Gilbert Longden

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Sir Gilbert Longden (1902-1997) was a Conservative MP.[1][2]

Early life

Longden was born in Durham in 1902, the eldest son of Lieutenant Colonel James Morley Longden and Kathleen Morgan. He was educated at Haileybury and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[3]

He practised as a solicitor from 1924 to 1930, before becoming Secretary of ICI (India) Ltd from 1930-1937. He travelled extensively around the world and spent nine months in 1937 as a student at the University of Paris.[4]

Military Career

During his time in India, Longden served as a Sergeant in the Calcutta Light Horse. He enrolled in the Army Officer's Emergency Reserve in the wake of the 1938 Munich crisis. From 1940 to 1941 he was Adjutant at the Infantry Training Centre. He later served with the 2nd division in India and with the 36th division in Burma. He was awarded the MBE (military) in November 1945.[5]

Political career

Longden was adopted in 1938 as Conservative candidate for Morpeth, which he contested unsuccessfully in 1945. In 1950, he won the seat of South-West Hertfordshire, which he held until 1974.[6]

Longden expounded his political views in a 1947 book, 'A Conservative Philosophy', and was a founder member of the One Nation group of Tory MPs.[7]

Longden was UK representative to the Council of Europe, 1953-1954, and a member of the Conservative Group for Europe. He helped found the Great Britain-East Europe Centre. He was also UK delegate to the 12th and 13th sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, Chairman of the British Atlantic Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the British Council.[8]

He was deposed as Chairman of the back-bench Foreign Affairs Committee in 1961, reportedly after having made efforts to persuade the government ot take a stronger line on Apartheid.[9]

In later years he became chairman of the All-Party British Israel Committee.[10]