Alfred Barnes (Labour politician)

Alfred John Barnes (17 July 1887 – 26 November 1974)[1] was a British Labour Co-operative politician.[2]


Alfred Barnes
Alfred Barnes MP.jpg
Minister of Transport
In office
3 August 1945 – 26 October 1951
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded byThe Lord Leathers
Succeeded byJohn Maclay
Chair of the Co-operative Party
In office
1924–1945
Preceded byWilliam Henry Watkins
Succeeded byWilliam Coldrick
Member of Parliament
for East Ham South
In office
14 November 1935 – 26 May 1955
Preceded byMalcolm Campbell-Johnston
Succeeded byAlbert Oram
In office
15 November 1922 – 27 October 1931
Preceded byAllen Clement Edwards
Succeeded byMalcolm Campbell-Johnston
Personal details
Born(1887-07-17)17 July 1887
Plaistow, Newham, England
Died26 November 1974(1974-11-26) (aged 87)
Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, England
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Alma materNorthampton Institute
Central School of Arts and Crafts

Born in North Woolwich, he was the youngest child of William Barnes, a docker. Barnes lost a leg in a fairground accident at the age of 8. He was educated at the Northampton Institute and the Central School of Arts and Crafts.[2]

Barnes worked originally as an artist in gold and silver.[2] He was an early member of the Independent Labour Party and was heavily involved in the co-operative movement.[2] He was chairman of the London Co-operative Society for nine years until 1923 and was a founder of the Co-operative Party.[2] He became the Party's chairman in 1924 and served until 1945. He was also a director and President of the National Cooperative Publishing Society.

In November 1922, Barnes was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Ham South. In 1925, he was appointed a Labour Whip and served as a whip in Government, as Junior Lord of the Treasury. However, he was forced to resign in October 1930 - although his position as a director of the National Cooperative Publishing Society was unpaid, parliamentary rules dictated that a minister cannot be a director of a public company (although they could be of a private company): Barnes chose to remain on the co-op board rather than as a whip. Like many Labour MPs, he lost his seat in the 1931 general election but regained it in 1935.

In 1945, Barnes was made a Privy Counsellor and Minister of War Transport, later Minister of Transport, serving until the fall of the Labour government in 1951.[2] He stood down as a Member of Parliament at the 1955 general election.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Barnes, Alfred John (1887–1974), politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30791. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Obituary: Mr Alfred Barnes". The Times. 27 November 1974. p. 18.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Allen Clement Edwards
Member of Parliament for East Ham South
19221931
Succeeded by
Malcolm Campbell-Johnston
Preceded by
Malcolm Campbell-Johnston
Member of Parliament for East Ham South
19351955
Succeeded by
Albert Oram
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Leathers
as Minister of War Transport
Minister of Transport
1945–1951
Succeeded by
John Maclay
Party political offices
Preceded by
William Henry Watkins
Chair of the Co-operative Party
1924–1945
Succeeded by
William Coldrick