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Lasting Tribute page for SIR DAVID RENTON
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Few parliamentarians have enjoyed the political longevity of Sir David Renton, who died on 24 May, 2007 aged 98.In a career lasting over 60 years, he often played a key, but understated, role in constitutional and parliamentary affairs.Despite changing his political allegiance twice, he held the post of MP for Huntingdonshire for three decades.A QC who continued to juggle politics with the law, he will be best remembered for his political energy and commitment, serving 34 years in the Commons and 28 in the House of Lords.David Lockhart-Mure Renton was born on 12 August, 1908 in Dartford. He studied Law at University College Oxford, where he was President of Oxford University Liberal Club. In 1939 he was elected to the General Council of the Bar.He was a Major in the Royal Artillery and was posted to the Middle East between 1942 and 1945. After serving as a legal adviser, he was appointed President of the British Military Court of Tripolitania in 1944.He returned to England and was elected National Liberal MP of Huntingdonshire in 1945. His friendship with Margaret Thatcher began in 1950 and he changed his allegiance to Conservative in 1968. In 1979 he served as her Treasurer.Whilst serving under the Home Secretary, he helped to push through many key acts including the Clean Air Act, the Street Offences Act (1958) and the Commonwealth Immigration Act (1962).He was sacked in 1962 in The Night of the Long Knives, but continued to serve on many House of Commons committees. These included the Kilbrandon Commission in which he vehemently opposed self-governance for Scotland and Wales.His legacy lives on in the 1974 Renton Report, which examined the preparation of legislation. He made 121 important recommendations for the reform of drafting Acts of Parliament.He became a life peer in 1979 and served in the House of Lords right up until his death. He was deputy speaker between 1982 and 1988 and was elected President of the Association of Conservative Peers in 1998.He worked tirelessly until his death and was the oldest member of the upper house from 2004. Sir David died on 24th May 2007 in Cambridgeshire aged 98.He made the most of his long life, hunting and playing tennis until he was 91, playing cricket into his 60s and only passing his driving test in 2003 aged 94. He published his memoirs ‘The Spice of Life’ in 2006.In 1964, he received the KBE, and also won an RSPCA bronze medal for rescuing animals from a fire. In 2003 he became life president of Association of Conservative Peers.After one of his three daughters was born with Retts syndrome, he became a major campaigner for the disabled. He was Chairman of Mencap from 1978 and President between 1982 and 1988. He set up the charity DEMAND with his wife, to provide modified furniture for the disabled.Sir David will be remembered for his relentless energy, his commitment to parliamentary and constitutional affairs, his compassion for others and his zest for life.
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Viewed by: 1511 visitors. Uploaded: 11 years ago
Published in: Online.
Published from: May 24, 2007.
Region: National
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