|Statue of Bessie Braddock at Lime Street Station|
|Member of Parliament
for Liverpool Exchange
September 24, 1899|
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
|Died||November 13, 1970
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
|Spouse(s)||John 'Jack' Braddock|
Elizabeth Margaret Braddock JP (Liverpool, 24 September 1899 – 13 November 1970), better known as Bessie Braddock, was a British Labour politician. Known as an ardent socialist and fiery campaigner, nicknamed 'Battling Bessie', her special interests included maternity, child welfare and youth crime.
Born Elizabeth Bamber, Braddock's mother was Mary 'Ma' Bamber, also an active woman in Liverpool politics. The younger Bamber first joined the Communist Party of Great Britain but left, reportedly because of its lack of commitment to democracy. She joined the Labour Party and in 1922 married John 'Jack' Braddock, also a member. Jack later became leader of Liverpool City Council, holding the position from 1955 to 1961 and again in May 1963. Bessie herself became a councillor in 1930 for St.Anne's Ward, and in 1945 she became president of the Liverpool Trades Council and Labour Party. She was a member of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers for many years. During World War II she worked as an ambulance assistant officer.
She was a key figure responsible for the flooding of Tryweryn, a valley in Wales, to create a reservoir to supply fresh water to the city of Liverpool. This was strongly opposed by residents of Capel Celyn and the neighbouring countryside, who were evicted from their family homes and farms before they were submerged, and by Welsh politicians of all parties.
Braddock was elected Member of Parliament for Liverpool Exchange at the 1945 election and represented the seat for 24 years. She was a member of the Labour Party National Executive Committee and served as vice-chairman of the Labour Party in 1968.
She employed Peter Carter-Ruck to represent her—his first libel case—when she sued the Bolton Evening Post, for reporting that she had "danced a jig on the floor of the House of Commons". Braddock was granted the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 1970, shortly before her death. There is a statue commemorating her in Liverpool Lime Street railway station.
Braddock: "Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk." "
Churchill: "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."
- Biography at PortCities Liverpool
- "BBC Local legends". Bbc.co.uk. 2004-01-16. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- "The Flooding of Tryweryn". Solohq.org. 1957-08-01. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- Statues of Ken Dodd and Bessie Braddock are unveiled at Liverpool’s Lime Street Station Liverpool Daily Post, 12 June 2009
- "Drunk and Ugly: The Rumor Mill". WinstonChurchill.org. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "Hague's baseball cap, Mandelson's mushy peas: True tales or just great political myths? | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2007-02-07. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- Richard Langworth (ed.) Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Book of Quotations, p.550
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Bessie Braddock
- Liverpool Pictorial Article
- Listen to Rebels : Bessie Braddock' at the BBC archive
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
John Joseph Shute
|Member of Parliament for Liverpool Exchange