Robin Corbett

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Person.png Robin Corbett   PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(journalist, politician)
Lord Corbett.jpg
Born22 September 1933
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
Died19 February 2012 (Age 78)
Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England
SpouseVal Hudson
Had strong ties with the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (People's Mujahedin of Iran) and also chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom.

Robin Corbett, Baron Corbett of Castle Vale was a British Labour Party politician and journalist. Corbett sat in the House of Commons from 1974 to 1979 and then from 1983 to 2001, before being elevated to the House of Lords as a Life Peer.

Corbett had strong ties with the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (translation: People's Mujahedin of Iran) PMOI and spent a significant portion of his career advocating for the legitimization of the organization which has been categorized as a terrorist group by multiple world governments.

Corbett was also chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom and listed as the official registrant of the BPCIF's website.[1]

Early life

Corbett was born at Fremantle, Western Australia, to Marguerite Adele (née Mainwaring) and Thomas William Corbett. His parents had recently immigrated to Australia from England. His father, a foundry worker and mechanical engineer, was a militant unionist, and his involvement in certain demonstrations resulted in he and his family being repatriated to England in 1935. They resettled in West Bromwich, and Corbett attended Holly Lodge Grammar School in Smethwick, leaving at the age of sixteen. He was called up for two years' national service in the Royal Air Force in 1951. After completing his national service he became a journalist, first for the Birmingham Evening Mail and then for the Daily Mirror. In 1968 he became deputy editor of Farmer's Weekly, then worked for IPC Magazines in 1970, where he stayed until his election to parliament in 1974.[2]

Parliamentary career

Corbett first stood for Parliament at Hemel Hempstead in 1966, and then in a 1967 by-election at West Derbyshire, but was unsuccessful at both attempts.

He was elected Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Hemel Hempstead at the October 1974 general election, but he lost the seat at the general election in 1979. He then returned to IPC Magazines, working as a communications consultant until he returned to parliament in the 1983 general election, representing Birmingham Erdington. He held this seat until retiring from the House of Commons at the 2001 general election, when Siôn Simon succeeded him as Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Erdington.

In the House of Commons, Corbett served as Opposition Spokesman for Home Affairs (1979–1992), then for National Heritage, Broadcasting and Press until 1995. He was a Labour Party Whip from 1984 until 1987, and Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee from 1999 to 2001. His Private Member’s Bill, still law today, granted lifetime anonymity for rape victims in court and media.

House of Lords

Created a Life Peer as Baron Corbett of Castle Vale, of Erdington in the County of West Midlands, on 5 July 2001,[3] his political interests included Home Office, police, civil liberties, the motor industry, manufacturing, disability, children's rights, alternative energy, environment, agriculture, animal welfare, and the press and broadcasting. He was Chairman of the All Party Penal Affairs Group, a parliamentary organisation clerked by the Prison Reform Trust, and a Patron of the Forum on Prisoner Education and UNLOCK, The National Association of Ex-Offenders. He was chairman of the all-party British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom and Chairman of Friends of Cyprus.

Lord Corbett was a Vice-President of the Debating Group.[4]


Married to Val Hudson in 1970, they had one daughter, Polly Hudson, a columnist for the Daily Mirror. Lord Corbett also had a daughter and a son from a previous marriage.


Corbett died of lung cancer at his home in Hemel Hempstead on 19 February 2012, aged 78.[5]

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