Confusion has arisen in the wake of the death of Tony Benn. Benn was the first peer ever to renounce his title after the Peerage Act of 1963. DECC minister Greg Barker saw an opportunity to attack his shadow number Hilary Benn, Tony’s son:
Terrific tributes to Tony Benn but interestingly I believe his peerage now springs back to life & Hilary becomes the new Viscount Stansgate!
— Greg Barker (@GregBarkerMP) March 14, 2014
Not quite. Primogeniture dictates that Hilary’s brother Stephen becomes 3rd Viscount Stansgate, while Stephen’s son Daniel becomes heir apparent as Hon. Daniel John Wedgwood Benn. Hilary remains a mere blue blooded commoner. So that wasn’t the classiest intervention by the Rt Hon Greg Barker.
Finally, Mr S thinks it fitting that Tony Benn, the great socialist firebrand, shares a death day with Karl Marx. Rest in peace.
More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.