Former PM Joe Lyons’ descendant endorsed as United Australia Party candidate for Clark

Jim Starkey the great-grandson of former Australian Prime Minister and United Australia Party founder Joseph Lyons, will run as the UAP’s candidate in the division of Clark, the party’s Tasmanian Senate leader Kevin Morgan announced today.

Mr Morgan said it was a great honour to have Mr Starkey endorsed by the party executive for Clark for the May 18 Federal Election.

“Joe Lyons founded and led the United Australia Party during the difficult periods of the depression and aftermath of the Great War. He was a true leader who was extremely popular with the public and served this great country with distinction,” Mr Morgan said.

“He always put Australia first.

“The people of Clark are very fortunate the rich heritage and fine leadership of the Lyons family lives on with Jim standing as their United Australia Party candidate for the coming Federal Election,” he said.

Joe Lyons (15 September 1879 – 7 April 1939) was the tenth Prime Minister of Australia, serving from January 1932 until his death. He had earlier served as Premier of Tasmania from 1923 to 1928, and was the first, and to date only, Prime Minister from Tasmania.

Lyons was born in Stanley Tasmania, and was a schoolteacher and trade unionist before entering politics, originally with the Labor Party.

In 1931 he and other Labor defectors formed the United Australia Party, with Lyons becoming Leader of the Opposition.

Nicknamed Honest Joe, the masterful political campaigner led the United Australia Party to a landslide victory at the 1931 election, and subsequent wins in 1934 and 1937.

Lyons died of a heart attack in April 1939 becoming the first Prime Minister to die in office. His widow, Enid Lyons, became the first women elected to the House of Representatives.

“I am very proud of the legacy of my great-grandfather and it is a great honour to be representing the party he originally led as the United Australia Party’s candidate for Clark,” Mr Starkey said.

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