William John Tout

William John Tout (1870–1946) was Labour MP for Oldham, a two-member constituency.

Tout began working in a cotton mill in Burnley at the age of ten, initially as a half-timer. He opposed the half-time system, and took part in the Burnley Weavers' Association's campaigns against it. This activity gradually brought him to prominence, and in 1911, Tout was elected as the general secretary of the Todmorden Weavers' Association. Four years later, he was elected as vice-president of the Amalgamated Weavers' Association, to which the Todmorden union was affiliated. He also served on the executive of the United Textile Factory Workers' Association.[1]

Tout stood as a UTFWA-sponsored candidate in Oldham at the 1922 United Kingdom general election, winning the seat, and held it in 1923. He lost his seat in 1924, possibly as a result of Labour standing two candidates. He stood unsuccessfully again at the 1925 Oldham by-election. He then won Sowerby from the Unionists in 1929, but lost it in 1931.

Out of Parliament, Tout retained his trade union posts until 1945, and remained secretary of the Todmorden Weavers until his death the following year.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Obituary: W. J. Tout". Annual Report of the Trades Union Congress: 256. 1943.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir William Barton
Edmund Bartley-Denniss
Member of Parliament for Oldham
With: Edward Grigg
Succeeded by
Edward Grigg
Duff Cooper
Preceded by
Geoffrey Shaw
Member of Parliament for Sowerby
Succeeded by
Malcolm McCorquodale
Trade union offices
Preceded by
James Wilkinson
General Secretary of the Todmorden Weavers' Association
Succeeded by
Frank Morris