Barnet Kenyon - Politics


The best description of Kenyon's politics is Lib–Lab. There had always been close ties between the Liberal Party and organised labour and much overlap between them in terms of beliefs, political thought and personnel. In the late 19th and early 20th century many candidates were described as Lib–Labs but it was hard for working men to get adopted as Liberal candidates by Liberal Associations dominated by middle-class and professional men and this was a principal reason for the founding in 1900 of the Labour Representation Committee, the organisation which later became the Labour Party.

In 1913, Kenyon was selected by the Derbyshire Miners to succeed James Haslam, the Labour MP for Chesterfield since 1906, who had died on 31 July 1913. Once selected however, Kenyon agreed to be adopted also by the local Liberal Association and the question of his party description and affiliation became a divisive issue in the Chesterfield constituency, the Derbyshire Miners' Federation and nationally.

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