Lord Hattersley granted divorce after marriage ‘breakdown’

Former Labour deputy party leader Lord Hattersley
Former Labour deputy party leader Lord Hattersley
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THE veteran Labour politician Roy Hattersley has been granted a divorce from his wife of 57 years after a High Court hearing.

Sheffield-born Lord Hattersley, 80, was given a decree nisi because of the irretrievable breakdown of his marriage to wife Edith Mary, known as Molly.

District Judge Heather Macgregor granted him the divorce on the grounds that the couple had not lived together for five years and he would now find it intolerable to live with her.

Neither Lord Hattersley, who was educated in Yorkshire but was MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook, nor his wife was at the hearing.

The politician, who was given the divorce in his full name of Roy Sydney George, was a Labour supporter from his youth and first became an MP in October 1964.

He held a number of posts in Labour governments in the 1960s and 1970s and rose to become deputy leader of the party after losing a leadership battle with Neil Kinnock.

He was made a life peer in 1993 as Baron Hattersley of Sparkbrook in the County of West Midlands and represents Labour in the House of Lords.

The former Sheffield City Grammar School pupil married Molly in Sheffield in 1956 after graduating from reading economics at Hull University. She was then a teacher who became a headmistress and educational policy-maker.

The pair did not go on to have children and in 2010 he was photographed helping Molly along the streets of London’s Knightsbridge as she used a walking stick. Lord Hattersley, who is also a writer and broadcaster, said afterwards that he did not wish to comment.