Labour's 80-year-old former deputy leader Roy Hattersley is granted a 'quickie' divorce from his wife after 57 years of marriageGiven a 'quickie' divorce in just 55 seconds today at the age of 80
Couple had not lived together for five yearsGranted because he would now find it intolerable to live with Molly

Jill Reilly


13:04 GMT, 12 April 2013



01:58 GMT, 13 April 2013

Veteran Labour politician Roy Hattersley was given a 'quickie' divorce in just 55 seconds today at the age of 80 from his wife of 57 years.

Baron Hattersley in his full name of Roy Sydney George was granted a decree nisi at London's High Court because of the irretrievable breakdown of his 1956 marriage to wife Edith Mary known as Molly.

District Judge Heather Macgregor granted him a decree on the grounds that the couple had not lived together for five years, and he would now find it intolerable to live with her.

Over: Roy Hattersley and wife Molly have been granted a 'quickie divorce' in 55 seconds

Over: Roy Hattersley and wife Molly, pictured here in 2010, were today granted a 'quickie divorce' in 55 seconds

She ruled 'that the marriage had irretrievably broken down, the facts found proved being five years separation.'

He was entitled to a divorce after five years separation without the consent of his wife.

Neither were at court for the brief hearing.

Baron Hattersley married Molly in Sheffield after graduating from reading economics at Hull University.

Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley and his partner Maggie Pearlstine, who have been together for years

She was then a teacher who became a headmistress and educational policy-maker.

The pair did not go on to have
children and in 2010 he was photographed helping Molly along the streets
of London's Knightsbridge as she used a walking stick.

He has been with his new partner, Maggie Pearlstine, for several years now.

Baron Hattersley has been a socialist and Labour supporter from his youth, electioneering at the age of 12 for his local MP and city councillors.

He first became an MP in October 1964 when elected for the multi-racial Birmingham Sparkbrook constituency.

He held that seat for the next eight general elections before standing down in 1997.

Baron Hattersley held a number of posts rising to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party after losing a leadership battle with Neil Kinnock.

He is also the author of many books including three novels and many biographies.

His latest book, a 700-page biography of Lloyd George The Great Outsider: David Lloyd George was published by in 2010.

He has written biographies on religious topics, and on the Edwardian period as well.