Arthur Skeffington

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Arthur Massey Skeffington (4 September 1909 – 18 February 1971) was a British Labour Party politician who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 23 years from 1945 until his death in 1971.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Educated at Streatham Grammar School and the University of London, Skeffington graduated with a BSc in Economics.[1][2] He lectured in economics, was a member of the Fabian Society and was elected to the National Executive of the Labour Party.[1]

At the 1935 general election he unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of Streatham. He also failed to be elected when a by-election was held at Lewisham West in 1938.[1]

During the Second World War he worked for the Board of Trade on concentration of industry and for the Ministry of Supply on the production of medical supplies.[1]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Skeffington was elected at the 1945 general election as MP for Lewisham West, but lost his seat at the 1950 general election.

In 1950 he was elected to the London County Council to represent Peckham, holding the seat until 1958.[1][3] he was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1951.[2]

Skeffington successfully contested the Hayes and Harlington by-election in 1953, which he won, thereby being returned to Parliament.[4] He served as MP for that constituency in the House of Commons until his death in 1971, at the age of 61.

From 1967 to 1970, he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Housing and Local Government. Skeffington was also Chairman of Labour's National Executive Committee from 1969 to 1970.[1]

Outside politics[edit]

A keen cricketer, he played cricket for Surrey 2nd XI.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "SKEFFINGTON, Arthur Massey". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. December 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Mr Arthur Skeffington Former chairman of the Labour Party". The Times. 20 February 1971. p. 4. 
  3. ^ Jackson, W Eric (1965). Achievement. A Short History of the London County Council. London: Longmans. p. 280. 
  4. ^ "Hays and Harlington Held by Labour". The Times. 2 April 1953. p. 8. 


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Brooke
Member of Parliament for Lewisham West
Succeeded by
Henry Price
Preceded by
Walter Ayles
Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington
Succeeded by
Neville Sandelson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Reeves
Socialist societies representative on the Labour Party National Executive Committee
Succeeded by
John Cartwright
Preceded by
Margaret Cole
Chairman of the Fabian Society
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
Preceded by
Eirene White
Chair of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Ian Mikardo