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Election to Parliament

In 1945, Tufton Beamish senior retired as Conservative MP for Lewes, and his son, Tufton Beamish junior, was chosen to replace him. In July 1945 he entered the House of Commons for the first time. He would remain MP for Lewes until his retirement in 1974.

How was Beamish perceived in Parliament? What causes was he passionate about?

Beamish was known as an energetic and vocal speaker in the House of Commons. Apart from serving as opposition spokesman on defence for two years from 1965, he would never seek ministerial office. Instead, he focused on working as a director of a number of companies, and on speaking out about causes he felt passionate about. In particular he was interested in the advancement of European unity through what was then the European Economic Community; resistance to the threat posed by the Soviet Union through its penetration of eastern Europe; the dangers of the rise of the left in the Labour Party; and wildlife conservation.

What other work did Beamish do during this period?

Alongside his political career, Tufton Beamish was an author. During his lifetime he published a number of books including Half Marx, about the rise of the far left in the Labour Party, and Battle Royal, a scholarly account of the battle of Lewes in 1264 between King Henry III and Simon de Montfort. The latter book would inform his politics throughout his career in Parliament.

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The De Montfort Project is an outreach projectrun by the Parliamentary Archiveswhichexplores the life and impact of local MPs and Peers on both their local area and at Parliament.

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