Gerald Kaufman


Biography of Gerald Kaufman

Sir Gerald Bernard Kaufman (born 21 June 1930) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1970, first for Manchester Ardwick, and then subsequently for Manchester Gorton. He was a government minister during the 1970s, and a member of the Shadow Cabinet in the 1980s.

The youngest of six children, Kaufman was born in Leeds to Louis and Jane Kaufman. His parents were both Jewish and came from Poland before the First World War. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School, and graduated with a degree philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford (Queen's College). During his time there, he was Secretary of the University Labour Club. He was assistant general secretary of the Fabian Society from (1954–55), a lead writer on the Daily Mirror (1955–64) and a journalist on the New Statesman (1964–65). He was Parliamentary Press Liaison Officer for the Labour Party (1965–70) and eventually became a member of Prime Minister Harold Wilson's informal "kitchen cabinet".

In the 1955 general election Kaufman had unsuccessfully contested the safe Conservative seat of Bromley, and in the 1959 general election, Gillingham.

He became a writer, contributing to the satirical television comedy programme on BBC Television, That Was The Week That Was in 1962 and 1963, along with many other names, where he was most remembered for the "Silent men of Westminster" sketch.

In 1999, he became chairman of the Booker Prize judges.

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