Former Labour minister Frank Field dies aged 81

6 minutes agoAbout sharing

Lord Field served as MP for Birkenhead for 40 years
By James Gregory
BBC News

Former Labour minister and crossbench peer Frank Field has died aged 81, his family has announced.

“He will be mourned by admirers across politics but above all he will be greatly missed by those lucky enough to have enjoyed his laughter and friendship,” a statement said.

Lord Field spent 40 years as MP for Birkenhead and was a leading voice on welfare reform for much of his career.

He was a minister under Tony Blair and joined the House of Lords in 2020.

A statement from Lord Field of Birkenhead’s family, issued by his Parliamentary office, said: “Frank Field has died at the age of 81 following a period of illness.

“Frank is survived by two brothers.”

The politician announced in 2021 that he was suffering from a terminal illness. He died in a London care home on Tuesday night.

Dame Angela Eagle, MP for neighbouring constituency Wallasey, said on social media: “Very sad news. Always supportive of me as his Parliamentary neighbour, brimming with ideas to make society better – a great champion of his Birkenhead constituents.”

Lord Field briefly served as minister for welfare reform in Tony Blair’s first term in government.

He had built a reputation as one of the most effective backbenchers in the House of Commons, with campaigns against poverty and for curbs on EU immigration.

He quit Labour’s group in Parliament in 2018, saying Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership had become “a force for anti-Semitism in British politics”.

He stood as an independent candidate in Birkenhead at the 2019 general election, finishing second with 17% of the vote.

He was made a non-affiliated, crossbench peer by the Conservative government in 2020, after campaigning in favour of Brexit.

The veteran politician was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in 2021, describing it at the time as a “terrific privilege”.


Table of Contents

More Posts