Lord Mason Barnsley Pit Lad to Peer
Now in his mid-eighties but still active on the Labour benches in the House of Lords, Lord Mason has had a glittering career in politics. He has had first-hand knowledge of all Prime Ministers from Atlee and Churchill to Blair (and Brown); and has had numerous meetings with royalty and world leaders. A former mineworker and NUM-sponsored MP, Roy Mason was elected to parliament in his late twenties, in 1953. In 1964 he was appointed as Minister of Power, the first of a series of high offices culminating in his most challenging role, that of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at the height of the Troubles. The forthright way that he approached this difficult job resulted in both praise and hatred from various combatants. He survived a number of assassination attempts and has had to live with the spectre of high personal security, even when out of office. Mason was a central figure during the turmoil that engulfed the Labour Party during the late Seventies and early Eighties, often labelled as a Right Wing voice.