Becoming the Baby of the House is regarded as something of an achievement, and for example, Jeffrey Archer incorrectly claimed to have been the youngest MP at the time of his election. However, some MPs who have held the position for a considerable period — Matthew Taylor was the Baby of the House for over ten years — have found it somewhat embarrassing, as it may suggest that they have a lack of experience, although a perusal of the list shows that many babies in fact went on to enjoy long, significant and distinguished parliamentary careers. From August 1999 to September 2001, all three of the leaders of the main political parties had been the youngest MPs in the party when they began their political career (William Hague, Tony Blair, Charles Kennedy).
Of those whose age can be verified, the youngest MP since the Reform Act 1832 was Esmond Harmsworth, elected on 15 November 1919 from Isle of Thanet aged 21 years 170 days.
The youngest female MP was Bernadette Devlin, elected on 17 April 1969 from Mid Ulster aged 21 years 359 days.