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Paul Stephen Norrington (born June 8, 1929) was an English politician and humanitarian prior to his retirement, serving as the MP for Waverly from 1960 to 1990, a 30-year time of service. From 1981 to 1988 he was the leader of the Conservative Party, a period in which he was Prime Minister from 1984 to 1987 and twice led the opposition, from 1981 to 1984 and 1987 until he resigned from party leadership in 1988. He is often compared to his contemporary political adversary, John Oliver, with whom he shared a friendly rivalry and was in fact quite close with in a personal capacity.
Norrington's father, Edward, was a general under England's Socialist government and was briefly the leader of the country in 1950 after the military staged a coup to attempt to maintain order in the country, but was assassinated. Norrington served in the Socialist Army of England and the English Republican Army during the Anarchy and is the only Prime Minister of the Republic to not have attended a university.
Paul Stephen Norrington was born as the youngest of three sons to Edward John Norrington (1894-1950), a career military officer, and Mary-Anne Lancaster Norrington (1903-1950). He had two elder brothers, Edward John Norrington II (1924-1951) and James Stuart Norrington (1927-1954), and two younger sisters, Regina (1931-1950) and Susan (1933-Unknown date of death). Every single member of his family would die in the Anarchy. He was born and raised in London and attended the Academy of the Revolution outside of Liverpool, a private school for children of members of the English Socialist Party. At school, he was friends with future political opponent and his successor as Prime Minister, John Oliver (born 1928). The school was bombed during the Irish War and Stephen was injured in one such attack, during which he lost his left little finger.
In 1945, at the age of sixteen, he returned from the Academy of the Revolution and declined his father's invitation to go to Oxford, instead choosing to enlist in the English Army in 1946 at seventeen.
Prior to the outbreak of the Anarchy, Norrington was stationed as part of the English Army's 2nd Division in central England, where he was treated as a favorite due to his father's respected position within the military. With the increase of food riots and the onset of the English depression of the late 1940's, Norrington was called upon to defend railways between Birmingham and cities in Northumberland. He would later recall an incident in 1949 where he and several members of his platoon had to protect a train from assaulting thieves and fought them off for sixteen km of track through the countryside in the sparsely populated north.
In 1950, his father Edward was installed by the military following the military coup in February to attempt to maintain stability in government. Norrington returned to London to assist his father and two brothers, but his father was assassinated eight days after coming to power in a bomb attack against the English Army's headquarters in London. Norrington joined the Socialist Army (SA), which was one of the more powerful initial militias in the Anarchy, and headed south to Exeter, where he worked with SA officers who had known his father to maintain peace.
Norrington would take part in numerous SA patrols throughout the Anarchy and nearly starved to death on numerous occasions. During a violent skirmish in Guildford in early 1951, he was critically injured and spent the next two months hovering on the verge of death. By the time the French invaded in 1953, he had risen in the SA's ranks and began leading guerrilla attacks against French soldiers.
English Republican Army
In late 1953, Norrington and 750 of his comrades in the SA travelled north to Wales to join the English Republican Army, and he met General Hank Johnson of the United States Army in person at one point. Norrington would lead efforts by the ERA to stabilize the south of the country throughout 1954 and was reassigned as an ERA attache in London during the considerably more stable periods of 1955, and was even offered a post in the Provisional Parliament as a representative of the constituency of Waverly, where he had spent a great deal of time during the Anarchy.
MP in Parliament
Leader of Conservative Party and Leader of Opposition
Ministry of Stephen Norrington
On May 6th, the election results were confirmed and the new Parliament was formally convened by President Alec Guinness and the Prime Minister administered his oath, accepting an invitation to form a government.
"An Energized England"
Ward Affair and Other Scandals
Electoral History of Norrington Ministry
After two years in the backbenches, Norrington decided abruptly not to contest his seat in the 1990 elections, despite the fact that he would likely have been offered a Cabinet position in Cleese's government, or at least fulfilled a prominent role from the backbenches due to his experience as Prime Minister. Nevertheless, Norrington announced in 1990, after Parliament was resolved, that he would not run again, feeling exhausted after having sat in Parliament for thirty years. "It's time I fished a few rivers, shot some birds and read a few good novels," Norrington said in his retirement announcement. He was succeed by fellow Tory and longtime political ally within his constituency, Peter Meeser.
Norrington is the sole survivor of his family from the Anarchy - his father, General Edward Norrington, was assassinated on February 10th, 1950 by the English Workers Army's early incarnation in a bomb attack against the English Army's headquarters. His mother, Mary-Anne, was raped and murdered that same June in Birmingham by the EWA once they discovered her identity. Both of his elder brothers, who had served in the English Army much like Stephen had, joined minor militias in central England that were succesively wiped out - Eddie, the eldest, was killed by the EWA in a skirmish in Liverpool in 1951, while Jim was accidentally killed in an American bombing raid in 1954 while fleeing from EWA forces, according to a comrade of his. Both of his younger sisters died as well - Regina at the age of nineteen sometime in the fall of 1950 from starvation in southern England, and Susan at an unknown date of unknown causes.
He has a wife, Julia Norrington (1935-) whom he met in 1952 when he rescued her from slave traders and married in 1957. They have three children: Edward John Norrington III (1960-), Paul Stephen Norrington, Jr. (1962-) and Susan Regina Norrington (1966-).