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Stephen Thomas Swingler, PC (2 March 1915 – 19 February 1969)[1] was a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1945 to 1950, and from 1951 to 1969.

Swingler was the son of Rev. H. Swingler, and was educated at Stowe and New College, Oxford, where he took a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1936). Before entering politics he was a lecturer in adult education for the Workers' Educational Association.[2] He served as a Captain in the Royal Armoured Corps from 1941 to 1945. Under the name 'Thomas Stevens', he wrote books including 'Outline of Political Thought since the French Revolution' (1939) and 'Army Education' (1941).[3]

In the Labour landslide at the 1945 general election, he was elected as MP for the previously Conservative-held seat of Stafford. When the constituency was abolished at the 1950 general election, he contested the new Stafford and Stone seat, but was defeated by Hugh Fraser. At the 1951 general election he was returned as MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, and held the seat until his death.

In Harold Wilson's Labour Government 1964-1970, Swingler was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport from 1964 to 1967. He was then promoted to Minister of State at the same department until November 1968, when he was moved to the new Department of Health and Social Security to become Minister of State for Social Services, and appointed as a Privy Councillor. the position he held when he died in office in 1969, aged 53.

John Bodkin Adams caseEdit

Swingler played an interesting but minor part in the John Bodkin Adams affair. On 8 November 1956, the Attorney-General Reginald Manningham-Buller handed the Scotland Yard report into Adams' activities to Dr McRae, Secretary of the British Medical Association (BMA), effectively the doctors' trade union in Britain. The prosecution's most valuable document was then copied and passed to Adams' defence counsel.

After a tip-off from a Daily Mail journalist, on 28 November Swingler (in conjunction with MP Hugh Delargy) addressed a question to the Attorney-General to be answered in the House of Commons on 3 December regarding Manningham-Buller's recent contacts with the General Medical Council. Manningham-Buller was absent on the day in question but gave a written reply stating he had "had no communications with the General Medical Council within the last six months." He avoided referring to the BMA directly (despite it being named in Delargy's question) and therefore avoided lying, though it could be argued, deliberately misled the House.

Adams was eventually acquitted of the murder of Edith Alice Morrell but was suspected by Home Office pathologist Francis Camps of killing 163 patients.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Swingler was married in 1936 to Anne (née Lily), daughter of John Matthews, of Mitcham, formerly of Newcastle upon Tyne.[5] They had four children: Robin, Nicholas, Clare and Oliver. Anne Swingler worked in the Labour Research Department, and later volunteered for Shelter Housing Aid.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 1)
  2. ^ Who's who of British Members of Parliament: 1945-1979, Harvester Press, 1981, p. 359
  3. ^ British Parliament, Frank Illingworth, S. Robinson, 1948, p. 196
  4. ^ Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9
  5. ^ Who's who of British Members of Parliament: 1945-1979, Harvester Press, 1981, p. 359
  6. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2011/may/11/anne-swingler-obituary

External linksEdit