The Lord Orme
Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
In office
13 July 1987 – 18 July 1992
Preceded byJack Dormand
Succeeded byDoug Hoyle
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy
In office
2 October 1983 – 13 July 1987
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byJohn Smith
Succeeded byJohn Prescott
Shadow Secretary of State for Industry
In office
4 November 1980 – 2 October 1983
LeaderMichael Foot
Preceded byJohn Silkin
Succeeded byPeter Shore
Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Services
In office
14 June 1979 – 4 November 1980
LeaderJames Callaghan
Preceded byDavid Ennals
Succeeded byGwyneth Dunwoody
Minister of State for Social Security
In office
5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979
Prime MinisterJames Callaghan
Preceded byBrian O'Malley
Succeeded byReg Prentice
Member of Parliament
for Salford East
In office
9 June 1983 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byFrank Allaun
Succeeded byConstituency Abolished
Member of Parliament
for Salford West
In office
15 October 1964 – 13 May 1983
Preceded byCharles Royle
Succeeded byConstituency Abolished
Personal details
Born(1923-04-05)5 April 1923
Sale, Cheshire, England
Died27 April 2005(2005-04-27) (aged 82)
Sale, Greater Manchester, England
Political partyLabour
Irene Harris
(m. 1951)

Stanley Orme, Baron Orme, PC (5 April 1923 – 27 April 2005) was a British left-wing[1] Labour Party politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1964 to 1997, and served as a cabinet minister in the 1970s.

Early life

Stan Orme was born in Sale, Cheshire. He was educated at a technical school, which he left in 1938 to become an instrument maker's apprentice. He joined the RAF in 1942, becoming a bomber-navigator, serving in Canada and Egypt. He was demobilised in 1947 as a warrant officer.

Political career

Orme joined the Labour Party in 1944 and he became a Sale Borough Councillor in 1958. A committed Bevanite, he embraced many left-wing causes, including the Movement for Colonial Freedom and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

He first stood for Parliament in Stockport South at the 1959 general election, when he lost to the Conservative candidate. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Salford West at the 1964 general election.

When Labour returned to office at the February 1974 general election, Orme was installed at Stormont as Minister of State for Northern Ireland. He made an impression in this role, before moving to the Department of Health and Social Security in March 1976. The Prime Minister James Callaghan promoted him to the Cabinet in September 1976 to sit alongside his departmental boss David Ennals. He remained in this role until 1979.

Orme joined the Shadow Cabinet in 1979 as chief health and social security spokesman, before later moving on to hold the Industry and Energy portfolios until 1987. After constituency boundary changes for the 1983 general election, he was elected for the redrawn seat of Salford East. He served as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (1987–1992). He retired from the House of Commons at the 1997 general election, and he was created a life peer as Baron Orme, of Salford in the County of Greater Manchester on 21 October 1997.[2]

Orme was a republican.[3] He made several unsuccessful attempts to be elected to Labour's National Executive Committee, without breaking through.

Lord Orme died in 2005. His funeral at Dunham Crematorium was attended by many family, friends and political colleagues. A memorial service was held in the House of Lords, with speeches from Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot. A very rare exception was made by the Lord Chancellor such that any Divisions were suspended during this evening service.

Private life

In 1951 he married Irene Mary Harris (died 2022). They had no children.


In December 2019, a Daily Telegraph investigation reported that Orme had been involved in handing confidential information to Czech communist spies.[4]


Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byCharles Royle Member of Parliament for Salford West 19641983 Constituency abolished Preceded byFrank Allaun Member of Parliament for Salford East 19831997 Political offices Preceded byBrian O'Malley Minister of State for Social Security 1976–1979 Succeeded byReg Prentice Party political offices Preceded byJack Dormand Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party 1987–1992 Succeeded byDoug Hoyle