Sunday 22 November 2020

The Labour Earl - The First Labour Peer 1919

The Labour Earl - The First Labour Peer

2nd Earl of Kimberley - Lord John Wodehouse
(10 December 1848 - 7 January 1932)
Kimberley House near Wymondham

"The Earl of Kimberley who has now definitely thrown his lot in withe the Labour Party"

"I cannot help being a Peer, but I am a democrat and whatever I can do to help the Labour Party, I shall do, to see, as I hope to see, the Labour Party govern this country"
Daily Mirror - 22 April 1919

Speaking at the opening of the Labour Institute at Wymondham
Kimberley sent a telegram of support to Labour Candidate in South Norfolk who was opposing a Liberal who supported the Lloyd George Coalition Government.
Kimberley was returned as a Labour candidate to Norfolk County Council in 1922, and was also Chairman of his local Rural District Council and Board of Guardians.

At the time he joined the Labour Party in 1919 time there were no Labour members in the House of Lords and so he retained the Liberal whip.

He formally transferred to the Labour whip in January 1924 when the first Labour government was formed.
Earl Kimberley speaking at an Agricultural workers meeting at his Estate during the great Norfolk Agricultural workers strike of 1923.

Earl Kimberley's support for Labour in 1919 makes him the first Labour Peer

Michael Walker

His father was a Liberal politician in the Lords and was at one point Foreign Secretary - He gave his name to the town in South Africa.

His son was an Olympian and won silver and gold medals, was the Liberal MP for Mid Norfolk for a period but was tragically killed in the Blitz
His father was John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley January 1826 – 8 April 1902), born Wymdondham was a Liberal party politician and became Foreign Secretary - He was appointed to the Lords by Gladstone - the town of Kimberley in the Cape Colony was named after him. The author PG Wodehouse a distant relative

House of Lords