office. Short herself later became a Labour MP and cabinet minister, winning Birmingham Ladywood for the first time on the same day Lyon lost his seat.

In 1993, Clare Short was called away from the Labour party conference to say her husband was very ill and likely to die. Clare said, "after losing his parliamentary seat, he moved from being a senior Labour MP to running my constituency office where he gave me enormous support as well as bringing great experience to the task. Later he decided to return to the Bar, but after a time got himself into various difficulties and I began to suspect that either he was suffering a deep depression or mental deterioration. The next few years were very difficult as he engaged in strange, inexplicable behaviour. He gradually fell out with family and friends and stayed home with our St Bernard called Fred and would deal with no one but Fred and me."[1]

He died in Milton Keynes[2] in 1993 from Alzheimer's disease, aged 61.

He had two sons, Marcus and Adrian, and a daughter, Rebecca, from a previous marriage.


  1. ^ An Honourable Deception by Clare Short
  2. ^ Deaths England and Wales 1984-2006

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Longbottom
Member of Parliament for York
Succeeded by
Conal Gregory