Bernard Braine

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Braine of Wheatley
Bernard Braine.jpg
Braine in Hanover, September 1983
Father of the House of Commons
In office
Preceded by James Callaghan
Succeeded by Edward Heath
Member of Parliament
for Castle Point
South East Essex (1955–1983)
In office
26 May 1955 – 10 April 1992
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Bob Spink
Member of Parliament
for Billericay
In office
23 February 1950 – 26 May 1955
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Richard Body
Personal details
Born 24 June 1914
Died 5 January 2000 (aged 85)
Political party Conservative
Military service
Rank Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit North Staffordshire Regiment

Bernard Richard Braine, Baron Braine of Wheatley, PC (24 June 1914 – 5 January 2000) was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for over forty years, representing constituencies in Essex.

Early life

He was educated at Hendon County Grammar School, and served with the North Staffordshire Regiment in the Second World War, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Parliamentary career

Having stood unsuccessfully for Leyton East in 1945, Braine was elected as MP for Billericay at the 1950 general election. When constituencies boundaries were revised for the 1955 election he was returned for the new South East Essex, and when that constituency was abolished for the 1983 general election, he was elected for the new Castle Point constituency, becoming Father of the House of Commons in 1987 after James Callaghan's elevation to the House of Lords.

He was chairman of the National Council on Alcoholism, and was a member of the Parliamentary Groups on Human Rights and against abortion. For many years he served as an unofficial ambassador of HM's government to the Polish Government-in-Exile in London. He was knighted in the 1972 New Year Honours, and appointed as a Privy Counsellor in 1985.

Later life

Braine stepped down from Parliament at the 1992 general election, and in August that year he was made a life peer Baron Braine of Wheatley, of Rayleigh in the County of Essex. He died in January 2000 at the age of 85.


  • "Tory Stalwart dies". BBC News. 2000-01-05. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  • "In Memoriam Bernard Braine". Institute of Alcohol Studies. January 2000. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Bernard Braine
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Billericay
Succeeded by
Richard Body
New constituency Member of Parliament for South East Essex
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Castle Point
Succeeded by
Bob Spink
Preceded by
James Callaghan
Father of the House
Succeeded by
Edward Heath
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