Tony Banks, Baron Stratford

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Anthony Louis "Tony" Banks, Baron Stratford (8 April 19428 January 2006) was a British Labour politician who served as a member of Parliament from 1983 to 2005 and subsequently as a member of the House of Lords. He served as Minister for Sport from 1997 to 1999.


  • He was a fairly competent chairman of Housing [on Lambeth Council]. Every time he gets up now I keep thinking, "What on earth is Councillor Major doing?" I can't believe he's here and sometimes I think he can't either.
  • That this House is appalled, but barely surprised, at the revelations in M15 files regarding the bizarre and inhumane proposals to use pigeons as flying bombs; recognises the important and live-saving role of carrier pigeons in two world wars and wonders at the lack of gratitude towards these gentle creatures; and believes that humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again.
    • EDM (Early Day Motion) 1255 proposed by Tony Banks in the House of Commons (21 May 2004); quoted by Parliamentary Information Management Service.
  • I have gone to a safe house, as they say, so I might as well have a different name
  • I found it intellectually numbing, tedious in the extreme. All you were was a sort of high-powered social worker and perhaps not even a good one. So I won't miss that.
  • At one point Portillo was polishing his jackboots and planning the next advance. And the next thing is he shows up as a TV presenter. It is rather like Pol Pot presenting the Teletubbies.
  • I think my exact words were "Fuck me!"
    • Obituary, The Daily Telegraph (9 January 2006).
    • Recounting his reaction on being appointed a minister.
  • We'll look back and wonder who were these barbarous people, just like we look back at those who supported bull-baiting
  • Personally I wish the police had truncheoned the English fans to death, but I can’t really say that on the record.
  • I am finding the inherent politeness of this place quite destabilising. Having come from a House where politeness is about as rare as an orderly queue at a London bus stop, the culture shock on entering your Lordships' House has been profound. Indeed, such relentless politeness is not merely destabilising, but positively exhausting.
  • I could have been a serious athlete, only to have my promise cut short when I discovered Woodbines and women. Thankfully I have long since given up the former, and the latter have long since given up on me—except, of course, for the lovely Lady Stratford, who for reasons beyond my comprehension still tolerates my presence.
  • More people have probably died from eating dodgy Chinese food than contracting some form of avian flu. The last thing we want is for the Daleks from Defra to start suggesting that they want to exterminate wildlife—as is their normal response when confronted with such a problem. We do not want any proposal that migrating birds are going to be destroyed because of alarmist figures and notions that appear in the Tory press.

Quotations about Tony Banks

  • If champagne ever wanted cheering up, it would drink Tony Banks.
  • of the most charismatic politicians in Britain, a true man of the people.
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