Gerald Kaufman, UK's longest-serving lawmaker, dies at 86

AP News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2017 9:09 AM
Gerald Kaufman, UK's longest-serving lawmaker, dies at 86

LONDON (AP) — Gerald Kaufman, the longest-serving lawmaker in Britain's House of Commons, has died aged 86.

Kaufman's family says the Labour Party legislator died Sunday after a long illness.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Monday called Kaufman "an iconic and irascible figure" who was proud of his Jewish roots and strove to bring peace to the Middle East.

Kaufman often attracted attention and controversy for his strong criticisms of Israel.

Kaufman had represented a district in Manchester, northwestern England, since 1970. In 2015 he became "father of the House," a title given to the longest-serving member of Parliament.

He made a memorable contribution to Britain's political lexicon when he described Labour's 1983 election manifesto — which promised unilateral nuclear disarmament and nationalization of banks — as "the longest suicide note in history."