Historical records matching Thomas Edward Neil Driberg, Baron Bradwell
About Thomas Edward Neil Driberg, Baron Bradwell
Thomas Edward Neil Driberg, Baron Bradwell (22 May 1905 – 12 August 1976), generally known as Tom Driberg, was a British journalist, politician and High Anglican churchman who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1942 to 1955 and from 1959 to 1974. A member of the British Communist Party for more than 20 years, he was first elected to parliament as an Independent, and joined the Labour Party in 1945. He never held any ministerial office, but rose to senior positions within the Labour Party and was a popular and influential figure in left-wing politics for many years.
The son of a retired colonial officer, Driberg was educated at Lancing and Christ Church, Oxford. After leaving the university without a degree, he attempted to establish himself as a poet before joining the Daily Express as a reporter, later becoming a columnist. In 1933 he began the "William Hickey" society column, which he continued to write until 1943. He was later a regular columnist for the Co-operative Group newspaper Reynolds News and for other left-leaning journals. He wrote several books, including biographies of the press baron Lord Beaverbrook and the fugitive British diplomat Guy Burgess. He retired from the House of Commons in 1974, and was subsequently raised to the peerage as Baron Bradwell of Bradwell juxta Mare in the County of Essex.
Driberg made no secret of his homosexuality, which he practised throughout his life despite it being a criminal offence in Britain until 1967; his ability to avoid any consequences for his risky and often brazen behaviour baffled his friends and colleagues. Always in search of bizarre experiences, Driberg befriended at various times the black magic practitioner Aleister Crowley and the Kray twins, along with honoured and respected figures in the worlds of literature and politics. He combined this lifestyle with an unvarying devotion to Anglo-Catholicism. After his death, allegations were published about his role over many years as an MI5 informant, a KGB agent, or both. The extent and nature of Driberg's involvement with these agencies remains uncertain.