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The Stansgate Case

The problem of inheriting unwanted titles, particularly by MPs, had been highlighted by Tony Benn who during 1954-55 tried unsuccessfully to secure a personal Act of Parliament allowing him to disclaim his right to inherit his father's peerage.   In 1960, Benn succeeded his father as Viscount Stansgate, and duly found himself disqualified from sitting as an MP.   Even after being re-elected for his Bristol South-East constituency in May 1961, his disqualification from the House of Commons continued to be upheld.   This outcome, however, only served to strengthen public support for his cause.