Fond memories of hard-working MP.
IN 1949, our MP in Gateshead, Konni Zilliacus, who had been elected three years earlier with big majority, came under scrutiny by foreign secretary Ernie Bevin, for his opposition to the party's foreign policy. He had been elected by a big majority and had the backing of Gateshead-led council leaders by nine votes to one. However, Konni was downgraded for the 1949 election, with Arthur Moody replacing him.
I will never forget while standing at the top of our (Leopold) street when Konni stopped in his car while canvassing in 1945 and asked me if I would like to go to his meeting in a small dance hall near the foot of Beaconsfield road in Lowfell. I was 12 years old then. I was thrilled to be invited to his meeting.
Zilli supported nuclear disarmament and opposed the rearmament of Germany so soon after the war. Konni was also opposed to Nato, which was set up in 1949, while the Warsaw pact was installed by Russia in opposition to Nato in 1955 and was disbanded in 1991.
Running as an independent, Zilliacus lost his seat to Arthur Moody who, according to David Frost on "That Was the Week that Was", never spoke at any time during his time in parliament.
LES MAY, Gateshead