24 Facts About Austin Mitchell


Austin Vernon Mitchell was a British academic, journalist and Labour Party politician who was the member of Parliament for Great Grimsby from a 1977 by-election to 2015.


Austin Mitchell was the chair of the Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign.


From 1967 to 1969 Austin Mitchell was an Official Fellow at Nuffield College.


Austin Mitchell joined the New Zealand Labour Party in 1961 and several months later he became chairman of the Dunedin Central branch.


In 1963 Phil Connolly, the retiring MP for Dunedin Central, shoulder-tapped Austin Mitchell to put his name forward to replace him in the seat.


However Austin Mitchell ultimately did not put himself forward for the nomination, instead resolving to return to the UK.


Austin Mitchell was a founding member of New Zealand's University of Canterbury Political Science Department in 1963, supporting it breaking away from the History Department.

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Austin Mitchell lectured on "Britain and New Zealand - The Great Unravelling", looking at the evolution of recent British politics, drawing analogies in each section with parallel developments and implications for New Zealand to examine all worldwide trends in the evolution of liberal English-speaking democracies.


Austin Mitchell first became involved in television journalism while teaching history and politics in New Zealand in the 1960s.


Austin Mitchell was elected to the UK Parliament at a by-election in 1977, following the death of the previous MP, the Foreign Secretary Tony Crosland.


Austin Mitchell supported the introduction of television cameras to the House of Commons, raising it for discussion in 1983.


In 1986, following the John Stalker inquiry to alleged Royal Ulster Constabulary "shoot-to-kill" policies in Northern Ireland, a policeman Chief Inspector Brian Woollard claimed he had been removed from the inquiry by a group of Freemasons; Austin Mitchell backed Woollard and argued that there should be a national register of all people in authority who are Freemasons.


In 1980, Austin Mitchell brought in a Bill that would have televised parliamentary proceedings.


In October 2002, he temporarily changed his name to Austin Mitchell Haddock as haddock is a staple catch for his constituents that was suffering a decline and it was his wish to promote it.


Austin Mitchell was chair of the Parliamentary All-Party Photography Group and he regularly exhibited in the APPG's annual photography exhibition.


Austin Mitchell campaigned for the recognition of photographers' rights after an over-zealous police officer deleted photographs, without his permission from his camera's memory card at the 2005 Labour Conference in Brighton.


In 2007, Austin Mitchell wrote a front-page article for The Independent newspaper in which he criticised the treatment of a family of asylum-seekers in his constituency.


Austin Mitchell supported Leave in the 2016 referendum on EU membership, and he commented that 'the EU is a racket run at Britain's expense, a system bonding national elites together to ignore the people'.


Austin Mitchell explained that this was as a result of an oversight in 2006; in January 2010, he issued an apology and repaid the funds.


Austin Mitchell, who insisted on living in his own flat with his wife instead of living with the local residents, was criticised for his apparent lack of engagement in comparison to his Liberal Democrat and Conservative counterparts.


Austin Mitchell married Dorothea Patricia Jackson in 1959: they had two daughters, Susan Ngaio and Nicola Rewa, but divorced in 1966.


In July 2013, Austin Mitchell underwent heart surgery at King's College Hospital, London, to repair a leaking valve.


Austin Mitchell died at the coronary care unit at Leeds General Infirmary on 18 August 2021, a month before his 87th birthday.


Austin Mitchell was portrayed in the 2009 film The Damned United, in a scene recreating an interview with Brian Clough and Don Revie.