Thomas Stuttaford

Stuttaford at a Health Hotel session during the 2009 Conservative Party Conference.

Irving Thomas Stuttaford, OBE (4 May 1931[1] – 8 June 2018)[2][3] was a British medical doctor, columnist, and politician who served as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Norwich South between 1970 and 1974. In 2002 he retired as Senior Medical Advisor for Barclays Bank.

Early life

The third child of Dr William Stuttaford, MC and his wife, Marjorie (née Royden), Stuttaford was born in Horning, Norfolk. He was educated at Gresham's School[4] and Brasenose College, Oxford.

Personal life

Married to Pamela Ropner on 1 June 1957, the couple had three sons: Andrew, Thomas, and Hugo.

Pamela Stuttaford died on 4 July 2013.[5]



Stuttaford qualified as a doctor in 1959, working at the Hammersmith Hospital before joining his uncle's general practice in rural east Norfolk. Later he helped set up a general practice in Norwich where he remained until being elected as an MP in 1970. He continued practicing medicine as a consultant for Bupa for most of his time in parliament. After losing his seat, Stuttaford remained with BUPA for quite a few more years, but took on other medical jobs including acting as medical adviser to a number of companies, and specializing in genitourinary medicine at the Royal London and Queen Mary’s Hospitals, as well as Moorfields Eye Hospital. He also was a partner in a small private practice.[6]


From 1970–74 Stuttaford was the Conservative MP for Norwich South. He was a frequent dissenter from the Conservative Government's line in Parliament, including over the introduction of value added tax (VAT) on children's shoes,[7] the ending of free school milk in primary schools,[8] and the introduction of museum charges.[9] He also took a leading role within parliament in the campaign, led by The Sunday Times, to secure compensation for children born with birth defects arising out of their mothers' use of the drug Thalidomide during pregnancy.[10] Stuttaford lost his Norwich South seat to John Garrett in the first general election of 1974.

In two subsequent elections he was selected as the Conservative candidate in the Isle of Ely to oppose Clement Freud, who had won the seat for the Liberal Party in a by-election in 1973 after the death of Sir Harry Legge-Bourke. Freud later increased his majority in the first 1974 election. Stuttaford was first selected to oppose Freud for 1974's second general election. In their first contest Freud's majority was sharply reduced. Stuttaford was then selected to challenge Freud again. In the 1979 general election Stuttaford received the highest number of Conservative votes ever recorded in the constituency, but the collapse of the Labour vote (many former Labour voters switched their support to the Liberals) ensured that Freud was again returned, this time with a slightly increased majority.

Medical journalism

In 1992, Stuttaford was recruited by the then editor of The Times, Harold Evans, to be the paper's medical correspondent. Stuttaford had worked with Evans during the latter's campaign to secure compensation for the victims of Thalidomide. Later, Stuttaford became "The Times" medical columnist, a role he retained until January 2009. In the years that followed he continued to write the regular monthly column for The Oldie that he had begun in 1994. He filed his last piece for the magazine just a few days before his death. He was a frequent contributor to Healthspan, an online retailer of vitamin supplements,[11] and occasionally to other national newspapers and journals. He was accused by Dr Ben Goldacre in The Guardian of using an article in The Times to promote energy replacement pills that appear to have nothing more than a placebo effect.[12] He was parodied in the satirical magazine Private Eye as 'Dr Thomas Utterfraud'.


  • To Your Good Health!: The Wise Drinker's Guide, Faber and Faber Ltd, 1997, ISBN 0-571-19095-2
  • The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: UK Edition (Editor), Cassell reference, 2003, ISBN 0-304-35719-7
  • What's up Doc? Understanding your Common Symptoms: Health Matters, Little Books, 2003, ISBN 1-904435-02-5
  • Stress and How to Avoid It, Little Books, 2004, ISBN 1-904435-09-2


  1. ^ "Stuttaford, Dr (Irving) Thomas, (4 May 1931–8 June 2018), medical correspondent, the Oldie, since 1992 | Who's WHO & WHO WAS WHO".
  2. ^ "Dr Thomas Stuttaford obituary". The Times. 12 June 2018.
  3. ^ Obituaries, Telegraph (13 June 2018). "Dr Thomas Stuttaford, medical writer – obituary". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ I Will Plant Me a Tree: an Illustrated History of Gresham's School by S.G.G. Benson and Martin Crossley Evans (James & James, London, 2002)
  5. ^ "Pamela Stuttaford: Best-selling Norfolk author and former MP's wife".
  6. ^ MacQuitty, Jane; Kirby, Roger (2015). "Unsung heroes: Dr Thomas Stuttaford". Trends in Urology & Men's Health. 6 (2): 42–43. doi:10.1002/tre.452.
  7. ^ "Lives remembered". The Times. 23 July 2018.
  8. ^ Philip Norton - Conservative Dissidents: Dissent Within The Parliamentary Conservative Party 1970-74
  9. ^ Philip Norton - Conservative Dissidents: Dissent Within The Parliamentary Conservative Party 1970-74
  10. ^ Judy Bachrach - Tina and Harry Come to America: Tina Brown, Harry Evans and the Uses of Power
  11. ^ Healthspan – About Us Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Ben Goldacre, "Pep, zing, oomph, energy. You won't find them here", The Guardian, 15 March 2008

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Norwood
Member of Parliament for Norwich South
1970February 1974
Succeeded by
John Garrett

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