Manchester: Father of The House of Commons Sir Gerald Kaufman has passed away. Sir Gerald Kaufman, Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and Father of The House of Commons, passed away aged 86. Sir Gerald had been an MP in the North West since 1970 and became the oldest serving member of the Commons in 2015. Sir Gerald was a junior minister between 1974 and 1979 and held a number of senior shadow cabinet posts throughout the 1980s. He famously called the Labour Party’s left-wing 1983 election manifesto “the longest suicide note in history” and returned to the backbenches in the early 1990s. He was also a very strong supporter of the Kashmir Issue.