The late Leon Brittan. Photo: Getty
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Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan has died

The Tory politician well-known as Margaret Thatcher's Home Secretary has passed away, after a long battle with cancer.

The Tory peer and former Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, has died at the age of 75. His family has confirmed that he died last night in his house after a long battle with cancer.

Brittan was the youngest Home Secretary since Winston Churchill, having been appointed to the post by Margaret Thatcher in 1983. He served in the role for two years. During his time as a minister, he was a fierce critic of the NUM during the miners' strikes, and is also remembered for leading the government response to the shooting of the policewoman Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embasssy while both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe, were away.

He was first elected as an MP in 1974, when he represented Cleveland and Whitby. He was later elected for Richmond in Yorkshire in 1983. After heading up the Home Office, he was made Trade and Industry Secretary in 1985, but resigned a year later over the Westland Affair.

Brittan also served as EU Commissioner from 1989, and is the man thought to have first spotted Nick Clegg's potential, giving the now Deputy Prime Minister a job in Brussels.

His name has recently been making headlines due to allegations about his involvement in the case of a dossier lost in Whitehall concerning claims of a Westminster paedophile network.

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Word of the week: Michellania

Each week The Staggers will pick a new word to describe our uncharted political and socioeconomic territory. 

After brash Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump paraded his family at the national convention, the word of the week is:

Michellania (n)

A speech made of words and phrases gathered from different sources, such as Michelle Obama speeches and Rick Astley lyrics.


"I listened hard, but all I heard was michellania."

"Can you really tell the difference between all this michellania?"

"This michellania - you couldn't make it up."

Articles to read if you're sick of michellania:

Do you have a suggestion for next week's word? Share it in the form below.