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News > Archive News > Obituaries > Anthony Simpson (K 49-53)

Anthony Simpson (K 49-53)

14 Aug 2022
Written by Tracey Ahmet

Former Northamptonshire and South Leicestershire MEP Anthony ‘Andy’ Simpson passed away on August 14, 2022 last aged 86.

Born in Leicester on October 28, 1935 to Maurice Simpson and Renée Laffitte. Anthony was in

Kilbracken between 1949 and 1953 following in the footsteps of his brothers Christopher (K 43-47) and John (St & K 40-44) (John initially attended Stanley but due to evacuation was transferred to Kilbracken).

Anthony’s son, Edward (K 83-88) and nephews David (K 70-74) and Matthew (K 80-85) followed in the family tradition.

After Rugby, Anthony read History and Law at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Unlike his father and two older brothers, he did not join the family law firm, Herbert Simpson, Son and Bennett, but was called to the Bar – Inner Temple – in 1961. Even though he practised as a barrister until 1975, his real loves were politics and languages, of which he spoke several – his French roots made him an enthusiastic European.

Anthony was selected by the Conservative Party for the safe Labour parliamentary seat of West Leicester in 1974 but failed to win it in both general elections held that year. He had already been translating French and German law reports into English since 1962 and he joined the Legal Service of the

European Commission in Brussels the following year. When the European Parliament first held direct elections in 1979, he was an obvious choice.

He served as MEP for Northamptonshire (later extended to incorporate South Leicestershire) from 1979 to 1994. For a decade during his term as an MEP, he also served as one of the five Quaestors, appointed as a member of the Governing Bureau to oversee administrative and financial matters for all his colleagues.

After his time as an MEP, Anthony returned to the European Commission where he set up the DAPHNE programme to help combat violence against women and children. Following his retirement in 2000 he was Treasurer of the European Foundation for Street Children. He moved to London but maintained his Leicester roots by being a Governor of De Montfort University from 2004 to 2008.

Between 1959 and 1975, Anthony served in the Territorial Army with the 21st Regiment of the SAS (The Artist Rifles) and later became a Major of the 23rd Regiment.

Anthony married Penelope Spackman in 1961 and had three children: Victoria, Sarah and Edward. He had eight grandchildren and was deeply devoted to his whole family, as they were to him. He and Penelope loved to travel and a great pleasure was taking each of their grandchildren individually on holiday.

Anthony and Penelope were very moved when in September 2021 their children arranged a re-enactment of their wedding day at St Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze, near Swindon, to mark their 60th anniversary. This was later followed by a party at the Cavalry and Guards Club, London where friends and family celebrated their long and loving partnership.

Anthony had the role of the family genealogist. He visited as many relevant places as he could, including tiny ancestral villages in France, where he met distant relations. He was very fortunate to be able to live his life fully until the end - continuing to walk and engage with friends and family on the issues of the day.

Adapted from a contribution by Ed Simpson (K 83-88)

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