Thomas Stuttaford

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Stuttaford at a Health Hotel session during the 2009 Conservative Party Conference. Thomas Stuttaford, October 2009.jpg
Stuttaford at a Health Hotel session during the 2009 Conservative Party Conference.

Irving Thomas Stuttaford, OBE (4 May 1931 [1] – 8 June 2018) [2] [3] was a British doctor, author, medical columnist of The Times and former Conservative Member of Parliament. In 2002 he retired as Senior Medical Advisor for Barclays Bank.

<i>The Times</i> British daily compact newspaper owned by News UK

The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.

Conservative Party (UK) Political party in the United Kingdom

The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, sometimes informally called the Tories, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 312 Members of Parliament, and also has 249 members of the House of Lords, 4 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 11 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors.


Early life

The third child of Dr. William Stuttaford, MC and his wife, Marjorie (née Royden), Stuttaford was born in Horning, Norfolk. He was educated at Gresham's School [4] and Brasenose College, Oxford.


Horning is an ancient village and parish in the English county of Norfolk. It covers an area of 11 km2 and had a population of 1,033 in the 2001 census. Horning parish lies on the northern bank of the River Bure south of the River Thurne and is located in The Broads National Park. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of North Norfolk, although areas alongside the rivers and broads fall into the executive area of the Broads Authority.

Greshams School school

Gresham’s School is an independent coeducational boarding school in Holt in Norfolk, England. Gresham's School is one of the top 30 International Baccalaureate schools in England.

Brasenose College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Brasenose College (BNC), officially The King's Hall and College of Brasenose, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1509, with the library and chapel added in the mid-17th century and the new quadrangle in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Personal life

Married to Pamela Christine Ropner on 1 June 1957, the couple had three sons: Andrew, Thomas and Hugo.

Pamela Christine Ropner was a British author. She was the daughter of Richard Ropner and Margaret Forbes Ronald, and graduated in 1951 from the University of Edinburgh, with an M.A. She married the doctor and medical writer Tom Stuttaford in 1957, by whom she had 3 sons.

Pamela Stuttaford died on 4 July 2013. [5]



Stuttaford qualified as a doctor in 1959, working at the Hammersmith Hospital before joining his uncle's general practice in rural east Norfolk. Later he helped set up a general practice in Norwich where he remained until being elected as an MP in 1970. He continued practicing medicine as a consultant for BUPA for most of his time in parliament. After losing his seat, Stuttaford remained with BUPA for quite a few more years, but took on other medical jobs including acting as medical adviser to a number of companies, and specializing in genitourinary medicine at the Royal London and Queen Mary’s Hospitals, as well as Moorfields Eye Hospital. He also was a partner in a small private practice. [6]

Norwich City and non-metropolitan district in England

Norwich is a city in Norfolk, England. Granted historic city status, and situated on the River Wensum in East Anglia, it lies approximately 100 miles (160 km) north-east of London. It is the county town of Norfolk and is considered the capital of East Anglia, with a population of 141,300. From the Middle Ages until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important.

Bupa company

Bupa is an international healthcare group, with its origins and headquarters in the United Kingdom but now serving 32 million customers in 190 countries. It is a private healthcare not for-profit company limited by guarantee, unlike the UK's National Health Service (NHS), which is a tax-funded healthcare system.


From 1970–74 Stuttaford was the Conservative MP for Norwich South. He was a not infrequent dissenter from the Conservative government's line in parliament, including over the introduction of VAT on children's shoes, [7] the ending of free school milk in primary schools, [8] and the introduction of museum charges. [9] He also took a leading role within parliament in the campaign, led by The Sunday Times, to secure compensation for children born with birth defects arising out of their mothers' use of the drug Thalidomide during pregnancy. [10] Stuttaford lost his Norwich South seat to John Garrett in the first general election of 1974.

Norwich South (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1950 onwards

Norwich South is a constituency in Norfolk represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, since 2015 by Clive Lewis, of the Labour Party.

John Laurence Garrett was a British management consultant and Labour Party politician. He was Member of Parliament for Norwich South for 19 years in two non-consecutive terms, from 1974 to 1983, and later from 1987 to 1997.

February 1974 United Kingdom general election general election

The February 1974 United Kingdom general election was held on the 28th day of that month. The Labour Party led by former Prime Minister Harold Wilson made moderate gains, but was short of an overall majority. The Conservative Party led by incumbent Edward Heath lost 37 seats, but achieved a slightly higher share of the vote than Labour. This resulted in a hung parliament; Heath resigned when he found himself unable to form a coalition, and Wilson became Prime Minister for a second time. Labour won 301 seats, 17 short of a majority.

In two subsequent elections he was selected as the Conservative candidate in the Isle of Ely to oppose Clement Freud, who had won the seat for the Liberal Party in a by-election in 1973 after the death of Sir Harry Legge-Bourke. Freud later increased his majority in the first 1974 election. Stuttaford was first selected to oppose Freud for 1974's second general election. In their first contest Freud's majority was sharply reduced. Stuttaford was then selected to challenge Freud again. In the 1979 general election Stuttaford received the highest number of Conservative votes ever recorded in the constituency, but the collapse of the Labour vote (many former Labour voters switched their support to the Liberals) ensured that Freud was again returned, this time with a slightly increased majority.

Isle of Ely was a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, centred on the Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire. Until its abolition in 1983, it elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

Clement Freud English broadcaster, writer, politician and chef

Sir Clement Raphael Freud was a British broadcaster, writer, politician and chef.

The Isle of Ely by-election, 1973 was a parliamentary by-election held on 26 July 1973 for the British House of Commons constituency of Isle of Ely.

Medical journalism

In 1992, Stuttaford was recruited by the then editor of The Times , Harold Evans, to be the paper's medical correspondent. Stuttaford had worked with Evans during the latter's campaign to secure compensation for the victims of Thalidomide. Later, Stuttaford became "The Times" medical columnist, a role he retained until January 2009. In the years that followed he continued to write the regular monthly column for The Oldie that he had begun in 1994. He filed his last piece for the magazine just a few days before his death. He was a frequent contributor to Healthspan, an online retailer of vitamin supplements, [11] and occasionally to other national newspapers and journals. He was accused by Dr Ben Goldacre in The Guardian of using an article in The Times to promote energy replacement pills that appear to have nothing more than a placebo effect. [12] He was parodied in the satirical magazine Private Eye as 'Dr Thomas Utterfraud'.


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  1. "Stuttaford, Dr (Irving) Thomas, (4 May 1931–8 June 2018), medical correspondent, the Oldie, since 1992 | Who's WHO & WHO WAS WHO".
  2. "Dr Thomas Stuttaford obituary". The Times. 12 June 2018.
  3. Obituaries, Telegraph (13 June 2018). "Dr Thomas Stuttaford, medical writer – obituary". The Telegraph.
  4. I Will Plant Me a Tree: an Illustrated History of Gresham's School by S.G.G. Benson and Martin Crossley Evans (James & James, London, 2002)
  5. "Pamela Stuttaford: Best-selling Norfolk author and former MP's wife".
  6. MacQuitty, Jane; Kirby, Roger (2015). "Unsung heroes: Dr Thomas Stuttaford". Trends in Urology & Men's Health. 6 (2): 42–43. doi:10.1002/tre.452.
  7. "Lives remembered". The Times. 23 July 2018.
  8. Philip Norton - Conservative Dissidents: Dissent Within The Parliamentary Conservative Party 1970-74
  9. Philip Norton - Conservative Dissidents: Dissent Within The Parliamentary Conservative Party 1970-74
  10. Judy Bachrach - Tina and Harry Come to America: Tina Brown, Harry Evans and the Uses of Power
  11. Healthspan – About Us Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. Ben Goldacre, "Pep, zing, oomph, energy. You won't find them here", The Guardian, 15 March 2008
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Norwood
Member of Parliament for Norwich South
1970February 1974
Succeeded by
John Garrett