On the death of the oldest former MP, James Allason

The Telegraph carries an obituary for James Allason, who had the distinction of being the oldest ex-MP before his death eleven days ago.

Allason, who was 98, was the father of Rupert Allason (aka the spy writer Nigel West), also a former Tory MP. He was member for Hemel Hempstead from 1959 to 1974.

The oldest former MP is now Ted Short, also 98, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party and Education Secretary. Short goes under the title Lord Glenamara these days and though he rarely attends the Lords he is still in good reasonably good health.

He did an interview for the Radio 4's Westminster Hour a few weeks ago reminiscing about his battles with Margaret Thatcher over free school milk.

Last month the Commons Library issued a fascinating list of all the living ex-MPs. There were 922 in all, though at least four have died since then.

Other oldies include John Freeman (elected in 1945), Tony Benn, Robert Carr and Denis Healey.