‘Special’ former minister and Labour peer Frank Judd dies aged 86

Patrick Daly, PA Political Correspondent
·2-min read

Former minister and Labour peer Frank Judd has died at the age of 86, the party has confirmed.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said Lord Judd would be “missed by us all”.

“RIP Frank Judd. A great Labour internationalist who fought for peace, human rights and social justice. He will be missed by us all,” he tweeted.

Lord Judd represented Portsmouth as an MP between 1966 and 1979, and served as a minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments.

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He held a variety of posts in government, serving as minister for the Royal Navy and overseas development, and later had a stint in the Foreign Office.

He was a director of Oxfam before being appointed a life peer in 1991.

Baroness Angela Smith, Labour’s leader in the House of Lords, said Lord Judd was a “man of extraordinary personal generosity”.

She said: “Frank Judd was special. Whether as an MP, minister, peer or director of Oxfam, he never lost his passion for politics as a force for good.

“An active member of the Lords until the very end of his life, he spoke regularly on a wide range of issues.

“With the support of his wife Chris, the challenges of using Zoom and other technology were never going to stop Frank.

“And as a former navy minister in Harold Wilson’s government, it seems fitting that his last votes in Parliament were for successful amendments to the Overseas Operations Bill.

“Frank was a man of extraordinary personal generosity, encouraging, praising and supporting younger colleagues.

“As he got older and needed two walking sticks, he would use one to wave a greeting to friends, shouting out that he had enjoyed their speech or an interview he had seen.

“His Labour Lords’ colleagues both admired and had enormous affection for Frank, and we valued his friendship. We will miss him greatly and send our condolences to his wife Chris and their family.”

The chairman of the Labour Peers Group, Lord Toby Harris of Haringey, described Lod Judd as “much-loved”.

“He was indefatigable, participating vigorously on the issues that mattered to him right up until the last few days,” he said.

“He was passionate about social justice and international development, both as someone who headed up aid agencies and as minister for overseas development.

“He was always supportive and kind. He will be sorely missed.”