He was first elected to Parliament in 1950 representing Billericay. In 1955 he became the MP for South East Essex and when this constituency was revised in 1983 he became the MP for the new constituency of Castle Point. He held several junior government posts during his 39 years in the House of Commons. He became Father of the House in 1987 (the longest serving MP). He stepped down as an MP at the 1992 general election and took up a seat in the House of Lords.
After his death in 2000 a clock was erected from public subscriptions at Victoria House Corner roundabout, to commemorate his long service to Castle Point and the surrounding area.