Fred Willey

Frederick Willey
Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
In office
14 June 1979  19 November 1981
Leader Michael Foot
Preceded by Cledwyn Hughes
Succeeded by Jack Dormand
Minister of State for Housing and Local Government
In office
18 October 1964  19 June 1970
Leader Harold Wilson
Succeeded by Graham Page
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Food
In office
18 April 1950  26 October 1951
Leader Clement Attlee
Preceded by Stanley Evans
Succeeded by Charles Hill
Member of Parliament
for Sunderland North
Sunderland (1945-1950)
In office
5 July 1945  9 June 1983
Preceded by Stephen Furness
Succeeded by Bob Clay
Personal details
Born (1910-11-13)13 November 1910
Died 13 December 1987(1987-12-13) (aged 77)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge

Frederick Thomas Willey PC (13 November 1910 – 13 December 1987) was a British Labour Party politician.

Early life

Willey was educated at Johnston School and St John's College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar in 1936. He worked as a barrister on the Northern Circuit.

His political career as an activist for social justice and other left-wing causes began in the 1930s, when he was the keynote speaker welcoming returning International Brigade volunteers to Sunderland.

Military career

During the Second World War Willey served with the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) and was an officer of the Fire Brigades Union.

Parliamentary career

Willey was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunderland in 1945, when the Borough still sent two MPs to Parliament. In 1950 two-member constituencies were abolished and Willey was returned for the new constituency of Sunderland North, where he served until he retired before the general election of 1983.

Willey served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food from 1950 to 1951, and as Minister of Land and Natural Resources from 1965 to 1967. He opened the UK's first long-distance footpath, the Pennine Way, in 1965.

He served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party from 1979 to 1981.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Samuel Storey
and Stephen Furness
Member of Parliament for Sunderland
With: Richard Ewart
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Sunderland North
Succeeded by
Bob Clay
Political offices
Preceded by
Cledwyn Hughes
Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
Succeeded by
Jack Dormand

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