| Niall MacDermot |
|Born||10 September 1916|
|Died||22 February 1996 (Age 79)|
|Alma mater||Rugby School, Corpus Christi College (Cambridge)|
|Spouse|| • Ludmila Benvenuto|
• Violet Maxwell
|Party||Labour Party (UK)|
British solicitor and Labour politician who was President of the International Commission of Jurists for 20 years.
Niall MacDermot was a British solicitor and Labour politician who was in the Intelligence Corps during the Second World War. He was President of the International Commission of Jurists for 20 years, an organization which originally was "set up and controlled by the CIA for propaganda operations".
He was the grandson of Hugh Hyacinth O'Rorke MacDermot, who was Solicitor General for Ireland in 1885 and 1886, and as Attorney General for Ireland in 1892. He was also the nephew of Frank MacDermot a Fine Gael politician.
MacDermot was educated at Rugby School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and was in the Intelligence Corps during the Second World War, where his knowledge of German was deemed to be useful. At the age of 26, in 1944, he was chosen for the crucial position of General Staff Officer 1, a reflection on MacDermot's perceived talent. On leaving the Forces, he returned to an increasingly lucrative legal practice.
He was first elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Lewisham North, at a by-election in 1957 following the death of Conservative MP Sir Austin Hudson.
MacDermot lost his seat two years later at the 1959 general election, and unsuccessfully contested the equivalent seat at the 1961 London County Council election. He returned to Parliament as MP for Derby North at a by-election in 1962.
He was Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1964 to 1967. His friends thought at one point that MacDermot was a possible leader of the Labour Party. His political career ended when he divorced his first wife and married his second (part Russian, part Italian) wife. He retired from the Commons at the 1970 general election.
From 1970 to 1990, he was Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists, succeeding Sean MacBride.
- ↑ https://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whoswho/U180133
- ↑ Philip Agee, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, Allen Lane, 1975, p 611.
- ↑ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20121104154612/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-niall-macdermot-1321310.html