Sun, 14 April 2024

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By Baroness Fox
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Lord Cormack: 18 May 1939 – 25 February 2024

3 min read

The House magazine’s staff wish to pay tribute to its co-founder and life president Lord Patrick Cormack, who died on Sunday afternoon.

The magazine was founded in 1976 by then-Labour MP Mike Thomas and fellow Labour politician Richard Faulkner. In a move indicative of Cormack's commitment to cross-party working, he soon formed and chaired an editorial board, which included the Sergeant-at-Arms and Clerk of the House. 

In 1979, after the magazine had been purchased by Keith Young, Cormack became co-editor of the magazine, along with Chris Price, the Labour MP for Lewisham. His dedication to the magazine was absolute. 

He would later write: “My job, among others, was to read every word of every piece that went into the magazine. Even when I was on holiday I would have everything faxed to me. I shall never forget my wife’s face when, sitting at breakfast outside our hotel on the Grand Canal in Venice, I was presented with an enormous sheaf of papers containing the text of the party conference issues for that year.”

After stepping down as editor, he was appointed Life President of the magazine by Dods Parliamentary Communications, which had acquired it, a role he continued to hold after it was acquired by Total Politics Group, its present publisher, in 2022.

In 2010 Cormack stepped down from the House of Commons, and was created a life peer in the same year. He continued to attend meetings of the magazine’s new cross-party advisory board, which was set up in 2021.

Alan White, the editor-in-chief of PoliticsHome and The House, said: “Patrick cared deeply about The House magazine. Barely a week went by where he wasn’t showering me with suggestions for interesting pieces, alternating praise and criticism of the last issue, and so much more. His utter commitment to the magazine's impartiality was indicative of his willingness to set aside personal political views to deliver end results that benefitted all.

“He was a rock of support and kind-hearted beyond belief. I will miss him so much.”

Mark Wallace, the CEO of Total Politics, said: "Patrick Cormack was a great parliamentarian and a truly lovely man. I’m saddened that he won’t see the 50th anniversary of The House, which he co-founded and of which he was Life President. 

“Patrick was always genial and generous with his time and his great knowledge. We differed on many things over the years - such is politics - and he always did so with wit and kindness. Latterly when I became publisher of The House, one of the perks of the job was lunch with Patrick to update him on our plans and get his thoughts. Parliament will miss him.”

A full set of tributes to Lord Cormack will run in the next issue of The House magazine.

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