Chiswick Resident Leo Abse Dies

Former MP guided homosexuality and divorce law changes

Leopold Abse (22 April 1917 - 19 August 2008)

Maverick former Labour MP Leo Abse has died in Charing Cross hospital aged 91. He spent his later years at his home by the river in Chiswick.

Mr. Abse was a member of parliament for nearly 30 years, during which time he was the prime mover in key legislation to change the law on homosexuality and divorce. He also lobbied effectively for changes to the law on adoption. Born in South Wales and representing a safe seat in Pontypool and then Torfaen, he never had ambitions beyond becoming a backbencher which allowed him the independence to sponsor what, at the time, was often controversial legislation.

A devotee of Freud he wrote a 'psycho-biography' of Margaret Thatcher as well as other books using psychoanalytical techniques to study his political contemporaries.

In 1955 he married Marjorie Davies. They had two children: Tobias, a lecturer in European History, and Bathsheba, one-time curator of the Keats Museum in Rome. After Marjorie’s death in 1996, he re-married in 2000 Ania Czepulkowska, a young Polish artist.

August 20, 2008