FROM being put into stocks in Bolton to campaigning to ensure people with Down’s Syndrome are not discriminated against, Dr Brian Iddon has given a detailed insight into his life as a Bolton MP in the second volume of Science & Politics: An Unlikely Mixture.

Volume One of Dr Iddon’s autobiography was published in 2015 in which he told of his remarkable career as a scientist and, in his recently released second part, he explains how he found himself representing Bolton South East at Westminster for three years.

Volume Two is billed as the most detailed account of a Parliamentary career written in modern times by a back-bench MP and, says Dr Iddon, has been written to help ‘dispel the myth that MPs have an easy life’.

He said: “A lot of people do not know what MPs do. That is why I have produced this - we have family lives as well.

“Some MPs are lazy but I did not want to be like that — I wanted to go to Parliament and do something.

“It was killing me, the pace I was going, I could not keep it up. It was my fault I got involved in far too many things and I went to too many meetings. I was just weighed down in the end.

“I was almost 70 when I retired. I promised myself that I would go at 70. I wanted a life beyond Parliament, but my constituency members wanted me to do at least one more term, which was nice.”

He added: “Volume One of the autobiography is all about my chemistry career, my education and early life in the village of Tarleton. Volume Two is all about my political career and the rest of my family life.

“ It’s is a heftier tome than first one was but there is a lot of humour in the book.”

The opening chapter of the book is about Dr Iddon’s move to Bolton in 1972 in the Firwood Fold area, from Boothstown.

“I came to Bolton because I loved the people, and the service in the shops was exceptional. People talked to you in the shops,” he said.

“That’s what brought me to Bolton, the friendliness of the people.”

Dr Iddon writes about how he became involved in community politics after he disagreed with changes in his neighbourhood — and started Tonge Moor Residents’ Association.

He said: “I was a member of the Labour Party when I came here and joined Tonge Ward Labour Club.

“My family has always been Labour and my family has always been immersed in the community.”

He soon became vice-chairman and chairman of the local constituency party and found himself standing in local elections after the candidate who had been selected forgot to sign important paperwork and had gone on a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

But it was not until 1977 that he was elected councillor for Church, East and North Ward, which until then had been strongly Conservative.

“ I won accidentally, third time lucky,” he said.

During his council years he started Bolton Bond Board, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, and Careline, which is now run by Bolton at Home. The first public sector neighbourhood dispute service, which he proposed be set up in Bolton, has been extended.

Dr Iddon and his colleagues would help out in other ways.

He said: “I dressed up as Biggles and we did all kinds of things to raise money for charity, usually Mencap.

“There would be a flan a councillor day. We built some stocks or borrowed some and put them in the precinct and gave people custard pies.

“They had to pay a fortune for shoving one in our face but some people were nasty and banged them in our faces. We produced ducking stools for a duck a councillor day — we did all this stuff in the 70s.”

Dr Iddon said: “I built my entire political career on what I did in Bolton but I was never seeking a Parliamentary seat.

“Councillors, party members and members of the public kept asking me to stand for Parliament. I had been asked why I wouldn’t stand 1,000 times. In the end I thought ‘where am I going at Salford University?’

“It was a big decision but I took it. I wouldn’t have done it in a marginal seat, because I was loving what I was doing at the time and it was a big change in direction.”

He was elected to the safe Labour seat with a 21,311 majority in 1997 after the previous sitting Labour MP, David Young was deselected by the constituency.

As MP, Dr Iddon enlisted the help of John Prescott to allow Fred Dibnah to operate his house as a museum - producing smoke legally.

He also enhanced protection for tenants, who would find themselves homeless because the landlord had defaulted on mortgage payments.

Dr Iddon said: “In Westminster I got three Acts of Parliament through.

“I am proud of my case work — what we did for people like putting the Women’s Land Army on the map, getting Fred Dibnah his licence, even if he was a Tory all his life

“The most important piece of work I was involved with was The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.

“We realised that the technology was way ahead of the legislation.

“Practitioners were doing things that hadn’t been legalised. They were not illegal, but some people considered they were immoral. It was ethics versus science and we had to put this right. It was one of the most controversial bills ever considered during my 13 years in Parliament.”

Dr Iddon also helped put an end to people with Down’s Syndrome being denied medical treatment and the European Parliament from getting rid of MRI scanners — “the only European regulation or directive that I have known to be stopped and it was rejigged because of us,” said Dr Iddon.

He said: “The best part of the job was being able to open doors for people.”

“I miss the excitement. Parliament is an exciting place — there were no dull days.

“I miss being able to help people. That’s the reason I went down in the first place and boy did we help people — thousands of them.

“I could write another book about that but I can’t, I am sworn to secrecy.

“I feel immensely privileged to have served in Parliament.”