‘Honoured that you are writing my father’s biography’ the late Tony Benn, ‘...wonderfully written’ Hilary Benn

‘Sparkles with fascinating detail…a remarkable story of Liberal and Labour politics in the first half of the twentieth century.’ Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News

‘Casts much light both on the evolution of British radicalism, and on the legacy which he bequeathed to his son, Tony. Professor Vernon Bogdanor, King's College, London

‘Brilliant biography…wonderful reading about the father and...discovering more about the son.’ Steve Richards of The Independent

‘Well-written and carefully researched, this fascinating biography brings to life a major figure in British political history…an excellent job of weaving together the strands of a complex life…as well as filling in the background of the Benn family’ Richard Doherty, military historian

Friday, 12 April 2013

SNP's first MP

Today is the anniversary of the Motherwell by-election of 1945, which brought the Scottish National Party their first MP, Dr Robert McIntyre. The by-election was caused by the death of Labour MP, James Walker, who died in a road accident.

Motherwell had previously been the seat which had seen the UK's first Communist MP, Walton Newbold who sat from 1922 to 1923. The Communist Party adhered to the wartime electoral truce and did not contest the 1945 by-election, so the only candidates were Robert McIntyre for the SNP and Alexander Anderson for Labour. Anderson won the seat back for Labour in the 1945 general election, held only three months later.

Between 1922 and 1945 Motherwell was represented by MPs from four different parties - Conservative, Labour, Communist and Scottish Nationalist.

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