Sunday, 3 June 2007

First Co-op MP

This is Alfred Edward Waterson the first Co-operative Party MP who won Kettering in 1918. He took the Labour whip in Parliament, ahead of any decision of Co-operative Congress to progress a formal alliance with the Labour Party. The Co-operative Party put up 10 candidates in that General Election. Waterson was defeated at the 1922 general election. He then became the national organiser of the Co-operative Party, serving until 1945. There is a dodgy picture of Alfred Waterson and a report of the election in Co-operative News - January 4th 1919 in this picture. The seat was re-won in 1923 by S.F. Perry for Labour Co-operative, a noted co-operator and father of the famous tennis player Fred Perry. All this trivia - Kettering also returned John Profumo for the Conservatives in a bye-election in 1940.

This is part of a history series for the 90th anniversary of the Co-op Party. A bit more dig out - a party split in the Manchester, old meeting rooms, banners, and blokes with mustaches.