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Derek John Fatchett (22 August 1945 – 9 May 1999) was a British politician. He became Member of Parliament for Leeds Central in 1983 and was a member of the Labour Party. He was Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Foreign Secretary) from 1997 to 1999.[1]


Derek Fatchett
Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia
In office
5 May 1997 – 9 May 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byGeoff Hoon
Member of Parliament
for Leeds Central
In office
9 June 1983 – 9 May 1999
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byHilary Benn
Personal details
Born(1945-08-22)22 August 1945
Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Died9 May 1999(1999-05-09) (aged 53)
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Anita Bridgens Oakes
Alma materUniversity of Leeds, London School of Economics, University of Birmingham

Early lifeEdit

Born in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, Fatchett was the son of a painter and decorator. His grandfather was a trade union official. He attended the all-male grammar school, Lincoln School and then the University of Birmingham where he studied Law, graduating in 1966. Fatchett joined the Labour Party in 1964. At the LSE he took an MSc in 1968 where he joined in student demonstrations. He was more left-wing in his younger days but became more centre-left when an MP, leaving the Campaign Group in 1985.

Fatchett was a councillor on Wakefield Metropolitan Council from 1980-4. He became a lecturer in Industrial Relations (now known as Work and Employment Relations) at the University of Leeds in 1971, staying there until he became an MP, which he was nominated for at the expense of Stanley Cohen, who wanted to join the SDP.

Parliamentary careerEdit

He contested the Bosworth seat in Leicestershire in 1979.

After Labour's 1997 election victory, he was soon made a Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.[2]

Derek Fatchett died suddenly on the night of 9 May 1999 (aged 53), from a massive heart attack after collapsing whilst relaxing with his wife and close friend Colin Crane in a Wakefield pub. His death prevented him for reaching higher office which was predicted with rumours in political circles citing him as a future Defence or Northern Ireland Secretary. The by-election for his seat was won by Hilary Benn.

Personal lifeEdit

He married Anita Oakes in Birmingham on 12 April 1969 and had two sons, Brendan and Gareth. He lived in Wakefield. His interest outside politics included cricket and football (he was a WBA supporter). He was very open to new technology, touring a number of computer facilities in the UK, beginning with an Apple Lisa, the computer that pre-dated the Apple Mac, iPhone and iPad revolutions.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-derek-fatchett-1092862.html
  2. ^ White, Michael (11 May 1999). "FO minister Derek Fatchett dies after drinks in local". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2019.