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Alice Mahon is confirmed dead at the age of 85.

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Alice Mahon
Member of Parliament
for Halifax
In office
11 June 1987 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byRoy Galley
Succeeded byLinda Riordan
Personal details
Born (1937-09-28) 28 September 1937 (age 85)
Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died25th December 2022
Political partyLabour Party (until 2009)
Spouse(s)Tony Mahon
John Gledhill (div.)
Alma materUniversity of Bradford
Alice Mahon (born 28 September 1937) was a former British Member of Parliament for the Labour Party. She was also an active trade unionist during her working life. Mahon represented Halifax in the House of Commons from 1987 until 2005.
She was a left-winger who was a member of the Socialist Campaign Group and was a Eurosceptic. A frequent rebel against Labour's Blair government, first elected in 1987, Mahon stepped down as an MP at the 2005 general election and was succeeded by a Labour councillor, Linda Riordan. Mahon resigned from the Labour Party itself in April 2009, saying that she could no longer tolerate how the party operates.
1 Early life and career
2 Parliamentary career
3 Later life
3.1 Fallujah
3.2 Slobodan Milošević
3.3 Macular degeneration
3.4 Resignation from the Labour Party
4 Personal life
5 References
6 External links
Early life and career
After attending a grammar school in Halifax, she worked in the National Health Service as a nursing auxiliary for ten years. In 1979, she gained a BA in Social Policy from the University of Bradford and taught Trade Union Studies at Bradford College from 1980 to 1987. Meanwhile, she was a councillor on Calderdale Council.
Parliamentary career
Mahon was first elected for the Halifax constituency at the 1987 general election. In 1994, Mahon told Chris Mullin: "‘I’m in the Stop Blair camp'. To which I replied, 'I am in the Win the Next Election camp'."
She opposed the missile defence plans during her period in the House of Commons and sought to protect benefits for parents, women's rights (particularly in regard to abortion), and gay rights. Mahon was also a supporter of reform of the House of Lords. She was opposed to the Iraq War, speaking in 2004 of the "cruel barbarism that has been inflicted upon Iraq". She told the 2003 Labour Party conference "we were lied to about WMD and there is no delicate way of putting it".
In a July 2003 Commons debate she queried the support of John Reid, then the Secretary of State for Health for
Foundation Hospitals: “How can the Secretary of State stand there as a Scottish MP who is not going to have one of these divisive hospitals, and yet is voting to inflict them on the people of Halifax?” In a version of Tam Dalyell's West Lothian question, the government in the subsequent parliamentary division would have lost the vote without the support of Scottish and Welsh Labour MPs. Labour's majority of 164 was reduced to 17 because of votes against the motion and abstentions. "As English MPs, we have to settle this question of Scots and Welsh MPs voting for things they’re not going to have”, Mahon said at the time.
Later life
In November 2005, a film documentary by Sigfrido Ranucci of Italy's Rai News24, The Hidden Massacre, asserted that the US military had used White Phosphorus (WP) as an incendiary weapon, including against civilians in Fallujah during operation Phantom Fury. The RAI documentary also quoted a 13 June 2005 UK MOD letter to former Labour MP Alice Mahon stating that:
"The US destroyed its remaining stock of Vietnam era napalm in 2001 but, according to the reports for 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (1 MEF) serving in Iraq in 2003, they used a total of 30 MK 77 weapons in Iraq between 31 March and 2 April 2003, against military targets away from civilian areas. The MK 77 firebomb does not have the same composition as napalm, although it has similar destructive characteristics. The Pentagon has also told us that owing to the limited accuracy of the MK 77, it is not generally used in urban terrain or in areas where civilians are congregated".
Slobodan Milošević
Mahon acted as a defence witness in the trial of Slobodan Milošević in 2006. Following the testimony of Slobodan Jarčević, who was foreign minister of the self-declared Republic of Serbian Krajina, RSK, in modern-day Croatia, from October 1992 until becoming foreign policy advisor to the RSK president Milan Martić in April 1994, Milošević called Mahon, who was a member of the British parliament throughout the 1990s and also sat on the NATO parliamentary committee from 1992 onwards.
In 1999, she said:
Macular degeneration
Mahon suffered from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease which destroys the central part of the vision in the eye, making the sufferer ultimately blind. According to the RNIB, more than 18,000 people in Britain go blind every year due to the condition making the disease the leading cause of sight loss in Britain. Mahon lost most of the sight in one eye due to AMD, and expects to lose sight in the other. Calderdale Primary Care Trust has refused to fund a drug which could stabilise or improve Mahon's condition and, in campaigning on this issue, she gained notice in 2007 for threatening to take the PCT to the High Court.
Resignation from the Labour Party
Mahon resigned her membership of the Labour party in April 2009 saying she could no longer condone how it operates. She told BBC News that she had considered resigning in 2005, having "totally disapproved of everything Tony Blair was doing", but had been more optimistic of his eventual successor, Gordon Brown: "I hoped we might go back to being a caring and progressive party. In the event I couldn't have been more wrong". She had backed John McDonnell's aborted Labour leadership campaign.
In her letter to the Halifax Constituency Labour Party she wrote: "This Labour Government should hang its head in shame for inflicting on the British public just as we face the most severe recession any of us have experienced in a lifetime." The Bill has been criticised by a number of disability campaign groups and Labour MPs for not helping the disabled or unemployed. Mahon said she was dismayed at the impotency shown by the government in tackling energy providers and financial institutions. She condemned the failure of the party to stick to its election manifesto, including pledges not to privatise the Royal Mail, and to give the country a referendum on the EU Constitution (which later became the Lisbon Treaty). The smear tactics attempted by Brown's by then former official Damian McBride and lobbyist Derek Draper, which became known around this time, were also a factor in her decision to leave the Labour Party. She told The Yorkshire Post:
My stepdaughter Rachel said to me: 'How could they do that to people like David Cameron and his wife Samantha when they had recently lost their son Ivan? What kind of people think it would be a good idea to smear them?' I was sickened by that – that is not the Labour Party that I joined all those years ago. Quite simply I have had it with New Labour.
Mahon remained active in left-wing politics including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Stop the War Coalition of which she is a patron. She was a Distinguished Supporter of Humanists UK and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. The No2EU campaign said she had decided to support them in the June 2009 European Parliament election.
She was interviewed in 2012 as part of The History of Parliament's oral history project.
Personal life
She was formerly married to John Gledhill; the couple had two sons, Kris (a barrister, currently an academic at the University of Auckland Law School in New Zealand) and Kurt (who lives with his family in Yorkshire). The couple divorced in the 1970s and she married Tony Mahon.
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